Amelie Mauresmo is Andy Murray's new coach - UBITENNIS
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Amelie Mauresmo is Andy Murray's new coach

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TENNIS – Defending Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has appointed former Wimbledon and Australian Open champion Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach on the day of Rafa Nadal’s ninth triumph at the Roland Garros. The former French star will help Murray during the upcoming grass season where he will defend both the Queen’s and the Wimbledon titles won last year. Diego Sampaolo

Murray has played without a coach since he split from Ivan Lendl who guided to the Olympic gold medal and the US Open title in 2012 and the Wimbledon triumph in 2013 (the first by a Briton since Fred Perry in 1936). He has had a season of ups and downs so far in 2014 since his back surgery last autumn but his form has improved in recent weeks. He reached the quarter final in Rome (losing a close match against Rafa Nadal) and the semifinal at the Roland Garros where he lost against the “King of Clay” Nadal.

With Mauresmo Murray will have the right person with the necessary experience to guide the Scotsman to win other Grand Slams. Mauresmo won the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2006 and the Olympic silver in 2004. She won 25 WTA career titles and reached the World Number 1 spot for five weeks in 2004 and for 34 weeks in 2006.

Mauresmo, who is currently coaching the French Fed Cup team, had already guided Michael Llodra during the 2010 grass season and helped to Marion Bartoli’s Wimbledon triumph last year.

I am excited by the possibilities of the new partnership. Amelie is someone I have been looking up to and admired. I have already a coaching coaching team in place. I think Amelie brings with her experience and tactical expertise and will push us to improve. She won Wimbledon and the Australian Open and was the World Number 1. She is very calm. She is a very good person. We will communicate well together”, said Murray.

It is not the first time that a male player is trained by a female coach. Murray was previously coached by his mother Judy. In the past Tim Mayotte was coached by Billie Jean King in the 1990s. Jimmy Connors and Marat Safin were coached by their mothers. The most recent example of player coached by a female trainer is World Number 49 Denis Istomin who is guided by his mother Klaudiya.

I worked with my mother for a long time. It doesn’t feel like a very different thing. I have always had a strong female influence during my career”, said Murray

Billie Jean King, 39-time Grand Slam champion, said that the gender is not important but there are far more important factors who can have an impact on how the relationship works. “It’s the strength of the relationship between the coach and the player that makes the partnership work. Women have coached men for years. What is important is that this is what Andy feels is better for his current situation”.

Murray first contacted Mauresmo a few weeks ago. and admitted that it was a bit of surprise.

I am happy about the new challenge. I am really excited to be able to work with Andy. He is an amazingly talented player and I feel I have plenty to offer to him and the team around him”, said Mauresmo.

During a press conference held during the Roland Garros following the appointment, Mauresmo admitted that Murray’s call came as a surprise: “Andy contacted me a few weeks ago. and we started talking about the possibility to be working together. It was little bit of a surprise. It’s not something I was thinking of doing when I stopped playing tennis. It’s a major event in the world of tennis. It’s a professional goal for me. This is what I am interested in”, said Mauresmo

He is looking for something different, about emotions and sensitive things. All I am interested in is to be able to help him in his goals. It’s a challenge. I want to take it. The point for him is to win more Grand Slams. Of course he is going to defend his title at Wimbledon. It’s not going to be easy. Miracles do not happen overnight.

Mauresmo continues the recent tradition of former stars who have been hired by present top players. Murray himself was the first to look for the help of a former legend and hired Ivan Lendl in 2012. At the end of 2013 some players announced the appointment of past players as their coaches. Boris Becker started his coaching relationship with Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open and has guided him to wins in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo. Stefan Edberg has helped Roger Federer win in Dubai and reach the finals in Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo. Michael Chang has guided Kei Nishikori to his first European clay win in Barcelona and to his first Master 1000 final in Madrid. Martina Hingis is now coaching Sabine Lisicki. Goran Ivanisevic is the coach of Marin Cilic.

The appointment of Mauresmo comes as a surprise to many but the Frenchwoman could be the right person at the right moment especially because she could provide him the best advice on improving his net game.

I am not sure how she is going to get in the locker room. I think a few eyebrows will be raised. She has got all the credentials. She is smart and she a great game and Andy is not going just to pick someone for no reason. He is going to have to have done his home work. It’s a matter of him putting it together. If she can add something there I think it’s a great choice. Most people will probably be surprised but ..it may work well. I believe Andy has plenty of room to improve around the net. That would make him a better player and Amelie was a fantastic player around the net”, said former Australian star and 1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash.

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Rival Backs Dominic Thiem To Win Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award

Only two players have won the award since 2004.

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For the past 15 years only two players have managed to get their hands on the prestigious Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award, but one player thinks there could be a brand new winner this year.

 

Diego Schwartzman has lent his support behind world No.4 Dominic Thiem. The award recognizes those who have conducted the highest level of professionalism and integrity on the ATP Tour throughout the season. Established in 1977, Roger Federer has won the honour in 13 out of the past 15 years. The only other player to triumph during that period was Rafael Nadal, who won it in 2010 and 2018.

“I think Thiem can win it, he showed throughout the year a competitiveness and a respect with everyone that was spectacular,” Schwartzman told ole.com. “On top of that he is having great years of his career and this season was even better for the achievements he had.’
“He has a good chance of winning it.” He added.

Schwartzman, who reached the quarter-finals of the US Open earlier this year, has also been shortlisted for the award. Along with regular nominees Federer and Nadal. Only once has an Argentinian player won the title, which was José Luis Clerc back in 1981. At that time it was known as the ATP Sportsmanship award before getting renamed in 1996.

“I learned first (of getting nominated) through social networks rather than the official designation that the ATP sends you by mail.” The 27-year-old revealed.
“It is more spectacular than anything for the players I have next to me. It is a very important prize that recognizes a little what you do off the court, not only hitting the ball.”

Whilst he is dreaming of winning the honour himself, Schwartzman is just happy that he has been nominated.

“If I won this award, it would be spectacular. Now I am on that payroll that is very good and represents the values ​​that I try to maintain on a day-to-day basis and that (my coaching teams over the years) have taught me. It is very nice to be recognized for that. “ He concluded.

The four nominees for the Stefan Edberg Award was shortlisted by the ATP. However, it will be the players who will decide the winner. The result will be revealed later this month.

Multiple winners of the Stefan Edberg/ATP Sportsmanship award

Roger Federer – 13
Stefan Edberg – 5
Pat Rafter – 4
Alex Corretja – 2
Todd Martin – 2
Paradorn Srichaphan – 2
Rafael Nadal – 2

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Kei Nishikori In Doubt For The Australian Open

Asia’s highest ranked male tennis player is contemplating when he should return to the tour following surgery.

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Kei Nishikori (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

World No.13 Kei Nishikori is refusing to rule out the prospect of skipping the first grand slam event of 2020 as he continues his recovery from surgery.

 

Nishikori hasn’t played a match on the tour since his third round loss at the US Open back in September. A month later he underwent a procedure on his right elbow in a move that brought his season to an early end. Currently undergoing rehabilitation, it is unclear as to when the Japanese player believes he will return to the ATP Tour.

“The prospect of a return from surgery on right elbow in January. Maybe February. In the second half of next year I want to be able to play well.” Nikkan Sports quoted Nishikori as saying.
“I don’t want to overdo it,” he added.

The Australian Open will get underway on January 20th in Melbourne. Should he miss the grand slam, it will be the second time he has done so in the last three years. Nishikori also withdrew from the 2018 edition due to a wrist injury. In January he reached the quarter-finals and therefore has 360 points to defend next year.

During his time away from the court, the 29-year-old has been kept busy making changes to his team. Recently it was confirmed that he has started working alongside Max Mirnyi, who is a former world No.1 doubles player. Mirnyi, who has won 10 grand slam titles in men’s and mixed doubles, will be working full-time with Nishikori alongside existing coach Michael Chang.

“I’m getting closer to retirement. I want to be cured and come back to play good tennis in the second half of next year.” Nishikori stated.

Despite the injury setback, Nishikori has enjoyed success in 2019. Reaching the quarter-finals in three out of the four grand slam tournaments. The first time he has ever done that in his career. He also claimed his 12th ATP title at the Brisbane International. Overall, he won 29 out of 43 matches played.

Nishikori will turn 30 on December 29th.

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Family Of Venezuelan Doubles Star Launches GoFundMe Page For Cancer Treatment

Roberto Maytin was playing on the Challenger tour less than a month ago, but now faces a new battle.

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One of Venezuela’s highest ranked players on the ATP Tour is facing challenges off the court after being recently diagnosed with cancer.

 

Roberto Maytin, who currently has a doubles ranking of 136th, is undergoing treatment for testicular cancer Non-Seminoma. Non-seminomas are made up of different types of tumour, such as teratomas, embryonal tumours, yolk sac tumours and choriocarcinomas. Maytin’s brother Ricardo has launched a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs. The tennis player made $19,441 in prize money this season, which doesn’t factor into account numerous expenses such as travel, accommodation and paying for his coaching team.

“If life gives you a chance to live longer, I think nobody would miss the opportunity. In this plane, we all want to be (alive) for years however we forget that we are with a 50% chance of leaving at any time every day.” The fundraising page reads.
“My brother was diagnosed with testicular cancer NO Seminoma, at 30 years old. He now faces a crucial match that life has put him for growth as an individual, as a man and as an athlete. He is forced to undergo 4 stages of aggressive chemotherapy in order to heal at all and leave no trace of a Cancer that has been moving for months causing some damage.”

A former top 25 junior player, Maytin is one of only two players from his country to be ranked inside the top 200 in either singles or doubles on the men’s tour. This season he has won four Challenger titles across America. However, he has only played in one ATP Tour event since the start of 2018. He achieved a ranking high of 85th in the doubles back in 2015.

Once a student at Baylor University in Texas, Maytin formed a successful partnership with former world No.2 doubles player John Peers. Together they earned All-American honours with a win-loss of 36-5 and reached the quarter-finals of the 2011 NCAA tournament.

Maytin is also a regular fixture in his country’s Davis Cup team. Since 2007 he has played 15 ties and won 10 out of 16 matches played.

“I am also clear that the family is the gift of God for each one of us, so in this way and in whatever way I will put my desire and my energy so that my Brother Roberto Maytin, a Venezuelan professional tennis player, is back to the courts, which is where he belongs as soon as possible.”

Almost $25,000 has been raised so far to fund Maytin’s treatment. Click here to visit his GoFundMe page.

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