Murray responds to Mauresmo critics

Andy Murray hit back at the critics of his coach Amelie Mauresmo after reaching his fourth Australian Open final in six years in Melbourne.

Murray responds to Mauresmo critics

Andy Murray hit back at the critics of his coach Amelie Mauresmo after reaching his fourth Australian Open final in six years in Melbourne.

Murray recovered from losing the opening set to win 6-7 (6/8) 6-0 6-3 7-5 against Tomas Berdych in a bad-tempered semi-final on Thursday and set up a Sunday showdown with either world number one Novak Djokovic or defending champion Stan Wawrinka.

The 27-year-old lost to Djokovic in the final in 2011 and 2013 and is looking to become the first man in the open era to win the title after losing three finals. His other defeat came to Roger Federer in 2010.

“A lot of people criticised me for working with her and I think so far this week we have showed women can be very good coaches as well,” Murray said of Mauresmo, who won her first grand slam title in Australia in 2006.

“Madison Keys, who reached the semi-finals here, is also coached by a woman in Lindsay Davenport and I see no reason why that can’t keep moving forward so I am very thankful to Amelie for doing it. I would say it was a brave choice from her and hopefully I can repay her in a few days.

“A lot of people were criticising her at the end of last year, like the way I was playing was her fault when I’d spent two weeks training with her up to the end of the year, until the training block. You can’t change things during tournaments. There was very little time to spend with each other.”

Coaches old and new were a major theme of the match, with Murray and Berdych having attempted to play down the significance of Dani Vallverdu, who is now coaching Berdych after several successful years in Murray’s camp.

However, Murray admitted there had been extra tension, which manifested itself in a tetchy encounter which even saw Murray’s fiancee Kim Sears caught swearing on camera.

“A lot was made of Dani working with him,” Murray said. “We’ve been friends since we were 15 and I felt like that was a bit unfair and unnecessary.

“This is sport, there is more to life, and I thought it was unfair and created a bit of extra tension. It was there definitely at the beginning but I think everyone calmed down after the start of the match.”

After the first set might be more accurate, with Berdych unimpressed when Murray roared in celebration towards Vallverdu after breaking back at 5-3, Murray being irritated by Berdych asking for balls to be changed at deuce at 5-5 and Murray then complaining to the umpire that Berdych had said something to him after the tie-break.

Thankfully things did improve from then on, with Murray breaking three times to race through the second set and then needing just one break in the third and fourth to seal victory after three hours and 26 minutes.

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