Tennis

Andy Murray refuses to rule out working with female coach

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Andy Murray has said that he is open to the idea of female coaches in tennis, and has not ruled out the possibility of working with a woman.

That could further fuel speculation that Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo could be set to replace Ivan Lendl as his coach, after the former Wimbledon champion was spotted sitting near his entourage in his first round match at the French Open against Andrey Golubev.

A number of male names have been linked with the role previously, but the 27-year-old feels that communication with a woman could be easier for him in the more pressurised moments.

"I think when you get a lot of men in a room, there's often quite a lot of egos involved,” said Murray. "And communication can sometimes be quite difficult, because not everyone listens. When there's an argument it can sometimes get heated rather than everyone just staying calm.

"I think in those situations, women can listen a bit better and take things on board easier than guys. So from a communication point of view, it would probably be pretty good.”

The two-time Grand Slam winner was introduced to the sport by his mother Judy, and he is open to being coached by a man or a woman, saying that he is more focused on what a coach can bring to his game.

“Whether it is a man or a woman, it's just important that they see the differences in the two games, because with the men the serve is harder to break.”

Lendl held the experience of winning seven Grand Slam titles himself, which proved crucial in moulding Murray from a Grand Slam finalist to a Grand Slam champion, as he won his first major in his fifth final at the US Open in 2012 in their first year of working together.

The British number one feels it would be easier for him to work with someone of that experience, and Mauresmo, like Murray, has two Grand Slams to her name, which she won in 2006 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

“The ones that make the good coaches are the ones that are able to stay calm in those moments and can give sound, clear advice in pressure situations. When you've been there and done it it's obviously easier to pass on that sort of advice.”

The Dunblane-born player revealed before the start of the French Open that he had decided who he wanted his new coach to be, but it is not expected that any new announcements will be made on the situation until after his participation in the tournament has ended.

While his world ranking has slipped from second to eighth since becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since 1936 in 2013, he has looked to be returning to form recently, as he showed in the Rome Masters, where he won the first set against world number one Rafael Nadal before losing 7-5 in the third set.

Murray is set to take on German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the third round at Roland Garros, and he has been showing some decent form so far in his first Grand Slam tournament since parting company with Lendl last March.

His two victories so far in Paris over Golubev and Marinko Matosevic have seen him hit some powerful winners, with his only hiccup coming when he lost the third set to Golubev.
The meeting with Kohlschreiber will be their first since the Monte Carlo Masters in 2010, where he was beaten in two sets.

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Andy Murray
Tennis

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