2014 Coaching/Player Relationships on the ATP and WTA

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?

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Federer and Edberg are working together in 2014 — photos by Cynthia Lum

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Keeping Up with the Playtesters…US Open Picks!

The US Open is just days away (I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!). Working at TW is always fun during the tournaments because we all have our favorites and are glued to the matches, so of course I wanted to know who the playtesters were picking to win it all this year! Check out their answers and let us know who you pick to win it all this year at Flushing Meadows!

“Who are your picks to win the 2013 US Open?”

Granville: “It’s not going to be pretty – Djokovic and Radwanska (Aggie).”
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Wild and Wacky Wednesday at Wimbledon!

I woke up early this morning excited to turn on Wimbledon and watch some live tennis. I quickly started hearing about all of the weird injuries and retirements of the day. Little did I know that the day to follow would quickly be one of the most epic days at Wimbledon and tennis history.

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Photos by Cynthia Lum

As Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” is playing in my head, let’s re-cap what actually happened today at the All England Club.
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Day 2 at the Miami Sony Open

Hello everybody,

The players have been coming out early in the morning this week down here in Miami to escape the heat. And more importantly, so they can secure their own court to practice on and have the luxury of using a full court instead of splitting one with any of their tour rivals.

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Caroline Wozniacki practicing in Miami

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Serena Williams practicing in Miami

On Tuesday, I had a quality practice with Caroline Wozniacki on Centre Court but today even
though coming out at 8:30am she didn’t get a show court.  Even Serena Williams didn’t get centre court to practice on today when coming out at 8:30am. She was practicing out there on one of the regular practice courts with her hitting partner Sascha Bajin and her coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

 

Both Caroline and Serena will be opening up play tomorrow in Miami.  Serena will play Flavia Pennetta second on the Main Stadium, while Caroline’s first match is against qualifier Karolina Pliskova and will be third on over on the Grandstand.

Kevin Anderson is continuing to grind and work hard here in Miami. He was already hitting them big when I arrived to the site this morning at 8:15, he must have started  around 7am. It looks like he won’t officially take to the courts until Friday, which gives him enough time to adjust to the Miami heat and humidity.

Great effort by all of them.

Enjoy the Tennis!

Mats

@matsmerkel

WTA Blog: The domination combination

I thought I’d start off my WTA blog this week by saying that it’s a well-known fact that good things come in pairs. Socks, chopsticks, peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, Tom and Jerry, Bonnie and Clyde, Batman and Robin.. I could keep going, actually, but I won’t because my point is that there is an unstoppable pair doing good, great, amazing things in tennis right now (that’s right, I didn’t just say women’s tennis).

I have learned, the longer I work at Tennis Warehouse, that sometimes there is no arguing with a diehard tennis fan. It’s easier to nod and smile than get into a never-ending argument. Me? Federer is king, but don’t get in the way of Carol (she is the biggest Fed fan you’ll ever meet!) Jason? Kirilenko and Rafa fan all the way home, and shame on you for ever suggesting otherwise. Karly? Gasquet is always the best, regardless. Spencer? He’s gained the reputation to always put Murray as winning the Slam brackets we do (your day will come Spen!) We all love tennis, yet we all have our (logical and illogical) favorites. There is no arguing or justifying most of this, particularly when things are, to put it simply, arguable and unjustifiable. This said, every once in a while someone, or some people, come along who silence the critics.

OK, fine, I’ll let the cat out of the bag.

Sister Act: Serena and Venus playing doubles and dominating.

Serena and Venus Williams are re-exploring what it means to dominate. They literally define the word. I have been writing a lot about Serena lately – and rightly so, she is playing the best tennis of her life and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Individually she is impressive, but pair her with her sister and these two are just, well, extraordinary. I’m not saying that they are GOAT, but there is no denying the statistics.

Let me explain. From the ages of 14, these girls hit the tennis world like two tornados, and nearly a decade and a half later things are still a whirlwind. Yes, things have slowed down, Venus got her autoimmune disease and they floated around as time passed, but after about 16 years on tour they are coming back out on top. Not only have they taken charge of the WTA with a combined 21 Grand Slam titles, but every four years we also consistently see success at the Olympics.

Venus is the perfect doubles partner for her sister

This year at the 2012 London Olympics, Serena’s singles victory against Sharapova (6-0 6-1, phew! That was demolishing) made her the first player (aside from Venus) to win both the singles and doubles gold medals in the same Olympics. They also both have four gold medals each, which trumps any other tennis player in history. These two girls are the greatest Olympic tennis players. Ever. No one, man or woman, can even match them with any medals, let alone golds.

Serena actually has also done something called the Golden Slam, and considering the Olympics only come around every four years, this is noteworthy. A Golden Slam is winning all four Grand Slam titles and Olympic gold, AND Serena’s also done it in, wait for it, both singles AND doubles. The only other person to achieve a Golden Slam (in singles only) was Steffi Graf. When it comes to Serena, love her or hate her, you have to applaud her.

Serena is a force to be reckoned with

You thought I was done, ha. Nope. That’s just singles. Doubles is yet another tale of Olympic success. Together playing doubles they are the only pairing to ever win gold, three times. That’s right. There aren’t even any men who have done as well as these two. And the cherry on top? In the 15 Olympic matches they have played, they haven’t lost a SINGLE set.

I have to say, I haven’t always been the biggest Serena fan, but I take my hat off to her and Venus. At this point, it moves past about liking or disliking, and right to acknowledging their place in the history books. The most impressive pair in tennis right now (as a singles and doubles domination combination)? Goes to the sisters. Good work keeping it in the family.

Siobhan