PARIS (Reuters) – Andy Murray will leave the sport as more than just a sporting figure, the Briton’s former coach Amelie Mauresmo said on Sunday.
Murray, 31, said on Friday that this year’s Australian Open could be his last professional tournament, although the former world number one hopes he can bow out at his beloved Wimbledon.
The three-time grand slam champion has emerged as a feminist figure in tennis, notably hiring Frenchwoman Mauresmo as his coach from 2014-16.
“He is a champion reaching beyond his sport, especially by taking steps forward on the gender equality topic,” former world number one Mauresmo told French sports daily L’Equipe.
“(Taking me as a coach) was not a PR thing. It was a profound conviction he had from his education, his open-mindedness.
“He is not afraid of his own sensitiveness, on the contrary. To me, he has been undervalued as a man, not as a tennis player.” Murray broke down on Friday when he told a news conference that the severe pain from his troublesome right hip had become almost unbearable for him to play on.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)