When Andy Murray announced a little over a week ago that he was hiring Amelie Mauresmo as his coach, there was a flutter of excitement and bit of huffing and puffing from the old guard. A woman? What, one of those chaps with the pointy chests? Surely not. That can’t be right.
But in the Murray camp – and, to be fair, in the men’s locker room, too – there was just a calm acceptance of the fact; the Muzz had come up with another novel approach to the problem of how to move his career on to the next level. And, let’s face it, he has been right on the coaching front ever since he first set foot on the professional tour.
Brad Gilbert turned him from a spindly teenager with a lot of talent into a hard-working winner but when that relationship broke down, the Muzz assembled a whole team to surround him and help him. While other contenders and wannabe champions looked to one mentor, Muzz needed a group of friends and workmates to stave off the boredom and monotony of life on the circuit. That policy took him to three grand slam finals.
When Miles Maclagan left the group, the critics thought that Muzza would never kick on and win a major title. And when he hired Ivan Lendl, they thought he was mad. Two years, two grand slam titles and an Olympic gold medal later, Muzz and Old Stone Face had proved everyone wrong. And now Scotland’s finest has hired Big Mo. To outsiders, it seems like a big step; to Muzz – and his mum – it just seems like the next logical step.