June 9, 2014
By Mark Ryan
EXCLUSIVE interview with Amelie Mauresmo, Andy Murray’s new coach: Learning is tough; you must manage yourself better than your opponent.
Want did Amelia Mauresmo think of Andy Murray’s Wimbledon campaign last year? You might be surprised!
We caught up with her on the eve of Murray’s Wimbledon final against Novak Djokovic last summer, just after fellow French star Marion Bartoli had reduced Sabine Lisicki to tears by taking the women’s title.
Amelie was already talking like a coach, and maybe Andy saw that quality in her too.
Mauresmo used to cut an intimidating figure on the tennis court at times. But the Amelie we encountered was kind, compassionate and honest. You’ll like her. We can see why Andy does too.
This interview has never been published before.
First, she talked about Bartoli and the value of experience.
Amelie began: ”Being in the final before made a difference. I think experience played a part. She was able to manage herself better than Sabine, produce a better game.
“Sabine was beating all the top players but the final is a different match. It’s very different.
“For Sabine it’s tough. But she is learning. And sometimes learning is tough. It is hard right now, it was hard on the court, but for sure she will learn from this. And I hope she will improve from that.”
Here comes Mauresmo’s verdict on Murray v Djokovic. Who would win? Her heart said Murray…but her head clearly said Djokovic!
She explained: “It’s tough. I think I’ve been impressed by Novak the whole tournament, to be honest. Against Juan Martin Del Potro he was unbelievable, it was amazing.
“I’d like to see Novak’s stretching routine, his flexibility has been helping him big-time, he has been doing huge work on it for a long time.
“I think Andy has been a little bit up and down in this tournament, to be honest. But maybe it’s his turn, his time, his moment. For his sake, I hope so.”
There you have it. Amelie was more impressed by Djokovic than Murray last Wimbledon, even though the Brit took the final as we all know.
Andy Murray in 2014
Andy Murray hasn’t been managing himself too well this year. He certainly didn’t manage himself better than Rafa Nadal when they met at the French Open.
What can Mauresmo bring to Murray’s Wimbledon campaign? She will bring calm, she will bring consistency, and she will help him to manage his own head. He needs that right now.
Amelie Mauresmo transmits a sense of peace, of confidence. She is not afraid to tell the truth, though – even though the truth sometimes hurts. Murray will trust her more for her honesty.
Andy will feel secure in her safe pair of hands. Yet he won’t be given an easy ride.
As Mauresmo points out, learning is tough. And right now Murray has much to learn, especially when it comes to psychological warfare. e is currently losing the mind games when it matters.
He needs to start winning the most important battle of all – against his own self-doubt.
It is a battle Mauresmo had to win in her own career. She overcame her own feelings of negativity…and now there isn’t a trace of self-doubt left. Murray is buying into someone who has been there, someone he feels already understands him. He thinks she can add to him.
When you meet the self-assured and very charming Amelie Mauresmo, it is easy to see why that might well be the case.