Murray hints at gentler approach with new coach Mauresmo

Mon Jun 9, 2014 2:52pm EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Brad Gilbert was hired to turn a fledgling Andy Murray into a physical powerhouse, while the Scot turned to Ivan Lendl for some of the ruthless streak that made the Czech-born American a multiple grand slam champion.

At different stages of his career both worked wonders for Murray as he broke into the upper echelons of men's tennis and then, after some close shaves, delivered two grand slam titles and an Olympic gold.

While those two appointments appeared self-explanatory, his choice of former Wimbledon women's singles champion Amelie Mauresmo, as his new coach, is an intriguing one and it dominated the chat on Monday as the grasscourt season moved into full swing.

"She was a great player, a thinker, and I'm sure any path Andy wants to take she can help him along," former grand slam champion Mats Wilander said at Queen's Club.

Murray, too, is a deep-thinker about his tennis, a player who has never been afraid to do things his own way.

While the carrot and stick approach employed by Gilbert, the man who wrote a book called 'Winning Ugly', and Lendl's straight talking helped the 27-year-old Scot take huge strides, it appears he has now reached that stage in his career when he wants a gentler presence in his corner.

"I have started to listen to my body a lot more because, over the years, you start to pick up some things," defending Wimbledon champion Murray, who had back surgery last year, told the BBC when the questions inevitably turned to his new coach.

"I think it's important that the people you work with respect and understand and listen, you know, to how you're feeling, as well, because you can't just be pushed extremely hard every single day.   Continued...

Former French tennis player Amelie Mauresmo speaks during a news conference at the French Open Tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 8, 2014.  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes