On June of 2014 Andy Murray, currently No. 1 seed, hired Amelie Mauresmo as his coach. His previous coach, Ivan Lendl, quit abruptly three months earlier. By having Mauresmo as his tennis instructor, Andy became the first leading male tennis player to employ a female coach and Amelie the first woman to coach a high-profile male player.
Amelie Muaresmo is a French former world No.1 tennis player who won 2 Grand Slams and 25 WTA titles. She had a great tennis career and knows first hand what it takes to be a champion. All of the above and many more made her perfectly capable to coach a top seeded player such as Andy. However it was not seen like that by everyone.
This move by the Brit caused a lot of diverse comments from the public and the people inside the tennis industry. Andy though, knew exactly what he was getting himself into. For every bad moment and every loss people were blaming Amelie. It was like it was her fault that Andy had a bad day. Things got even more intense at the end of the year where he had some tough losses. Murray and the Frenchwoman had been training together only for 2 weeks and it is well known that during tournaments there are not a lot of things you can change. So what did they expect?
“I was very surprised at the amount of criticism she received for each loss I had. I couldn’t believe the negativity towards her personally,” Andy said at the time.
Right after the Brit announced his collaboration with Mauresmo, Marinko Matosevic an Australian tennis player said, “For me, I couldn’t do it since I don’t think that highly of the women’s game.”
And exactly as the following fan tweeted, “who is Marinko Matosevic?”
Roger Federer among some other players, backed Andy’s decision:
I think it is very interesting. I think it’s great and only time will tell if it is going to be successful or not. 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.
Andy Murray’s decision to appoint the coaching position to a woman is a landmark for the women’s movement and shows that women can be trusted with a position such as this one. The Scot has stated that he is indeed a feminist as he is “pro everyone being equal.”
“It really opened my eyes when I started working with Amelie. Inequality is something I started to see and become passionate about. It’s opened my mind,” Andy stated.
Murray’s results in 2015 improved as he was the finalist in the 2015 Australian Open and was crowned a champion for the very first time in 2 clay-court tournaments – Munich and Madrid.
A lot of people criticized me for working with her and I think so far this week, women can be very good coaches as well. Madison Keys, who reached the semis here and had her best tournament, is also coached by a woman – Lindsay Davenport. I see no reason why that can’t keep moving forward like that in the future.“I’m very thankful for Amelie for doing it. It was, I would say, a brave choice for her to do it and hopefully I can repay her in a few days.
Andy’s and Amelie’s collaboration ended on May of 2016 but Murray’s game has been boosted and his perspective has changed . He now plays more relaxed and has a better mentality.
So who says that a woman can’t coach? They absolutely can and they will be exceptional at it, if you just give them a chance!