Mauresmo impressed by Murray form

Congleton Guardian: Amelie Mauresmo, right, feels right at home in Team Murray Amelie Mauresmo, right, feels right at home in Team Murray

Amelie Mauresmo has given Andy Murray a big thumbs up for his Wimbledon campaign so far.

Murray has not dropped a set on his way to the quarter-finals, where he is likely to face his stiffest test against 11th seed Grigor Dimitrov on Wednesday.

The defending champion's excellence means Mauresmo's first experience of being Murray's coach at a grand slam has been largely stress free.

"It's gone well," said Mauresmo.

"Obviously the results are a big part of it and then how he's been playing and handling everything. I'm looking forward to the next round.

"He's been pretty consistent in his first four matches. Definitely he's going to have a big test against Grigor tomorrow. I'm not going to go deep into this but it's great."

Mauresmo was thrust into the limelight immediately when Murray announced her as his new coach after losing in the semi-finals of the French Open.

They have had to do their bonding largely in front of the cameras but both have seemed happy and relaxed on the practice courts and Mauresmo is delighted with how things are going.

"Things are smooth," she said. "Everyone has really made me welcome in the team and I've got to know them all much better now. Things are smoother and smoother I would say."

The 2006 Wimbledon champion works closely with Murray's assistant coach and long-time friend Dani Vallverdu, while fitness trainers Matt Little and Jez Green are also part of the team along with physio Mark Bender.

Murray and Mauresmo's partnership is initially just for the grass-court season, although the idea from the start was for it to develop into something long term provided both are happy with how things go.

The pair have not had any discussions about the future yet, with Mauresmo adding: " I think we are both focusing on what's going on here and we'll see for that later."

Murray and Dimitrov know each other well and, on the eve of Wimbledon, Green took part in a charity 200 metre race against Dimitrov's coach Roger Rasheed.

Rasheed came out on top that time but Murray goes into the match as a warm favourite, particularly given his form this week.

Dimitrov has been hyped since he was a junior and that only increased when his then coach Peter Lundgren rated him as better than Roger Federer at 18.

The nickname of 'Baby Fed' has proved hard to shake off but Dimitrov is starting to become a force in his own right.

Since linking up with tough Australian Rasheed last October, the 23-year-old has won titles on all surfaces and reached his first grand slam quarter-final at the Australian Open.

He is now through to that stage for a second time and is on an eight-match winning streak after succeeding Murray as Queen's Club champion two weeks ago.

Murray, who came close to hiring Rasheed as his coach in 2011 before plumping for Ivan Lendl, said: "H e's a more mature player now, I think.

"He makes better decisions on the court than he used to. Watching him play, his strokes and stuff, technically he hasn't made many changes to his game.

"But he's playing higher-percentage tennis, making better decisions. That adds up to winning many more matches.

"He can obviously hit a lot of different shots. He has a lot of variety in his game. Sometimes it takes time to know how to use that properly. He's starting to do that now."

Murray can empathise with Dimitrov having also taken time to fully grow into his game, as well as the expectation heaped on the Bulgarian's shoulders.

It is only over the past year that Dimitrov has appeared ready to live up to his billing as one of the game's future megastars.

"I think everyone deals with those things differently," said Murray.

"I think maybe right at the beginning of his career it was hard for him because everyone was comparing him to Federer. That's impossible to live up to what Roger's achieved.

"Maybe no-one again will ever win that many slams. I know Rafa's got a shot, but it's going to take a while I think before someone wins 18, 19 majors again. So that could have been tough for him at the beginning of his career.

"But now he's starting to come into his prime. He's won a lot of matches this year. He's a tough player. It will be a hard match for me."

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