Just a day before the International Women’s Day, the former World No.1 Andy Murray struck back at the criticism for hiring a woman coach. Murray explained that he does not see any reason why a woman cannot coach a man?
The 3-time Grand Slam winner was coached by his mother from a very young age. He certainly has good experiences with female coaches throughout his tennis career. However, the Scot noticed that every male player had a male coach and also a male support team. He certainly couldn’t understand it and hence he did not discriminate between men and women while hiring a coach for himself.
When Murray hired Amelie Mauresmo as his coach in 2014, he was criticized by many people around him, who were close to me. The 32-year-old identified that people were questioning him only because of her sex.
“In matters of reflection, competence and intelligence, there is no reason why a woman is not as good as a man as a coach. I would like women to be offered more opportunities,” Murray said in an interview with the Guardian.
Andy partnered with Mauresmo as he saw some similarities with her. The two have struggled to get over the hump of winning Grand Slam events. Hence, Murray felt that she would understand him better.
“The reactions I received when I chose Amélie Mauresmo as my coach has shown that ‘There was a problem because the reason why her appointment was questioned was based solely on her gender. It was not based on her skills or what she had accomplished in her career,” he added.
The Scot had a decent record partnering with Amélie. He reached finals of the 2015 Australian Open. However, many people saw their partnership as a failure as he couldn’t win a major title. However, he didn’t feel that way.
“A lot of people criticized me for working with her and I think so far this week, we’ve showed that women can be very good coaches as well. I see no reason why that can’t keep moving forward like that in the future. So I am very thankful for Amelie for doing it. It was a brave choice from her to do it. I am hopeful I can repay,” Murray said after reaching the finals of the 2015 Australian Open.
It will be interesting to see if more male players hire women coaches or women support staff in their team. Gone is the time when players wouldn’t consider female coaches. Gender should certainly not come in between choosing a mentor.