Andy Murray is already facing up to the logistic
problems involved in having Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach who was set
to arrive at London’s Aegon Championships today and professionally link
up with the Wimbledon champion for the first time. And he feels
the fact he will not be able to seek counsel in the sanctuary of the
men’s locker is something that can be easily overcome.
“I don’t see any problems in that respect,”
insisted Murray. “Obviously you can't sit down and chat in the locker
room , but there's enough places where you can talk. The players’
lounge here at Queen’s Club is pretty large.
“Normally I speak about tactics with my coach
before matches. Sometimes I do it the night before, and then
sometimes I do it 20 or 30 minutes before I go on court when I'm
normally in the gym, anyway.”
Murray reiterated he is perfectly happy having a
female as his coach after such international luminaries as Ivan Lendl,
Brad Gilbert and Alex Corretja have filled the post along with fellow
Brits Miles Maclagan, Mark Petchey and the nation’s current Davis Cup
captain Leon Smith. “For me, it doesn't feel so different because
obviously when I was growing up I had my Mum (current British Fed Cup
captain Judy Murray) working with me until I was 17 years old.
“So I have always had a strong female influence
in my career. I found that with my Mum especially, that she
listened extremely well. That was something that I felt that I needed
“I think it's important that the people that you
work with respect and understand and listen to how you're feeling as
well because you can't just be pushed extremely hard every single day.
I need to pick my moments during the year where I really go for it in
Loïc Courteau the man who coached Mauresmo to
titles at the 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon and guided her to the
world no.1 ranking, agrees with Murray in this assessment. “Maybe when
he walks with a woman he can say different things, with his emotions,”
“Every time, she thinks how she can improve, not
only in the tennis but as a person. When she was playing, she was
thinking all the time, ‘How can I make this? How can I do this?’ Even
when she was No 1 in the world she was thinking about this. And she
talks about everything, not just about tennis.
“That’s good when you are on the tour, that you
don’t only think and talk about tennis all the time. When she decides
something she goes to the end, she builds towards it and does it.”
Courteau is at Queen’s coaching Julien Benneteau
and he continued: “Amélie, she feels the tennis.
“It is like Yannick [Noah] for me. When she is
commentating she talks all the time about the good things, the great
things. Sometimes the guys don’t say the right things, but all the time
she says the good things.
“I don’t know exactly why Andy asked. He is a
fantastic player from the baseline but maybe he wants to play more
aggressively [in] this sector of the game and Amélie is sympathetic to
this because of the way she did it all her career.
“She will help him a lot with this, even
technically the volley, the way to go to the net and finish the point,
and she will be very open, she will listen and the emotional part she
does very well.”
Murray’s first opponent in the defense of his
Queen’s title is Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu and the Frenchman said:
“I'm not the only one who is surprised but it's going to be an
interesting relationship. I know her pretty well and I think they
thought about it and they talked pretty much together, so I think it can
“Maybe we're going to see more and more of this
kind of thing but I like the fact that Amélie is going to train Andy.
It is going to bring something new in our sport.”