Maybe it’s because my next birthday is inching up…or that lately some of the things I see and hear make me feel old (I’m pretty sure I still don’t know exactly what twerking is?!). But I feel like the world is all sorts of retro lately, even hitting the tennis world…and I like it!
Even watching the Oscars last weekend, actors I grew up watching were on stage winning awards (shout out to Jordan Catalano for any “My So Called Life” fans — who knew we would see Jared Leto up there winning an Academy Award?!). So seeing some of my favorite tennis players make their way back on to the scene (in one way or another), makes me excited for the future of tennis!
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?
We saw her grow up right before our eyes on the WTA Tour. One thing was always certain, she had tons of talent, a beautiful game and will remain in the record books for a long time. With a resume of 43 WTA Titles, the number one ranking on the WTA, 5 Grand Slam Singles titles (3 Australian Opens, 1 Wimbledon Championship, 1 US Open title) — Martina Hingis is continuing to expand her wins on the WTA, but this time, as a coach.
Turning 33 this September, Martina looks to be doing a great job settling into life after being a teen tennis phenom. In the recent weeks, she has been spending a bit of time a little closer to the WTA, coaching talented Russian player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Martina, who previously was a member of the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy coaching staff, has paired with Pavlyuchenkova for her first taste of working as a full-time personal coach. The two paired up right in time for the clay season. The 21 year old Russian has had some success this year winning a title in Monterrey, but she has noticeably been struggling in the major tournaments of the year. Pavlyuchenkova has suffered first round losses in the Australian Open, Paris, Dubai, Indian Wells and Miami. Since the two have paired up, the duo has already seen some success with Pavlyuchenkova winning a title on the red clay in singles (Portugal) and doubles (Madrid).