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What’s the Most Curious and Fraught Job in Tennis?


Consider Halep’s quarterfinal match against Amanda Anisimova of america set for Wednesday. For greater than six years, Darren Cahill, the longtime coach and ESPN commentator, who has worked with Andre Agassi, Andy Murray and Ana Ivanovic, amongst others, coached Halep.

They split in September. Cahill, who’s Australian, said the trials of travel and the Covid-19 quarantines that Australia required every time he returned home had develop into an excessive amount of. But after Australia lifted the necessities, Anisimova asked Cahill to affix her team before the Australian Open in January and he obliged.

Anisimova’s important coach had been her father, who died suddenly of a heart attack at 52 in 2019. She has struggled to seek out a stable coach since. But the connection with Cahill didn’t quite click, and Cahill split with Anisimova in March, saying he had overestimated his ability to administer the commitment to her and his family. Cahill has since signed on with Jannik Sinner, the emerging 20-year-old Italian star, who in February fired his longtime coach Riccardo Piatti, a relationship that, until the split, most figured would last for years. Sinner lost Tuesday to Novak Djokovic.

So many players appear to undergo so many coaches. And yet Paul Annacone, who has coached Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Sloane Stephens and recently began working with Taylor Fritz, said crucial thing a coach can provide a player was “stability” and what he described as a “macro comprehension of the environment and best practices to get that player to purchase into an agreed-upon philosophy.”

Annacone said coach-player relationships often founder when communication breaks down. Really “knowing the opposite person is crucial,” he said.

Or perhaps, sometimes, it isn’t.

Mouratoglou and Williams were nearly inseparable for years. He was the constant presence on the practice courts together with her and in her box. He even admitted to coaching her through the 2018 U.S. Open final against Osaka, a violation that led to her being penalized some extent after which a game through the match, which she lost in straight sets.

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