Nearly five months after Ivan Lendl chose to step back, Scots tennis star Andy Murray says things are going well with new coach Amélie Mauresmo. The lesbian former women’s world number one and double Grand Slam winner is one of only three women coaching top level professionals in the men’s game.
Murray, who was originally taught tennis by his mother, has said that when he was younger it would not have crossed his mind to bring in a female coach to help with his professional career, but says that he has grown up now and he hopes their partnership will persuade other male players to give female coaches a chance.
According to the 2013 Wimbledon winner, Mauresmo is a good influence because she’s highly opinionated and not shy about speaking her mind. She, meanwhile, says that they have been making progress by focusing on the psychological aspects of the game, famously a stumbling block for Murray, who struggled under pressure in the early part of his career.
Prejudice around female coaches has made things tough for Mauresmo, but she says that she now receives far less abuse about her sexuality than she did when she started out, and she now finds homophobic remarks comparatively easy to brush off.
Having won the big one once, Murray now faces a different kind of pressure in attempting to do it again. If he’s successful, he will have Amélie Mauresmo to thank for it.