French Open 2014: Andy Murray admits he would have no problem with turning to a female coach after beating Marinko Matosevic to reach third round

Former world Number One Amelie Mauresmo has been linked with Murray's vacant coaching role after his split with Ivan Lendl in March

Andy Murray would have no qualms about breaking new ground by hiring a female coach.

The Wimbledon champion confirmed after beating Marinko Matosevic in the second round of the French Open that he has spoken to both male and female candidates about succeeding Ivan Lendl.

Speculation has been rife since Murray split from Lendl in March and the latest name to emerge is former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, who was spotted in the stands watching the Scot's first-round victory over Andrey Golubev at the French Open.

Female coaches are relatively rare in professional tennis as a whole but certainly on the men's tour.

Mauresmo is one of the few women to have coached a man they were not related to after helping Michael Llodra during the grass-court season in 2010.

Asked whether it would be good for the sport for a top man to be coached by a woman, Murray said: "I guess that's for everyone else to decide.

"I'm sure people will talk about that when it happens, whether it's with me or with another player.

"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 mum for a long time. I have had her around at tournaments for a long time.

"There has been ex-players and stuff that have said, 'oh, your mum shouldn't be around,' or she shouldn't come and support you or come to watch.

"It's silly. Everyone is entitled to have the team around them that they want. 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."

Whoever Murray's next coach is, and assuming they were watching from somewhere, they would have been very encouraged by the Wimbledon champion's display in beating Matosevic 6-3 6-1 6-3.

His next match against 28th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber is likely to be significantly tougher, though.

Heather Watson's run of nine consecutive victories came to an end with a 6-2 6-4 loss to fourth seed Simona Halep.

Watson was disappointed with her performance but will take a lot of confidence into the grass-court season.

She has set herself the target of emulating Laura Robson by reaching at least the fourth round at Wimbledon.

Watson said: "I kind of went into the last grass-court season a bit scared and just hoping I'd play okay, but this time it's very different. I'm going in and I want to win. I want to go far and I want to make the second week."

After all the upsets of the first few days, order was restored on Thursday, with Rafael Nadal looking in ominous form in a 6-2 6-2 6-3 win over 20-year-old Dominic Thiem.

The third round begins on Friday, with new women's title favourite Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska, the highest seed left, both in action.

In the men's tournament, second seed Novak Djokovic plays Marin Cilic while Roger Federer takes on Dmitry Tursunov.

PA

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