Andy Murray's Experiment With Amelie Mauresmo Looks Destined To End Quickly


Amelie Mauresmo is for the chop. If Andy Murray's earlier than expected exit from Wimbledon doesn't hasten her demise, then anything short of a stellar run at the US Open certainly will.

Murray is sharpening his metaphorical guillotine.

But surely Mauresmo must have expected a short contract when she stuck her neck out in the first place. As the highest-profile female coach in men's tennis (in any men's sport, you might argue), she was always something of a prototype. And since her protege got dumped out in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, Murray has hardly given her ringing endorsements.

“I hope so,” he said when asked if he plans to continue working with the Frenchwoman. “But we'll need to sit down and chat. But it has to come from both sides.”

Perhaps Mauresmo's appointment was just a publicity stunt all along. Perhaps the main reason he appointed her is so that he can go down in history as a male feminist who broke the glass ceiling for women in men’s sport.

Back to his quarter-final loss at Wimbledon, though. Defending one's maiden title at the All England Club has never been an easy task. In fact it's been done only four times in the Open Era – by Borg, Becker, Sampras and Federer.

Yet there’s no doubt Murray’s form has dipped recently. Exactly a year ago, when he won Wimbledon, he was No.2 in the world. Since then he has dropped to No.8 (back at No.5 now), and he hasn’t won a single title. Are there problems afoot?

The 2014 Murray we've seen so far this year doesn't look to be as ferocious nor as hungry as the 2013 Murray.

At this level it's a tennis player's brain, rather than his technique, that is the weapon most in need of tuning. Ex-coach Ivan Lendl was expert at tinkering with the inside of Murray's head. Perhaps Mauresmo is not up to such a psychological task.

This is, after all, a Frenchwoman who never won her home Grand Slam; who buckled under the pressure every year at Roland Garros. She should surely be lying atop the psychiatrist’s couch rather than leaning over it.

But there’s another possibly more crucial factor at play. Become the first Briton in 77 years to win Wimbledon and, however much you deny it, you’re bound to rest on your laurels a bit.

Murray has achieved his greatest goal. Everything else now pales in comparison to that Wimbledon title.

What motivation has he left? Apart from making sure Mauresmo’s guillotine blade is extra sharp.

 

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