I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready for tennis season to be back in full force! I am counting down the days until the Australian Open! But until then, let’s discuss some player/coach relationships as it seems like lately there has been an influx of new relationships being formed.
It’s not new to see former pros on the coaching end of things, but it seems like lately, all of our favorite players from the past have made their way back to the circuit via coaching. Brad Gilbert has worked with the best of them — everyone from Agassi, Roddick, Andy Murray to Nishikori and even Sam Querrey. Some of those relationships blossomed in chemistry, and some were duds. In 2013, we saw Sharapova hire, and quickly fire, Jimmy Connors — but let’s be honest, there wasn’t enough room on the court for those two superstars. Then there was Martina Hingis’ stint in coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchnkova…until Martina realized how much she missed the limelight and competition.
So, who do we have paired up in 2014?
Federer and Edberg are working together in 2014 — photos by Cynthia Lum
As the draw is getting smaller and smaller there are 4 matches today.
Two quarterfinals for the women and two for the men. First on Victoria Azarenka vs Svetlana Kuznetsova. A tight first set between the two where Kuznetsova was leading 4-1 but Azarenka came back to win the set 7-5.
Then an unexpected result occurred when Serena Williams lost to Sloane Stephens in three sets 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. A great result for the young and upcoming American tennis talent! Congratulations and best of luck for the next round!
First, Na Li beat Agniezka Radwanska in a high level match. A lot of long rallies with the better end for Na Li with a score of 7/5 6/3. The former coach of Justine Henin seems to really have a positive impact on her! Li’s husband has been doing a lot of roadwork in the past years especially since Na’s former coach Thomas Hogsted switched to work with Maria Sharapova. Carlos Rodriguez, Na Li’s current coach, has been with her since shortly before the US Open 2012. You can really see that he has certain things he wants his players to do during a match. Na Li is definitely playing more offensive meaning she is going to the net or at least playing a couple of swing volleys after the opponent has been pushed into the corner.
Another 5 set match was played by the two Spanish players, Almagro and Ferrer. They were battling each other out there for hours. Almagro was up two sets to love serving for the match at 5/4 in the third but couldn’t serve it out. Ferrer grinded his way back into the match to win in five sets 4/6 4/6 7/5 7/6 6/2.
Wow! There is one certainty! At every Grand Slam there is at least one match that stays in your mind.
So far it is the match between Monfils and Simon last night at Hisense Arena.
It looked like they were both running out of steam in the second set already. They had such long rallies. The average rally count in their match was 11.5 shots which is very high! The longest rally was 71 shots, believe it or not.
At one stage they were both cramping. Monfils couldn’t hit forehands anymore and started slicing for a couple of games.
In the end Gilles Simon won the match in five sets 6/4 6/4 4/6 1/6 8/6.