Pat Pughe-Parry

 

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Amelie MauresmoThe tennis world has been thrown into a state of shock. Andrew Murray has had the audacity to appoint a female tennis coach.  He has appointed former world number one player Amelie Mauresmo  as his coach after losing to Rafa Nadal at the French Open last week.

One of the first comments I heard about this ground breaking appointment was from Pat Cash.  He asked, “will she be allowed in the mens locker room?”

Strangely I have never heard that question asked of male coaches who coach female players.  I wonder how they manage?

Amélie is no slouch when it comes to tennis success. Apart from having been a World number 1 Women's player, she has won Junior French Open,  Junior Wimbledon , the Australian Open and Wimbledon Grand Slams titles and a silver medal at the Olympics.

Amélie has been set up for failure. If Andy Murray succeeds it will be because he is an amazing tennis player. Yes he is. If he fails, it will be because Amélie is a woman and, therefore, not capable of getting Andy to achieve success.

If they argue or disagree or if Amelie loses her temper it will be put down to her hormones running riot.

Tennis as with any sport is about tactics, technique and willpower – not only physical strength. Players like Michael Chang who defeated the great Ivan Lendl at the French Open in 1989 using an underhand serve. Sheer grit, determination and the ability to outwit his opponent brought him success.

Women bring a different dynamic to the game. Yes they are hitting the ball harder and harder, they are becoming as aggressive as their male counterparts. But they also have the incredible motivation, determination and skills to succeed.

There is enormous pressure on the ladies to be spectacular players, to dress beautifully and have incredible legs and perfect breasts.

Is it this pressure that has resulted in there being 7 different women winning the French Open Title in the past 10 years while Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer have been the only 2 men to win in this same period?

Women tennis players also tend to give back to tennis more than the men players. Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and others work tirelessly to promote women’s tennis.

We should not even be having this discussion. By making such an issue of Andy’s choice we are setting her up for failure  which will do neither of them any good.

Let us never forget that a woman gave birth to Andrew and played an enormous role in his success thus far.

 

 

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