Nov/19

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Marat Safin Interested to Coach a Player

Facing Marat Safin

Marat Safin, former world no. 1 and two time Grand Slam champion has declared he is available andsits interested to coach a professional player.

“I wouldn’t refuse, but no one offered. I won’t be able to travel all year, for some weeks it’s possible. Players don’t need babysitter. There are interesting guys with kind heart, soul. I would certainly help them. I don’t want to help villains.”

Which players do you think could benefit from the wisdom, knowledge, and inspiration of Marat Safin?

Kerber? Sock? Young? Escobedo?

Diyas? Serena? Osaka?

Tsitsipas? Rublev? de Minaur? Gerasimov? Kozlov?

Bertens? Hsieh? Mladenovic? Giorgi?

Fritz? Opelka? Tommy Paul? Donaldson?

98 comments

  • catherine · November 4, 2019 at 12:36 am

    Angie wouldn’t have a non-German speaking coach. Just for a start. And Safin sounds as if he’s thinking of coaching men – and not being able to travel all year – vague kind of committment. So no, I can’t see it happening with any current players.

  • Krzysztof · November 4, 2019 at 4:32 am

    maybe Daniil Medvedev? πŸ™‚

  • Hartt · November 4, 2019 at 6:58 am

    Maybe Safin could assist a player who has a regular coach, so does not need someone to travel much. When Edberg and Fed worked together, I think the original agreement was for something like 20 weeks, although it did get extended.

    What about Khachanov? Another big guy, and a Russian. Karen said his two idols growing up were Safin and Delpo, and that Safin would be his dream opponent.

    And Karen is certainly an interesting guy with a kind heart!

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Catherine, I interpreted Safin’s words to be interested in coaching ANY player, who ever asks him. male or female. He has been liking Diyas posts on instagram, maybe he’s interested to coach her. He was with Sharapova somewhere recently, maybe her? I hope someone reaches out to him, he has a lot to offer. As Donskoy revealed in colorful detail in Facing Marat Safin book.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2019 at 8:08 am

    10 majors for Medvedev if he hires Safin πŸ™‚

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2019 at 8:09 am

    Hartt, Khach and Safin did spend time together with Vicente and Rublev in a training block a couple years ago, so it’s up to Khach to make that call if he wants to try out Safin.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Other possibles for Safin to coach: Sharapova, Muguruza, Stephens, Kyrgios, Tomic πŸ™‚

  • Hartt · November 4, 2019 at 8:50 am

    Scoop, at this rate it will be faster to list the players who aren’t candidates for Safin as a coach than those who are!

  • Hartt · November 4, 2019 at 8:54 am

    On the subject of coaching, I just learned that Frank Dancevic is coaching Pospisil. Vasek called Frank his coach on an IG post during Shanghai, and also posted a photo of the two of them looking goofy with the Charlottesville Challenger trophy. Maybe having Frank working with him helps explain why Vasek has been doing well lately, including an upset, beating Khachanov. Vashy plays the Knoxville Challenger this week.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2019 at 9:12 am

    Can see Dancevic being a very helpful coach, has a lot of experience, played most of the current players, great personality guy with great stories. Watch out for Pospisil in 2020.

  • Hartt · November 4, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Dancevic is also coach for Canada’s Davis Cup team. He was a popular choice with the players. Frank helped Denis turn around his DC match in Toronto a little over a year ago, showing how effective he is as a coach.

    And Daniel Nestor is going with the team to the DC finals in Madrid. If all the Canadian players are healthy, it will be a great team!

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 4, 2019 at 10:11 am

    Canada should win the Davis Cup, I can’t think of another stronger lineup, maybe Russia, Spain or Australia?

  • Hartt · November 4, 2019 at 10:26 am

    There are several strong teams. I hated the changes, but have to admit that now the tourney is getting closer, I am looking forward to it.

    Both Vasek and Shapo have shown a strong commitment to Davis Cup. In fact Vashy, along with Nestor, was Mr. Davis Cup, for Canada for many years. Several years ago he even played doubles when he was still recovering from mono. Vasek can annoy me at times, because I think he should have made better use of his talent. But he has been a DC stalwart and deserves credit for that.

  • catherine · November 4, 2019 at 10:36 am

    The Murrays have a boy, as was already known (the boy bit) so the family is now complete and Andy can start tennis lessons for all 3 πŸ™‚

  • Hartt · November 4, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Andy has said that he needs to be on the tour to try to keep the size of his family under control! πŸ™‚

  • catherine · November 5, 2019 at 10:56 am

    Coaching related so I’ll put this here.

    https://www.ubitennis.net/2019/11/top-wta-coach-accused-false-advertising/

    Talk about a can of worms. This is so funny – nothing on the WTA site of course. I think the WTA had better stop honouring coaches.

  • Hartt · November 5, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Someone had mentioned this on another site, and I had a look at her Instagram, but the entire post did not show, so it was interesting to see the whole thing.

    Along with what TT says about how Murray is misrepresenting himself regarding her career, what he did to Puig was disgraceful. Whatever the details, to leave her right before the USO said a lot about the guy.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 5, 2019 at 11:20 am

    This Murray character is a smooth operator. At least he has applied his talents and skills to a positive and productive endeavor of trying to help improve female tennis players.

  • catherine · November 5, 2019 at 11:38 am

    Scoop – if Murray carries on this way he’s going to leave a lot of unhappy people behind him and I don’t see how that’s going to improve female tennis players πŸ™‚

    Cf Bajin/Kiki – do coaches treat male players like this ? I suspect they’d get a punch on the nose.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 5, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    I know of a Chicago teen player whose parents hired Murray to coach the girl and it ended pretty quickly. They moved on to another coach, a former WTA player.

  • catherine · November 6, 2019 at 12:59 am

    Nice to see CSN on a trip with NGOs to Uganda and doing her bit on a continent which gets pretty much left off the map in tennis promotional tours.

    A change too from the usual off-season IGs of babes on the beach etc but I expect they’ll be along soon.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 6, 2019 at 10:06 am

    Carla Saurez Navarro, the anti glamour social media darling. Throwback character from older eras. Why don’t any top players do free exos in Africa to raise money for the poor in Africa?

  • catherine · November 6, 2019 at 11:59 am

    Scoop – A lot of people will say it’s just the money but the problems in parts of Africa are huge – ongoing violence and civil conflict, terrible heat, corruption in varying degrees – just probably seen as insurmountable. Carla went to Uganda which is (at present) one of the more accessible countries but it shares borders with the DRC and South Sudan which are considered dangerous to all but essential travel. So it’s difficult – also Ebola virus area at present.

    The sad thing of course is that visits by players like Carla would be warmly welcomed if they could be arranged – I think Carla went to Uganda as part of a visit organised by NGOs in Spain. Federer has a fair amount invested in various foundations in SA through family connections. Long ago of course Yannick Noah was discovered in French Cameroon by Ashe and others on a State Dept visit.Serena and Venus also support some educational projects etc in Africa but I don’t know details.

    It would be good to see the ITF, WTA/ATP maybe taking an interest – it’s worked for football.

  • Hartt · November 6, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    Yes, it would be good to see those tennis organizations take an interest in Africa.

    Federer’s foundation works in 6 African countries to help provide poor children with an education. Presently there are over 300,000 children in the program, with the single largest number 97,570 in Malawi. The foundation also helps 700 children in Switzerland.

  • catherine · November 6, 2019 at 2:09 pm

    Hartt – thanks for that info – very impressive contribution he’s making.

  • Hartt · November 6, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Yes, very impressive. his foundation has been going for 15 years and has helped over 1 million children.

    There is a terrific video about it with the foundation’s director. She sort of laughed and said when she was hired Federer probably thought he would have less work to do, but in fact they are so busy he has had to do more, not less. Roger has talked about how great it is to visit the communities and interact with the children. Of course they don’t know he is famous, and just have fun with him. There is a charming bit where one child is intrigued by Roger’s hairy arms.

  • Hartt · November 6, 2019 at 2:58 pm

    I think Fed is doing his share through his foundation. He is a tennis player, not a politician or diplomat, and has more than enough demands on his time.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 6, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Maybe nobody is doing more to help Africa than Federer, all the help they get it never seems to change much. Africa does produce a lot of top marathoners though but that should not be the limit to the nation’s ability to produce excellence.

  • Hartt · November 6, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Since this is the active thread I will post this here. Did anyone see Jannik Sinner’s match against Mikael Ymer in Milan? The kid just turned 18 in August and he was amazing! He is an aggressive player who does everything well. He hit some unbelievable shots in that match. He seems very calm on the court, and can play the big points very well.

    I know a lot can happen with a young player but this youngster may well be a future superstar!

  • Hartt · November 6, 2019 at 7:49 pm

    Some tennis gossip: Shapo’s GF is Swedish tennis player Mirjam Bjorklund, who is ranked No.320. She is very attractive and has a photo on her IG of her hugging Denis with the caption: “mirjambjorklund
    So proud of you champ!!❀️ @denis.shapovalov” Denis has a post saying he loves her. πŸ™‚

  • catherine · November 6, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Hartt – I knew there was a reason Denis chopped off his hair a while ago πŸ™‚

    Jannik Sinner – what are his origins ? It’s not exactly an Italian name.

  • catherine · November 7, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Ka Pliskova dumps Conchita Martinez after 10 months although their partnership has been quite successful. Ka probably wants a GS but my view is it’s not going to happen.

    Muguruza still looking ?

  • catherine · November 7, 2019 at 7:02 am

    Short coaching stints seem to be the WTA fashion this year. I expect more changes. And how long will Fisette stay with Azarenka ? Don’t see Vika doing much more in her career although she may be eyeing the Olympics with Sabalenka for Belarus.

    Kerber still officially coachless – could be taking her own gnomic utterance seriously – ‘clear your head and go your own way’. Or just telling us to wash our hair more often.

    BTW – Ka’s tweet about Martinez sounded on the curt side of gracious. What is it with these women ? The WTA should run a seminar – ‘Chuck your coach under the bus – politely’.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 7, 2019 at 9:14 am

    The most unstable job in pro sports is coaching a WTA player.

  • Jon King · November 7, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Scoop, it starts at a very young age. The girls in particular go through coaches like shoes. If the 8 year old loses 2 green dot matches in a row, it is the fault of the coach and on Monday the parents find a new one. That continues right through juniors, always time for a new coach. We are able to see it up close in S. Florida since the parents have so many choices.

  • Andrew Miller · November 7, 2019 at 12:03 pm

    New WTA fad: fire good coaches that get you results. I’ve always said, when things are going well definitely destroy the team. Pathetic. This is a case where Pliskova needed to add a physical trainer to help with things like footwork. Not a whole new strategy (which she is unlikely to be ready for or capable of executing).

  • Andrew Miller · November 7, 2019 at 12:05 pm

    Glad Shapovalov life off court is going fab. Can’t imagine he’ll catch too many of her matches…maybe she’ll Mirka it and join Team Shapo.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 7, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Jon, I have talked with parents of ATP player and they described what an adventure it is to find the right coach. So many things to look out for. One memorable comment he said was “every coach has a priority order – first himself, then his family, then money, then the player.” That I thought really put it in perspective in a jarring way.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 7, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Andrew, a lot of these coaches have no leverage, they want the glory and cred coaching on the pro tour gives their rep. Some even do it for nothing. Just to get that coaching credential which helps their business. They have no leverage to demand more pay. They have to accept what the player gives them. Simple as that. The player calls the shots.

  • Hartt · November 7, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Shapp’s GF, Mirjam Bjorklund, played the Tevlin Challenger here in Toronto the same week Denis was playing in Paris. In fact, it was a Canadian reporter saying his GF played the tourney that alerted me to their romance. I wonder if Denis got to Toronto while she was still here. In any case, Mirjam would have had an opportunity to meet Denis’ family if she hadn’t already.

    She is just 21 so I can’t see her ending her career to join “Team Shapo.” Mirka had to retire because of injury, which was a shame, because she had decent results as a player.

    But it must be hard to maintain these relationships when they travel so much.

    FAA’s GF is also from Europe. I forget which country, but it may be Holland because he posted a photo of the two of them in Amsterdam, looking very happy. She competes in equestrian events.

  • Hartt · November 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Jannik Sinner comes from a part of Italy with a large German-speaking population. He speaks German and English along with Italian. His parents are Johann and Siglinde.

    According to his ATP bio he is still in high school, which could be the case because he just turned 18 in August.

  • Andrew Miller · November 7, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    Scoop, you’re right. Player’s choice, end of story. I’m still confused, but if Pliskova does well that’s to her credit, or if she’s happier that works too. For all I know the coaching worked well, but the player can fire for any reason. Player is the boss.

  • Andrew Miller · November 7, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Unless Lendl. Then, Lendl’s choice.

  • Andrew Miller · November 7, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Next gen finals reminds me there’s always another group of solid youngsters on the heels of whoever we are praising from today’s generation of young players. It’s always Hunger Games on tour, we’re just lulled into believing that four guys dominate now and will dominate forever. The reality is there’s always a ton of players moving up and down the rankings, including players no one knows well today.

    I think it’s a good thing there’s a next gen tournament as it gives a showcase to new players as well as a chance to see if the veteran young players can handle the competition. The scoring system is right too because players won’t think too hard about losing games to four. If they were big losses they’d be upset.

  • Jon King · November 7, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Andrew, no worries about Mirjam Bjorklund ending her ‘career’ for Shapo. We saw her play in juniors and she won’t ever be a money making pro. Only the top 120 women make a profit after expenses from tennis and she has no chance of getting to that level. She is just one of those players whose wealthy parents bankroll the ‘career’. She is a 300-400 level player, which means it costs a lot of money to keep her on tour. It is what it is, if she wants a career where she makes money, it will not be playing pro tennis.

  • Jon King · November 7, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    Mirjam Bjorklund reminded me of some hitters we used before, the Ianchuk sisters, Olga and Elizaveta. They got into the 200-300s rankings at their high point and told us that their parents spent $100,000 each per year to keep them on tour.

    So if Mirjam Bjorklund is a 300-400 level player, someone is paying a fortune to keep her playing. I would guess her parents are praying her and Shapo get serious enough where they don’t have to pay the bills anymore.

  • Hartt · November 7, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    There are many players who stay on the tour without much success and I wonder how they afford if, because not all have wealthy parents.

    One such player is Filip Peliwo. I sort of keep an eye on him because he is Canadian and was a successful junior. He is ranked No.285 and turns 26 at the end of January, so his is not an up-and-coming youngster. This season he has made just under $30,000 in prize money. He must truly love playing tennis, because I can’t think of any other reason to keep playing with these results.

    But of course Peliwo is just one example among many.

  • Jon King · November 7, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Hartt, any player who stays on tour without success is bankrolled by someone. Even staying in flea bags, flying economy, no coach, costs more than $30000/year with food, stringing, etc. There is some level of sponsorship for young players who are good bets for money making within a few seasons, discounted racquets and strings and apparel.

    But even a high level junior like Deiton Baughman, who got to #340 at age 19….lets just say his dear old dad/coach still lives in a trailer after putting every penny into his staying on tour for 3 years.

  • Scoop Malinowski · November 7, 2019 at 8:01 pm

    Whoa, that’s stunning news Jon. We don’t hear about that side of pro tennis much, the side that didn’t win enough matches and money. As Redlicki told me at Sarasota Challenger this year, “This is a vicious business.”

  • Andrew Miller · November 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Jon, amusing stuff on Shapo’s love interest. Suffice to say she is not Mirka, who was strong enough as a top hundred player to make the Swiss Davis Cup team. I guess this means number three hundred to four hundred on the WTA is a far cry from the equivalent rankings on the men’s tour. I did see some top three hundred WTA players close up and they did strike me as junior plus players – better than most juniors, but who didn’t quite seem like they had the two hundreth best game for female players in the world!

    I’ll put it another way. I’ve seen better women’s juco players in “tennis states” than “some” of the top three hundred WTA players. They didn’t have the $/opportunity, but came from a “tennis family” when everyone played. Kind of like the Washingtons but Mal Washington’s dad was able to fund his kids training without taking a financial hit. He was a successful guy.

    Maybe Shapo’s girl will read the comments and that will light a fire. Some players Google themselves. Ryan Harrison would Google himself!

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