Kim Sears 'swearing': Amelie Mauresmo praises team spirit

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Melbourne Park

Amelie Mauresmo praised the spirit in the Andy Murray camp after his dramatic win over Tomas Berdych at the Australian Open.

Murray, seeded sixth, recovered from losing a tense first set to win in four and reach his eighth Grand Slam final.

"I think the atmosphere in the team is really good and he also calmed down last night," Mauresmo told BBC Sport.

"Apart from that tension [in the first set], he was really composed; highly motivated in a good and positive way."

Tempers frayed in the early stages, with both players making heated comments on court and Murray's fiancee Kim Sears seen on camera in his player box apparently swearing.

BBC Sport's Russell Fuller
"An invitation to Andy Murray's players' box does not come without responsibilities. Those closest to him are a vital source of energy: they may be berated for a lack of emotion or blamed for a backhand error, but they often light the fire which helps Murray play the extraordinary brand of tennis he does."

Murray, 27, defended Sears, saying: "In the heat of the moment, you can say stuff that you regret."

He went on to attribute the edge around the contest to the pre-match focus on his former coach Dani Vallverdu.

The Venezuelan was in the opposition box for the first time after leaving Murray's team in November, and soon after accepting an offer from Berdych.

"Of course the situation is not happening every day and for the first Grand Slam of the season, at this stage of the tournament, playing against Tomas with Danny in the box, I guess it was very early for everyone and a little extra tension," said Mauresmo.

"Everyone calmed down after a while and the tennis on both sides was able to express itself."

After the match, Murray described the Frenchwoman as "brave" for accepting the role last June and becoming the first female coach of a high-profile male player in recent times, with a number of current and former players criticising the appointment.

"I'm very thankful for Amelie for doing that," he said. "I think that was a brave choice from her to do it and hopefully I can repay her in a few days."

Kim Sears was seen on camera apparently aiming a colourful outburst towards the Czech's team when Murray broke back in a tense first set

Mauresmo, 35, had preferred to remain quiet on the issue last year, saying: "I was aware of some things, probably not all the things that were said.

"I know where I want to go, I know what I want to do. I don't think reacting vocally to any comments is really the right way.

"I just keep doing the work, believing in what I think is the right track for Andy to be on, and we both agreed on which direction we should go. Now it's showing some good results."

Murray is one win away from his third Grand Slam title, and completing three legs of the career Grand Slam, with Novak Djokovic or Stan Wawrinka standing in his way on Sunday.

Former British number one Tim Henman
"Andy has a lot of eye contact with the box and it just adds another nice little element for people like us to talk about. It was good value, that's for sure, but I think first and foremost it was a fantastic performance by Andy.
"I remember working with David Felgate for nine years and we split, a couple of months later he was working with Xavier Malisse at the US Open. It's uncomfortable. You're looking at someone who's been in your corner and suddenly they're in the opposite corner. I think the mental side was fantastic from Andy."

In his last three matches he has beaten 10th seed Grigor Dimitrov, Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios and seventh seed Berdych, mixing up his play throughout with a variety of pace, spins and angles.

"I think Amelie's done a great job with him, she's a very calming influence," Murray's mother Judy told BBC Sport.

"She's very thoughtful, as she was as a player. She listens well and involves Andy in everything that's going on.

"She's not one of those coaches who comes in and tries to impose themselves and tell you what to do all the time.

"I think she's had a great influence on him and it was great to see him recognising that."

Amelie Mauresmo watches Andy Murray overcome Tomas Berdych in his Australian Open semi-final
Amelie Mauresmo admitted there was a "little extra tension" as Andy Murray overcame Tomas Berdych in his Australian Open semi-final

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