Andy Murray confirmed he has talked to female as well as male candidates about becoming his next coach.
Speculation about who will replace Ivan Lendl has grown ever since the pair stopped working together in March.
The latest name to emerge is former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo, who was spotted in the stands watching Murray’s first-round victory over Andrey Golubev at the French Open.
There was no sign of the Frenchwoman as Murray yesterday breezed through his second-round clash with Marinko Matosevic, beating the Australian 6-3 6-1 6-3.
The Scot revealed before the tournament he had identified the person he would like to be his next coach, and that it could be a man or a woman.
He said: “I’ve spoken to a few people, male and female. I’ve also spoken to a couple of people to get some advice as well, also male and female – not people that are necessarily going to coach me, but people that could advise me on certain people.”
Female coaches are relatively rare in professional tennis as a whole but certainly on the men’s tour. Mikhail Kukushkin is coached by his wife and Denis Istomin by his mother, while Murray of course had his mum Judy as his first coach.
Mauresmo is one of the few women to have coached a man they were not related to after helping Michael Llodra during the grass-court season in 2010.
Asked whether it would be good for the sport for a top man to be coached by a woman, Murray said: “I guess that’s for everyone else to decide.
“I’m sure people will talk about that when it happens, whether it’s with me or with another player.
“I don’t really care whether some of the other male players like it or not. That’s not something that really bothers me.
“When the time is right, I will make an announcement. But nothing to say just yet.”
Whoever Murray’s next coach is, and assuming they were watching from somewhere, they would have been very encouraged by the Wimbledon champion’s display on Court 1.
Murray added: “I was just trying to make sure that my intensity was there every moment, especially at the beginning of the sets. I managed to get ahead early in all of them, and that helped.”
Murray will face a significantly stiffer test against 28th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, who won a title on clay in Dusseldorf last week. The German also won his only previous meeting against Murray 6-2 6-1 on clay in Monte Carlo, albeit four years ago.
Elsewhere in the men’s draw, Rafael Nadal handed Dominic Thiem a clay-court lesson to move into the third round.
Thiem, 20, is one of the sport’s brightest young talents but Nadal was close to his ruthless best in a 6-2 6-2 6-3 victory.
Fourth seed David Ferrer, who lost his first grand slam final to Nadal 12 months ago, eased through with a 6-2 6-3 6-2 victory over Italy’s Simone Bolelli.
Ivo Karlovic followed up his upset of Grigor Dimitrov by defeating Andreas Haider-Maurer.
There was also an impressive win for American Donald Young, who had never won a match at Roland Garros before this year but knocked out 26th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3 7-6 (7/1) 6-3.