Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The coaching floodgates are finally open!

For as long as I've been a tennis fan, I've wondered why pro players never seem to hire female coaches. It's not like there's no shortage of legendary women players who would fit the bill. Last year, it was a male player, Andy Murray, who hired Amelie Mauresmo on, and naturally, the choice has been under scrutiny ever since, with whispers about her effectiveness. Now, I'm not gonna lie. If I were going to choose a woman coach for a tennis pro, it probably wouldn't be the person who had some moments of mental weak in big moments(coughcoughFRENCHOPENcough), especially if you have had a similar issue. But technically, Mauresmo is a good choice. She always had great form, and even if they didn't always result in winning a Slam, she did have some great results on the big stage. After years of disappointment at majors, she did finally break through -- twice.
And Madison Keys is picking up Lindsay Davenport. That's a good pick. But am I the only person who thinks that Davenport probably still had a slam in her?
No, if I were going to choose a female tennis coach, it'd be someone who has a record of success and has shown an ability to grow and change her game. Maybe someone who actually changed the trajectory of the women's game with her own training habits and by bringing an element of power (which by now is about the same "power" Chris Evert had, but still). I wish there were one or two women like that.
Apparently, so did Aggie Radwanska, because she just hired MARTINA NAVRATILOVA to her coaching team this year. Two things: Has anyone ever asked Martina to be their coach and she's just been saying no all these years? Because she is a perfect coaching candidate -- for any player.
Also, this is awesome! These two are the perfect match. Radwanska is already a very smart player with a ton of variety, but her problem is -- OK, there's no nice way to say this, so here it is -- she needs to work out. No, she's not out of shape, but you can't be a stick figure in the 2015 WTA tour. The serve has to go, and she needs to be able to mix some power with the variety. If she could do that, she'd be top 3 through her whole career. And her willingness to hire Navratilova says that she's willing to work on all of that. At least, I hope she is, because Navratilova doesn't strike me as the type of coach who would be sipping her coffee on the bench, watching her charge practicing a terrible serve. No, what I see in that scenario is Navratilova taking her coffee mug in one hand, her racquet in the other, and standing on the other side to receive that terrible serve and crushing it every time.
Pleasepleaseplease let this work out. Yeah, I get power tennis, and love it for the most part, but man, wouldn't it be great to see the likes of Radwanska tweak her game and become the Martina Hingis 2.0 in 2015?

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