Tennis Prose



Coach/Player Parternships That Didn’t Succeed

With all the emphasis on coaching in pro tennis and the high profile partnerships of the likes of Felix and Toni, Simona and Halep, Nadal and Moya/Roig/Lopez, Isner and Macpherson, Sinner and Cahill, Tsitispas and Philippoussis, etc., let us take a look at some of the coach/player relationships that didn’t quite work out…

The most renowned player/coach fail has to be Maria Sharapova and Jimmy Connors which lasted a couple of weeks and exactly one match in 2013, a loss to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati. “It’s not the right fit for this time in my career,” Sharapova said in a statement. Maria supposedly had her father make the phone call to Connors about the dismissal.

John McEnroe had intentions to coach ATP players but never found success in his brief stints with Sergi Burguera for US Open, Mark Philippoussis and Milos Raonic. McEnroe also offered to coach Novak Djokovic on his volley skills but the Serbia instead opted to consult with Mark Woodforde. McEnroe once joked about his coaching prowess, “Nobody listened to me.”

I just read recently in a 1994 Tennis magazine issue that Gabriela Sabatini worked briefly with Guillermo Vilas as her coach however the the results of their brief time together were described as “fruitless.”

Agnieszka Radwanska and Martina Navratilova connected in the off-season before 2015 and by April the 9th ranked Polish woman announced she would no longer be coached by the 18 time Grand Slam singles champion due to lack of “a full time commitment to the project.”

Eugenie Bouchard has tried numerous coaches in her attempted comebacks, including short stints with Michael Joyce, Rennae Stubbs, but none of them have produced the desired results.

Did you know Martina Hingis coached Yulia Putintseva for a few months?

Also Todd Martin worked briefly with Novak Djokovic and Brian Baker.

Andre Agassi has also worked as a coach for Grigor Dimitrov, Djokovic and consulted and helped several other lower ranked players like Stefan Kozlov and Dalma Galfi.

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