ATP Tour

Murray has tennis world abuzz

Andy Murray (AP Photo)
Andy Murray (AP Photo)

London - Wimbledon champion Andy Murray shocked the tennis world when he hired Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach at the weekend.

Murray is the only player in the men's top 10 to have a female coach and his decision to appoint Mauresmo, a former world number one and Wimbledon winner, will be closely scrutinised over the coming weeks as the Scot prepares to defend his Wimbledon title.

The surprise move has provoked differing opinions in the tennis community and here AFP takes a look at the reaction from some of the sport's leading personalities:

17-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer - "I think it is very interesting. I always enjoyed watching her play and she is a true professional.

"So from that standpoint, I think it's a great choice and I hope they're going to be a successful team together."

12-time Grand Slam singles champion Billie Jean King - "It is not the gender of the coach that is important, it is the strength of the relationship between the coach and the player that will make the partnership work.

"Women have coached men for years, going back to Bobby Riggs and Eleanor Tennant."

Former world number one Jim Courier - "It's a bold call, certainly an interesting one. Amelie knows her tennis and time will tell whether it turns out to be a good match.

"It's bold, it's fun, it's something we're all going to be talking about and good for Andy."

18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova - "An interesting call by Andy Murray. Cool to see a woman coaching a top guy. Hope it works out for them."

Brad Gilbert, one of Murray's former coaches - "I think this is good news for Murray. She should be a calming influence.

"She was a smart player with an outstanding knowledge of the game who brings a fresh perspective and I think she will add a lot to Andy's team."

Mauresmo's friend and compatriot Mary Pierce, a two-time Grand Slam champion - "She is a great person. She's got great values and a sense of hard work but she has a great sense of humour.

"She knows what it takes to win Grand Slams, what it takes to get to number one. She will take it very seriously and give her absolute best to help Andy."

Former French Open winner Ana Ivanovic - "It's exciting and pushes tennis in a different direction. Amelie was such a great champion, so I'm sure she can help him.

"I know it's a little unorthodox but if it works for him that's what matters the most. It's great for women's tennis."

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash - "It's very unusual. I'm not sure how she's going to get in the locker room. I think a few eyebrows will be raised.

"She's smart, she's got a great game and Andy's not going just to pick somebody for no reason - he's going to have done his homework."

Former US Open champion Sam Stosur - "It's unusual for a men's player to be coached by a female but he obviously sees there's going to be some benefit.

"For me to pick a coach I couldn't care less if they were male or female, so long as I think they're going to be doing a good job."

British number two Heather Watson - "I don't like that they separate men and women. A coach is a coach, it doesn't matter if you're a man or woman. It doesn't make you better or worse.

"She can give a lot to Andy with her knowledge and experience on the tour."

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