Andy Murray says family issues affect male coaches too as he defends Amelie Mauresmo after split

At his first media engagement since his split with Amelie Mauresmo, Andy Murray rubbished the idea that Mauresmo’s inability to maintain a full touring schedule represented a blow to women coaches in general.

It may be true that the birth of Mauresmo’s son Aaron in August changed the dynamic of their relationship, as she has only been able to spend six weeks with Murray since then.

But Murray pointed out that similar issues affect plenty of high-profile male coaches. They may not bear children themselves, but sooner or later they still tend to choose family time over the touring life.

“Roger [Federer] stopped working with Stefan Edberg at the end of last year because Edberg wanted to spend more time with his family, didn’t want to spend as much time traveling,” said Murray. “No one batted an eyelid about that.

“So in my opinion it’s nothing to do with Amélie being a woman. It takes a lot of time to do the job well and properly. For a lot of the ex-players, it’s not easy to do that for four, five years in a row.

“If you’re going for the ex-players that have spent 15 or 20 years of their life on the road for 30, 35 weeks a year, they don’t always want to do it. A lot of the examples like that, [Carlos] Moya with [Milos] Raonic or [Michael] Chang with [Kei] Nishikori, they aren’t at every single event because they just don’t want to do it all over again.”

Over the two years that Murray and Mauresmo worked together, she unquestionably prompted more criticism and scepticism than a man would have done. But he defended her strongly this morning, emphasising the challenges he had faced early in their partnership and the way he has bounced back to compete with the game’s elite.

“I think it did work,” he said. “Maybe unless I win a grand slam, then ultimately that’s how people may judge it. But when she first came into the team, I was really struggling. My confidence was low and I was going the wrong direction.

“Then when she came on board, my results really picked up. The time we spent together was positive. It’s just a shame I wasn’t able to win one of the major events, because that’s what both of us wanted.

“The end of that year [2014, their first season together] was difficult. A lot of questions were asked of me after how the O2 finished [with a 6-0, 6-1 defeat at the hands of Roger Federer] and also of her, really. I don’t think many people had any confidence really in that partnership after how that year ended.

“But I think when it was decided that we were going to go for it together [in 2015], it gave both of us a lift, really. I think when I showed the confidence in her, she was really passionate and pumped and really wanted to make it work. And me the same when she also stuck by me.

“It was like, ‘Right, we’re going to show everyone that we’re a strong team and I came back after that and played what I think was maybe my best Australian Open.

“It took a lot of hard work on the court and a lot of chatting about the things I needed to work on, being very open about my weaknesses. Because it was clear at the end of that year after my match with Roger that there were a lot of them. Even though I was winning matches at other levels, I wasn’t at that level and certainly was nowhere close to doing it.

“So it took a lot of hard work to get back to a level where I’m competing with the best players again.”


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button