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'Our mum's influence means Mauresmo makes sense'

Nick Atkin at Queen's Club
June 14, 2014 « West Brom appoint Irvine | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Andy Murray began working with Amelie Mauresmo this week © Getty Images
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Jamie Murray insists his brother Andy's appointment of Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach makes perfect sense given the influence their mother Judy has had on their careers.

The Wimbledon champion began working with Mauresmo at Queen's this week, only to suffer a shock third-round exit in a straight-sets defeat to Radek Stepanek on Wednesday.

The appointment of Mauresmo as successor to Ivan Lendl had come out of left field, with female coaches being a rarity on the men's tour.

Judy Murray told ESPN in an exclusive interview this week, however, that her son's decision to hire Mauresmo "had nothing to do with gender", while Roger Federer has also backed the move.

"For Andy it's not a big deal to have a female coach because for most of our lives that's what we had," Murray said.

"For anyone, the most important is you've got someone in your corner you trust and believe in, someone you're willing to listen to and accept advice from.

"She's [Judy Murray] probably the main reason that we're here today. She's certainly the main reason that we got into tennis. She was a great coach for us growing up.

"Even now she still helps me sometimes, still helps Andy on occasions. All through our careers she's been there when we needed her. Not as much now, obviously, we're grown up and fend for ourselves.

"You can have all the knowledge in the world but if you can't communicate that it's wasted. She's a great communicator and all the people that have worked with her would tell you that. That's probably her greatest asset. Not everyone is great at communicating. I didn't inherit that from her!

"No one taught her how to be a coach, she taught herself. She started up at Dunblane, ended up being national coach at Scotland and then now she's Fed Cup coach. She's done a lot of great things for tennis in Scotland, brought a lot of kids through to a high level that probably wouldn't have had that opportunity."

Following Andy's shock third-round exit in the singles on Wednesday, there will be a Murray in a final at Queen's after all with Jamie and Australian partner John Peers winning their doubles semi-final against French Open champions Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Julien Benneteau 6-4 7-6(4).

Murray is hoping to become the first British winner in the men's doubles at Queen's Club since Jeremy Bates teamed with American Kevin Curren in 1990.

"It's nice for me to be in a final, I'm not too worried about Andy!" laughed Murray. "He's had a lot more success in his career than I have so I won't be losing sleep over that.

"It's great to be in the final, it's been a long time since a British man's been there.

"It's funny because I was saying to my coach if I was playing in the semi-finals in Bucharest or Munich, it wouldn't really be as exciting, but today it felt like there was more on it. We really, really wanted to win this match and have a chance to play in the final. I look forward to tomorrow."

Murray and Peers knocked out No.1 seeds Bob and Mike Bryan in the second round on their way to the final, and he admits there was a danger of anti-climax.

"For us, we beat Bob and Mike late on the night and we had to come back straight away the next day, it was quite a quick turnaround," said Murray. "You see that in tennis all the time, someone takes that big scalp and then next round they can't recreate that and bow out. For us, mentally it was going to be a tough performance having played that match the night before. We played really well and gave ourselves a chance to play in the semis."

Murray is also under no illusions as to the difficulty of the task facing him and Peers on Sunday when they take on second seeds Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares.

"Our record against Peya and Soares is not good," Murray laughed. "I think we lost to them three times last year. We lost in the US Open semi-finals. Then we lost to them in Valencia as well. It was close again, we let that one go a little bit. They've been doing really well for the last couple of years, won a lot of tournaments, playing semi-finals week in, week out."

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