12 Jun 2014

Murray makes ideal start to Mauresmo era

5:58 am on 12 June 2014

The tennis world number five Andy Murray has made the perfect start to his bold venture with new coach Amelie Mauresmo as the Wimbledon champion opened his Queen's Club title defence with a 6-4 6-4 win over Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Murray sent shockwaves through the tennis world when he announced on Monday that Frenchwoman Mauresmo would replace Ivan Lendl, who quit in March, as his coach for at least the grass-court season.

The 27-year-old's decision to ignore several high-profile male coaches to hire Mauresmo, a former world number one and Wimbledon champion, has been the talk of the sport for the last three days.

Mauresmo had a brief spell working with male player Michael Llodra in 2010, but in the testosterone fuelled world of men's tennis few leading players have female coaches and the decision is seen in some quarters as a major gamble.

In the circumstances, a routine second-round victory at this Wimbledon warm-up was exactly the kind of first date the pair needed as Murray, bidding to win Queen's for a record-equalling fourth time, proved far too strong for world number 92 Mathieu.

Since losing to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final, Murray has been unstoppable on grass and his winning run, which brought him Olympic gold, a first Wimbledon crown and a third Queen's title, has now extended to 19 matches.

Murray's next opponent in the third round will be Czech 15th seed Radek Stepanek, who defeated Bernard Tomic 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5).