Boris Becker has said he did not expect Andy Murray to appoint Amelie Mauresmo as his coach.
The German is the coach of world number one Novak Djokovic, Murray’s upcoming opponent in the quarter-finals of the US Open on Wednesday evening. Their encounter on Arthur Ashe Stadium will be a repeat of the 2012 final at Flushing Meadows, which Murray won in five sets.
But the Briton isn't fancied to defeat the Serbian this time around, as he has had a turbulent year, which included changing his coach after he parted company with Ivan Lendl in March, and he is yet to reach the final of an ATP tournament since winning Wimbledon in 2013.
A different appointment
Becker, who began working with Djokovic last January and helped guide him to winning his second Wimbledon title in July, expected a similar appointment, and there are few other male players who are currently coached by a woman.
The six-time Grand Slam winner told Sky Sports: “I think everybody was a little bit surprised after the Lendl relationship.
“You expected Andy to pick another former (male) player or another star. On the other hand his collaboration with his current team that obviously includes Danny (Vallverdu) was working very well.
“He reached the semi-final of the French Open but something obviously wasn’t working 100 per cent right or he wouldn’t have made that decision.
“I believe they worked together on a trial basis throughout Queens and Wimbledon. I think Andy felt comfortable enough to prolong that relationship to the end of the year.”
It could be seen that Becker’s own appointment by Djokovic was inspired by Murray’s success with Lendl, as he improved the mental side of Murray’s game to help him towards his two Grand Slam titles, using his own experience as a Grand Slam winner.
Similarly, world number three Roger Federer began working with Swedish former player Stefan Edberg, who won six majors and has overseen a revival for the Swiss this year, as he has improved his world ranking by three positions and reached his first Grand Slam final in two years at Wimbledon this year.
Becker’s time working with Djokovic has also brought success, as not only has he assisted the 27-year-old to his seventh Grand Slam title, but he has also returned to the top of the world rankings this year, and he is now aiming to win his second US Open title.
The match against Murray is scheduled to be played second during the night session on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and it will be their 21st meeting, with Djokovic winning 12 of their matches so far, and Becker thinks they could play another classic in New York.
“There are no secrets between those two," he said. They have a lot of respect for each other. It has all the ingredients for a potential classic.”
It will be the sixth time they have played each other in a Grand Slam, and they have met in four Grand Slam finals.
Both players will be going into the match with confidence, as Murray achieved his first victory over a top 10 player since winning Wimbledon against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France in the fourth round, and Djokovic is yet to drop a set at the tournament.