Salisbury JournalMauresmo has tough task - Stepanek (From Salisbury Journal)

If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.

National Sport News RSS Feed

Mauresmo has tough task - Stepanek

Salisbury Journal: Andy Murray will play just one more match before defending his Wimbledon crown Andy Murray will play just one more match before defending his Wimbledon crown

Amelie Mauresmo faces a big challenge to match the impact of "idol" Ivan Lendl in coaching Andy Murray, according to Radek Stepanek.

Wily Cezch Stepanek dumped defending champion Murray out of the Queen's Club third round 7-6 (12-10) 6-2, denying the Scot on eight separate first-set points.

Stepanek will face big-serving South African Kevin Anderson in Friday's Aegon Championships quarter-final, with compatriot and friend Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech expected among the crowd once again.

The evergreen 35-year-old believes Murray can benefit from the input of a female coach, but admitted Mauresmo will be hard-pressed to equal predecessor Lendl's return.

"He was my idol when I was a kid," said Stepanek, of countryman and eight-time grand slam winner Lendl.

"I would watch his matches on the TV.

"He changed our game of tennis in many ways, and he proved that when he came back and coached Andy for that time.

"He's an idol for me.

"They didn't finish their relationship that long ago, so even when you've finished with your coach it stays with you for quite some time, all the routines, they go with you for some time."

Lendl guided Murray to his US Open and Wimbledon titles, with Stepanek confident the 54-year-old's influence catapulted the Scot's career to the highest echelon.

"He changed his game from the game he had before, I think he helped him mentally a lot," he said.

"And with those results he has proved everything.

"His work is based on hard work, small things, the details: that's what all came together to Andy's great results and winning grand slams and the Olympics."

Murray insists crashing out of Queen's in the third round could revitalise his bid to retain his Wimbledon title.

Hopeful a short rest will pay big SW19 dividends, Murray said a timely break is not uncommon among the world's top stars.

French Open champion Rafael Nadal crashed out of the Halle tournament at the hands of Dustin Brown, with Roger Federer hobbling through in three sets.

If Murray was in good company on Thursday, he believes he will be again during his next few days' break.

"The body needs a little break just now," said Murray.

"A lot of the guys rest after the French Open.

"Someone told me Novak was on holiday in Ibiza.

"I know Rafa normally goes and spends four or five days at home in Mallorca and rests up once he's finished the first week of the grass.

"Sometimes the rest is as important as the training, because you don't want to go into a tournament like Wimbledon tired and not fresh.

"So I'll rest for a couple of days and then get myself a good week's preparation.

"I'm going to play one match at Hurlingham, which I did last year.

"I normally play one exhibition match that week, and hopefully it will work out well."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree