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The Mauresmo Effect: Former Australian Open champion helps Pouille break new ground down under

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 22 Jan 2019
  • Pouille is into his first Australian Open quarter-final
  • He'd previously never won a match in Melbourne in five appearances
  • Mauresmo has brought clarity and structure to the Frenchman's flamboyant game
Amelie Mauresmo has guided Lucas Pouille into his first Australian Open quarter-final (Photo by DAVID GRAY/AFP/Getty Images)

Before this tournament, Lucas Pouille had never won a match at the Australian Open, going 0-5 at the first Grand Slam of the season. However, he’s won four matches and is into the quarter-finals this fortnight. The difference? Former champion and new coach Amelie Mauresmo.

Still trapped in an era where there are very few female coaches on the men’s circuit, Mauresmo had already proven that she can guide ATP stars to immense success through her previous relationship with Andy Murray.

The Frenchwoman coached Murray to his first clay-court titles in 2015 and established the groundwork that ultimately led to the Scot winning Wimbledon in 2016. Mauresmo also oversaw Marion Bartoli’s stunning run to the 2013 Wimbledon title.



Mauresmo’s credentials as a top-tier coach cannot be disputed and she’s off to a flying start with Pouille, who was seeking a change in setup after a challenging 2018 that saw him fall from the top 10 to outside the top 30, splitting with previous coach Emmanuel Planque and linking up with the 2006 Australian Open champion, who in turn left her post as the French Davis Cup captain.

“I thought Amelie was the perfect person to help me with my project and to help me improve with my tennis. I think I made the right choice,” Pouille said of teaming up with Mauresmo as he began his season at the Sydney International a couple of weeks ago.
“She’s really motivated, focused and ambitious. She was a hard worker when she was a player and that’s what she is as a coach as well.”

Pouille lost his opening match of the season in the first round in Sydney against Andrey Rublev, but he’s produced some of his best tennis in months in Melbourne over the last week-and-a-half, having previously never won an Australian Open match in five visits.

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Work in progress 🔥 📸©️ @cocodubreuil

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The 24-year-old has defeated Mikhail Kukushkin, Maximilian Marterer, Alexei Popyrin and Borna Coric to reach his third Grand Slam quarter-final and first since 2016 - and Pouille credits his new partnership with Mauresmo and their hard work during the off-season for his successful start to 2019.

"It's good to be back in the quarters [of a major]. That's where I want to be. We worked very hard during the pre-season and during the beginning of the year, so I think that, as we say, hard work pays off," Pouille said after his four-set win over Coric. "The tournament is not over, but I'm very happy to be here now and I'm going to focus on the next match tomorrow to try to reach my first semi-final. It will be great."

Pouille takes on big-serving Canadian and 16th seed Milos Raonic for a place in his first Grand Slam semi-final on Wednesday.

The Frenchman has never previously won a set in his two other major quarter-final showings at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2016 (lost to Tomas Berdych and Gael Monfils respectively). However, he’d failed to win a match at the Australian Open before linking up with his female compatriot - perhaps the Mauresmo effect will see Pouille continue to break new ground down under.


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The Mauresmo Effect: Former Australian Open champion helps Pouille break new ground down under

Before this tournament, Lucas Pouille had never won a match at the Australian Open, going 0-5 at the first Grand Slam of the season. However, he’s won four matches and is into the quarter-finals this fortnight. The difference? Former champion and new coach Amelie Mauresmo.

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