Tennis

Martina Navratilova backs Andy Murray to hire female coach

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Martina Navratilova thinks it would be a good idea for Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to appoint a female coach.

It has been rumoured that Frenchwoman and former player Amelie Mauresmo could be lined up as Ivan Lendl’s replacement to coach the 27-year-old, as she was spotted watching him in action in his four set victory over Andrey Golubev at the French Open on Tuesday.

Mauresmo, who won Wimbledon herself in 2006 and the Australian Open in the same year, has previously worked with compatriot Michael Llodra, and she was spotted just yards from Murray’s entourage on Suzanne Lenglen Court.

Navratilova, an 18-time Grand Slam winner, thinks that a woman coaching a man would be a step forward for tennis.

The former player told BBC Radio Five Live: "It has happened before but that was a mother, with Marat Safin, and of course Judy Murray as well.

“We haven't had a female really coaching a top man other than a family member but I'm sure Andy will pick the right person, that he looks up to, that he respects, that he thinks will help him.”

Murray revealed before the start of Roland Garros that he had already decided on his new coach, though it is expected that no official announcement will be made on the situation until after his participation in the clay court tournament has ended.

Navratilova went on to rule herself out of the running to coach the British number one, who has been playing without a coach since parting company with Lendl in March.

"It's not something you would walk away from but I do have a pretty full life so I'd have to make some adjustments.

"I'm sure the situation will happen for me one day where I'm helping somebody but I have not been asked to coach Andy."

The 57-year-old also feels that it does not make a difference whether a coach is male or female, and that the current trend of players appointing former Grand Slam champions as coaches should be set to continue.

"It's a matter of time. The ball doesn't know what gender you are when you're hitting it, the ball doesn't know what gender you are when someone's telling them what to do. It's just a matter of the situation being right.

"When you see so many former champions coaching the top players it's not a fad, I think it's here to stay because clearly former champions know what they're talking about so you're more likely to listen to them and learn something because they've been there and done that."

Murray benefitted from having a seven-time Grand Slam winner in Lendl as his coach for two years between 2012 and 2014, as he won both of his Grand Slam titles in that time as well as an Olympic gold medal at London 2012.

Lendl lead Murray to his crowning moment at Wimbledon in 2013, where he became the first British singles champion since 1936, though he has not been able to match that level of form since then.

Back surgery forced him to miss the end of the 2013 season, including the ATP World Tour finals, and has not managed to reach the final of a tournament in 2014.

But his form did show some signs of improvement at the Rome Masters last week, where he reached the quarter-finals before narrowly losing to world number one Rafael Nadal in three sets.

The seventh seed’s campaign to become the first British man to win the French Open singles title since 1935 has started well, as victories over Golubev and Marinko Matosevic of Australia have seen him progress to the third round, where he will face German 28th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber on Saturday.

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Topics:
Andy Murray
Tennis

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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