Murray excited by Mauresmo link-up

Hampshire Chronicle: Amelie Mauresmo, pictured, will work with Andy Murray Amelie Mauresmo, pictured, will work with Andy Murray

Andy Murray sees his partnership with Amelie Mauresmo as fresh and exciting and does not believe working with a woman will be a big change.

The Wimbledon champion is not afraid to break the mould and has certainly done so again by hiring the Frenchwoman to be his new coach, initially for the grass-court season.

Murray set the trend for superstar coaches when he appointed Ivan Lendl at the end of 2011 but this will be seen as hugely significant for women both in tennis and sport as a whole.

The pair will team up for the first time at this week's Aegon Championships at Queen's Club, and Murray said: "I spoke to her a few times on the phone and when I was in Paris I met her before the tournament.

"We'll try during the grass-court (tournaments) and hopefully we'll both enjoy it.

"She's obviously a fantastic player. She won Wimbledon, she was world number one, won the Australian Open. Just from speaking to her, she's very calm, she's a good person.

"I think we will communicate well together, and I think that's a very important part of coaching.

"I obviously worked with my mum for a long time and then even periods when I was 16, 17 years old. For me it doesn't feel like a very different thing.

"I wasn't paying my mum so it'll be a little bit different this time around because I'll be employing Amelie. I think it's exciting, something a bit new for me, something a bit fresh and hopefully it works well."

Many names have been put forward since Lendl decided in March he no longer wanted to dedicate the time to the partnership that he had for the previous two years.

The spotlight first shone on Mauresmo when she was spotted watching Murray's first-round match against Andrey Golubev at the French Open last week.

She initially played down the speculation, but said at a packed press conference at Roland Garros on Sunday: "Andy contacted me a few weeks ago and we started to talk about this possibility to work together.

"It's not really something that I was thinking of doing when I stopped being a tennis player. Then we talked again a little bit more about his game, about different things.

"We came up with the will from both sides to to give it a shot."

Female coaches are relatively rare in professional tennis as a whole but certainly on the men's tour.

Mauresmo is one of the few women to have coached a man that they were not related to after helping Michael Llodra during the grass-court season in 2010 - she was also a key figure in Marion Bartoli's shock Wimbledon triumph last year.

Mikhail Kukushkin is coached by his wife and Denis Istomin by his mother, while, of high-profile former players, Gloria Connors was a hugely influential figure in son Jimmy's career.

Former top-10 player Andrei Chesnokov was coached by Tatiana Naumko for virtually his whole career and Billie Jean King briefly coached Tim Mayotte.

Mauresmo, though, is not focusing on the trailblazing aspect of her new role.

She said: "I guess it is a big story to write on and a step forward.

"But honestly, it's not my big concern right now. I'm happy about this new challenge. I want to help Andy. It's the only thing that I have in mind.

"We all know his mother was a big part of his tennis career.

"I think he's maybe looking for something different, about emotions and sensitive things. All I'm interested in is to be able to help him in his goals. For me it's a challenge."

Although the arrangement is initially for the grass-court season, Mauresmo, who will continue in her role as France's Fed Cup captain for now at least, revealed they have already agreed on "a significant amount of weeks".

The 34-year-old understands to a certain extent what Murray goes through at SW19 having been under huge pressure to win the French Open in her career.

She never managed it but did win both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006, two years after she first held the world number one ranking.

Mauresmo was a hugely talented and clever player who had a lot of variety in her game, another similarity with Murray, who made the announcement two days after losing in the semi-finals at Roland Garros.

There will certainly be a lot of attention on her shoulders, but she said: "I think he has the most pressure. That's for sure when you're a player, and I know what it is.

"The whole point is for him is to win more grand slams. Of course he's going to defend his title at Wimbledon. That's his number one priority. It's not going to be something easy. I'll help him as best as I can."

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