Martina backs female appointment

  • Last Updated: May 29 2014, 10:26 BST

Martina Navratilova would love to see Andy Murray hire a woman as his new coach.

Andy Murray: Yet to publicly name his new coach
Andy Murray: Yet to publicly name his new coach

French former Wimbledon winner Amelie Mauresmo has been linked with the key vacancy in the entourage dubbed 'Team Murray', after watching the Scot in action this week.

Mauresmo's close interest in Murray's French Open first-round match against Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev was noted, prompting suggestions she is a serious contender to coach the 27-year-old.

Mauresmo has played down the prospect, according to The Times, but the absence of a full-time coach in his corner means such talk will not go away for now.

Before launching his Roland Garros campaign, Murray confirmed he has identified a candidate for the job that he has spoken with.

Navratilova, who won 18 grand slam singles titles, said: "It would just be great to see a woman coaching a man.

"It has happened before but that was a mother, with Marat Safin, and of course Judy Murray as well."

Murray's mother played a key role in his early development but has made way for a rolling cast list of coaches her son has turned to, including Mark Petchey, Brad Gilbert, Miles Maclagan and most recently Ivan Lendl, the former men's world number one.

"We haven't had a female really coaching a top man other than a family member," Navratilova told BBC Radio Five Live, "but I'm sure Andy will pick the right person, that he looks up to, that he respects, that he thinks will help him.

"It's not an easy process, especially when it comes down to very minute differences and adjustments that he needs to make in order to play better tennis, because he's already a grand slam champion."

Navratilova has featured on speculative lists of possible contenders to coach Murray, but insists she has not been invited to join his team.

She said: "It's not something you would walk away from but I do have a pretty full life so I'd have to make some adjustments.

"I'm sure the situation will happen for me one day where I'm helping somebody but I have not been asked to coach Andy."

Navratilova identified "positional adjustments and attitude" as areas a new coach could work on with Murray, who was due to face Australian Marinko Matosevic in the second round in Paris on Thursday.

The 57-year-old Czech-born American believes there is plenty that top men could learn from having a female coach.

Navratilova said: "It's a matter of time. The ball doesn't know what gender you are when you're hitting it, the ball doesn't know what gender you are when someone's telling them what to do, it's just a matter of the situation being right.

"When you see so many former champions coaching the top players it's not a fad, I think it's here to stay because clearly former champions know what they're talking about so you're more likely to listen to them and learn something because they've been there and done that."


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