Murray considers hiring female coach; Mauresmo says rumors about her are 'not serious'

Friday, May 30, 2014 /by
AP
AP

Speculation continues to surround prospective candidates Andy Murray is considering in his search for a new coach.

The newest name being thrown around is Amelie Mauresmo, a rumor that gained traction when she was seen watching his first-round match against Andrey Golubev. The former No. 1 serves as the French Fed Cup captain and has previous coaching experience, having worked with Marion Bartoli and Victoria Azarenka on a part-time basis as well as with an ATP player, Michael Llodra. However, Mauresmo told RLT Sport, "No, it's not serious."

But plenty of other candidates have been mentioned since he and Ivan Lendl ended their coaching relationship.

"Ever since I stopped working with Ivan, there have been a lot of names people mentioned," Murray said. "Obviously Amelie, this week. There was Wilander. There's been Bjorkman, John McEnroe, Navratilova, Leon Smith, Bob Brett."

Even Fabrice Santoro, commentating for British broadcaster ITV during the tournament, jokingly offered a business card at Murray's request during their post-match interview.

But Murray was giving nothing away, saying, "I like all the people that have been mentioned. I have a good relationship with most of them as well.

"When the time is right I will make an announcement. But nothing to say yet."

One particular aspect of the search has created additional interest — Murray's continuing indication that he is looking at both men and women for the coaching position.

There are few female coaches on the ATP tour, and both Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert have encouraged Murray to provide a counterbalance.

Navratilova said she has not been contacted as a potential candidate.

"I've talked to a number of potential coaches, both women and men," said Murray, acknowledging that choosing a female coach would attract attention.

"I'm sure that people will talk about it when it happens, whether it's with me or someone else," said the two-time Grand Slam champion, who was taught to play by his mother, Judy, a former player and high-level coach.

"I don't really care whether some of the other male players like it or not. That's not something that really bothers me.

"I was coached by my mom for a long time. I have had her around at tournaments for a long time. There have been ex-players and stuff that have said, 'Oh, your mom shouldn't be around,' or she shouldn't come and support you or come to watch.

"Everyone works very differently. Some men might not work well with a female. Some men might work well with a female coach. It's just whatever your preference is and whatever your needs are."

Murray said that successful coaches, men or women, usually have common attributes, including an ability to listen and adjust to their player.

"When you get a lot of men in a room, there’s often a lot of egos involved and communication can sometimes be difficult, because not everyone listens,” he said. "When there’s an argument it can get heated, rather than everyone just staying calm. In those situations, women can listen a bit better and take things on board more easily than guys. From a communication point of view, it would probably be pretty good.

"Whether it’s a man or a woman, when they look at the game it’s just important that they see the differences in the two games. In women’s tennis, the serve isn’t as important.

"And obviously more training needs to go into a best-of-five match."

Speaking before the tournament, Murray indicated he would try to announce his new coach after the French Open.

 

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