Australian Open 2019: Lucas Pouille praises coach Amelie Mauresmo

Lucas Pouille
Lucas Pouille had never won a match at the Australian Open before this year

Australian Open semi-finalist Lucas Pouille has praised coach Amelie Mauresmo and believes more male tennis players should employ female coaches.

Pouille, 24, beat 16th seed Milos Raonic 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-4 to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.

At the end of 2018, Pouille started working with two-time Grand Slam winner Mauresmo, who had previously coached Andy Murray between 2014 and 2016.

"She's a champion; she's a great, great coach," said Pouille.

"Men are coaching women, so why not the contrary? It's not about being a man or a woman, it's about knowing tennis and about having the good state of mind.

"She's bringing a lot of confidence to my game. The goal is not to reach the final, the semi-final - the goal is to improve my tennis, to put what I work on during practice into the match.

"I'm just trying to focus on my game, not on the consequences and the results."

Mauresmo, 39, helped Murray reach the Australian Open final and the semi-finals of both the French Open and Wimbledon during their two years working together.

She had been expected to become the captain of the men's France Davis Cup team in 2019, but instead chose to work with Pouille, who only won five Grand Slam matches in 2018.

The Frenchman, who faces world number one Novak Djokovic in the semi-final, said he "lost that joy of being on the court" last year.

"You lose one match, two matches, three matches, then you lose confidence and it's tough to come back when you don't enjoy it," said Pouille.

"I took some time to think about what I wanted. I said, 'OK, you have maybe 10 more years on tour, do you want to spend them like this or do you want to enjoy it?'"

Pouille believes Mauresmo, who won the women's singles at the Australian Open in 2006, has helped him regain his love of the sport.

"She's focused on every single ball during the practice, but at the same time there is a cool atmosphere," added the Frenchman. "We're not too serious when we are on the bench - we can laugh, we can make jokes.

"Once we go and hit the balls, we are really into it. That's good to have the good balance.

"I wasn't expecting to reach the semis or quarters. I just wanted to take step by step. The first goal of the tournament was to win the first match, and so on."

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