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‘It’s easier to open up to a woman’ - Judy Murray

Andy Murray shares a joke with coach Amelie Mauresmo. Picture: Getty

Andy Murray shares a joke with coach Amelie Mauresmo. Picture: Getty

  • by NICK PUREWAL
 

AMELIE Mauresmo will offer Andy Murray new levels of emotional support, according to Judy Murray.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Murray is the first men’s grand slam winner to employ a female coach, the duo joining forces for the first time at Queen’s Club this week.

Murray’s mother and British Fed Cup captain Judy believes world tennis stars need high levels of pastoral care to attain success. Judy Murray believes her son may receive more support from former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Mauresmo than his predecessor Ivan Lendl.

“Tennis is a sport of immense mental pressure, players at times need a lot of emotional support,” Judy Murray explained in her BT Sport column.

“That’s probably why you see the top male players always travelling with their wives and girlfriends. Sometimes it’s just easier to open up about feelings to a woman.

“With guys, egos come into play and you don’t want to lose face in front of them.”

Judy Murray believes gender should have no bearing when it comes to top stars selecting coaches – but hopes that more women can move into high-level roles in future.

“I certainly think women tend to listen more and spend more time getting to know their charges as people,” she said, explaining why son Andy chose Mauresmo.

“The more you know your player as a person, the easier it is to find the right way to communicate with them.

“Of course, there are lots of great male coaches out there but there are many who are, ‘It’s my way or the highway’. They’re not really interested in listening to what the player has to say. It’s just a case of, ‘I’m the boss and this is how it should be’.

“But there’s always two sides to everything and if you listen, you’re more likely to make a suggestion that actually fits the player you’re working with.

“I saw one report that mentioned the possible ‘stigma’ of a woman coaching a man. There shouldn’t be any at all. It’s a bold move but I think it’s a very good move. And it raises awareness. I don’t see any reason why you can’t have more women coaching at the top end of the game, at the moment we’re heavily outnumbered.”

 

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