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Maria’s all praise for Mauresmo

London: Serena Williams could not care less, Maria Sharapova thinks it’s great and Novak Djokovic admitted his surprise as Wimbledon’s title contenders were asked their views on Andy Murray choosing Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach.

“I think it’s great,” fifth seed Maria Sharapova, who won the women’s title 10 years ago, told reporters. “I had my fair amount of trouble playing against her. I think she’s a very knowledgeable player and knowledgeable person.

“Ever since she’s retired, she’s been around the game for so many years from a men’s and women’s perspective. It’s great to see her as his coach.”

On the men’s tour only Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, who has been coached by his now wife Anastasia since 2009, and Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin, coached by his mother Klaudiya, are comparable to Murray who himself was coached by his mother during the early part of his career.

Men’s top seed Novak Djokovic, while admitting he was surprised, said Mauresmo has much to offer. “Honestly, (I was) a bit surprised,” the French Open runner-up told reporters. “It hasn’t been the case (to hire a female coach) in men’s tennis for many years, I think. Talking about Amelie, she has also been a No. 1, a Grand Slam champion, somebody that knows how it feels to play on a big stage and how to kind of cope with the pressure,” he said.

Women’s top seed Serena Williams, whose sullen mood did not match her vibrant pink shirt, could not really understand what all the fuss was about. “It doesn’t bother me one way or the other,” the women’s top seed shrugged. “I think Andy Murray can make any decision he chooses. I think Amelie Mauresmo was a former Wimbledon champion, a former No. 1, and I know she’s won more than one Grand Slam, so that’s his choice.”