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Watson: Murray's appointment of Mauresmo will be shot in the arm for future of women's tennis in UK

Andy Murray appointing Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach will be a shot in the arm for the future of women's tennis in Britain, according to Heather Watson.

Watson believes Mauresmo's appointment to coach one of the world's top-four ranked men proves there should be little differentiation between the sexes at tennis' highest level.

Former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Mauresmo's appointment to coach Murray has been hailed as a breakthrough moment in the sport, the Frenchwoman replacing Ivan Lendl in the reigning SW19 champion's support staff.

Watson has replaced the injured Laura Robson as British number one thanks to reaching the second round of the French Open after a return to full fitness and form following glandular fever.

The Guernsey-born 22-year-old does not separate the men's and women's games at world level - and hopes Murray handing Mauresmo a key role will broaden wider horizons.

"I don't like to separate men and women; I don't view it as any special thing," Watson said.

"She has vast experience as a player and a coach, whether she is a woman or not.

"She has grand slam titles, so if she has the information and knowledge that Andy feels he needs then that's great and I hope it works out for both of them."

Wimbledon champion Murray will start the defence of his Aegon Championship Queen's Club title later this week by facing the winner of Paul-Henri Mathieu and Aljaz Bedene.

Mauresmo will get to grips with her new charge for the first time this week, as the build-up to Wimbledon intensifies.

British Fed Cup team captain Judy Murray believes there is much hard work ahead to boost the numbers in the domestic women's game, already aiming to set up junior programmes tailored to young girls.

Murray has hailed Watson and Robson as important role models in the fight to guide more girls into tennis in the long-run thanks to their mix of tenacity and upbeat personality.

Watson believes Mauresmo's move to coach in the men's world will hand that challenge another boost, while also admitting she can never fully appreciate her status as a role model.

"I think things like this can definitely help bring more young girls into the sport," said Watson, competing at the Aegon Classic Birmingham ahead of Wimbledon.

"But I think we need more girls and more boys, especially in this country.

"I think when you see things like this it will inspire younger people to get involved.

"You never really get used to being viewed as a role model, definitely not!

"But it's flattering and I would love it if people considered me in that way.

"For young people to look up to me, that's just such a huge compliment and hopefully would indicate I'm going about things the right way."

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