Tennis player Andy Murray, ranked No. 5 in the world, announced that his coach for the grass court season (and possibly beyond!) will be former No. 1 women’s tennis player Amélie Mauresmo. The decision makes Mauresmo the first woman to coach a top male tennis player. [Tweet this news!] And as a grass court specialist, we say she is the perfect coach to help Murray defend the Wimbledon title he won last year after defeating Novak Djokovic. But not everyone agrees: Murray's decision has been met with a slew of skepticism despite Mauresmo’s credentials.
Players like Marinko Matosevic and Ernests Gulbis mocked Murray’s decision, making slanders at the female tennis game. Matosevic said, "It's all equal rights these days. Got to be politically correct. So, yeah, someone has to give it a go. I couldn't do it, though, since I don't think that highly of the women's game."
Mauresmo, though, is just as fierce as the guys. Before she retired four years ago, she was a force to be reckoned with. She spent 15 years at the top of the rankings, reaching No. 1 in the world (the first French woman to do so). Mauresmo also won silver in the Athens Olympics in 2004, and in 2006 she won both Wimbledon and the Australian Open, also reaching the semi-finals of the US Open. (Impressive, huh?)
What we love most about this story: Murray has brushed any and all criticism right off his shoulder. "I'm excited by the possibilities of the new partnership and Amélie is someone I have always looked up to and admired. She's faced adversity plenty of times in her career, but was an amazing player and won major titles, including Wimbledon," he said in a public statement.
This morning, Murray practiced for his first match of the grass court season at the Queen’s Club in London with Mauresmo looking on. The 27-year-old Brit later won his match against Paul-Henri Mathieu, a good sign of victories yet to come under the tutelage of his new coach. We can’t wait to see what they’ll do in Wimbledon at the end of this month and if other players follow his lead!
What do you think about this news? Do you think more players will follow suit? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine.