Andy Murray: I decided to go for Amélie Mauresmo because she is a good listener

 

Queen's Club

The sun shone, spectators sipped their Pimm’s and players occasionally slipped and stumbled as they took their first tentative steps on the lush green surface. You could have been forgiven for thinking that nothing had changed in the world of men’s tennis as the grass-court season began in earnest here yesterday on the first day of the Aegon Championships, but that might have been because Hurricane Amélie is not due to touch ground until today.

On a day when Dan Evans and James Ward, Britain’s No 2 and No 3 players, enjoyed impressive first-round wins over Jürgen Melzer and Blaz Rola respectively, much of the talk at Queen’s Club still centred on the British No 1, Andy Murray, and his recruitment of Amélie Mauresmo as his coach.

When Murray practised on an outside court here yesterday with Tomas Berdych he was accompanied by four male members of his entourage – his coaching assistant Dani Vallverdu, physical trainers Matt Green and Jez Little and physio Mark Bender – but from today Mauresmo is expected to take charge of his preparation.

Murray revealed that the Australian Darren Cahill, who has worked with him in the past when he has been between coaches, had recommended Mauresmo to him. “I mentioned to him that I was thinking about possibly a female coach,” Murray said in an interview with the BBC. “He thought that Amélie would be a good fit. After I spoke to her I just had a good feeling about her.”

Amélie Mauresmo arrived at Queen’s for her first training session with Andy Murray Amélie Mauresmo arrived at Queen’s for her first training session with Andy Murray (Getty)

Asked why he had wanted to consider female coaches, Murray pointed out that his mother Judy had coached him at various stages of his junior career. “I found that with my mum especially she listened extremely well,” he said. “That was something that I felt I needed right now. I have started to listen to my body a lot more, because over the years you start to pick up some things. I think it’s important that the people that you work with respect and understand and listen to how you’re feeling as well because you can’t just be pushed extremely hard every single day.

“I need to pick my moments during the year where I really go for it in training. That was one of the reasons, but for me it didn’t feel like a strange thing to do just because I grew up with a female coach.”

Murray, who has a first-round bye, will play his first grass-court match of the year tomorrow against one of Mauresmo’s compatriots, Paul-Henri Mathieu, who knows her well but admitted he had not expected the appointment. “I think I’m not the only one who is surprised because it’s the first time this is happening that a woman is going to train a man,” he said. “Maybe we’re going to see more and more. I like the fact that Amélie is going to train Andy. It’s going to bring something new in our sport.”

Roger Federer was reported to have commended Murray’s “excellent” choice of coach, pointing out that the Scot had a history of thinking outside the box when making his appointments. Loïc Courteau, Mauresmo’s former coach, said he had told her “not to hesitate for a quarter of a second” in accepting the position, while Nathalie Dechy, a former world No 11 and contemporary of Mauresmo, said that “happily in 2014 there are some players who go looking for expertise before talking about gender”.

On the court Evans enjoyed one of his best wins of the year when he bridged a gap of 88 places in the rankings to beat Melzer, the world No 51 and a fine grass-court player, 6-3, 6-7, 7-6. Evans, who is playing on painkillers because of a knee problem, next faces South Africa’s Kevin Anderson. Ward’s reward for a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Rola, the world No 91, is a meeting with Grigor Dimitrov, the world No 13.

Ward said he had derived much confidence from his showing at the French Open, where he became the first British man to come through qualifying for 41 years and then took Tommy Robredo to four sets. “It was a tough draw, but it was a good experience and one that will help me,” Ward said.

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Arts and Entertainment
Judi Dench appeared at the Hay Festival to perform excerpts from Shakespearean plays
tvJudi Dench and Hugh Bonneville join Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC Shakespeare adaptations
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Is this how Mario Balotelli will cruise into Liverpool?
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape