London: Virginia Wade has slammed Wimbledon champion Andy Murray`s decision to hire Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo as a joke.
Murray rocked the tennis world earlier this month when he announced Mauresmo would succeed Ivan Lendl as his coach initially for the grass-court season.
Former world number one Mauresmo is one of the only female coaches to work with a leading male player and Wade, who won Wimbledon women`s crown in 1977, is unconvinced the move will prove a success.
The Scot will begin the defence of his Wimbledon title on Monday, the first British singles player to do so since Wade in 1978.
"It`s hard to read him. Mauresmo was a total shock, I thought they were all fooling around. I think again he`s maybe trying to mess with everybody. I don`t know," Wade said on Saturday.
"She was a great player, she`s a great person. I think she was a little fragile mentally because she had the capabilities of beating everybody.
"She`s laid back, she`s a very nice, mature person. But I can`t work it out at all.
"You like to try to get behind people`s thinking but I can`t really with this one. You try to see what somebody`s going to offer that player.
"Unless he just needs somebody there to say `well done`, which is possible too. As a player you need somebody to endorse you sometimes and not try to change anything.
"I have to say I thought Lendl would be a difficult choice but that was very successful.
"There`s not quite the same intensity about Andy as maybe a year ago."