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Caroline Garcia Addresses Shock Split From Coach Ahead Of WTA Finals Return

The man who guided Garcia through the majority of her success this year has walked away ahead of one of the biggest WTA events of the year.



French No.1 Caroline Garcia has turned to the help of a familiar face following the unexpected departure of her coach Bertrand Perret. 

Earlier this week Perret posted a statement on social media confirming that is no longer working with the world No.6 despite the success they have achieved together this season. Garcia started 2022 ranked 74th in the world but has shot up the rankings following a trio of titles she won in Bad Homburg, Warsaw and Cincinnati. Then at the US Open, she reached the semi-finals in what was her best-ever performance at a Grand Slam event.

The timing of Perret’s departure from the camp is quite peculiar with Garcia set to play in the prestigious WTA Finals for the first time since 2017. However, he told L’Equipe newspaper it was the right thing to do.

“I would have liked to go to the Masters (WTA Finals), yes,” he said. “But I’m not a man of pretense and when it’s over, it’s over. There was no point in prolonging it artificially. I preferred to cut rather than tear.” 

Addressing the change in her team during her pre-tournament press conference at the WTA Finals on Saturday, Garcia confirmed that her former mentor decided to stop their collaboration. Perret has a wealth of experience in women’s tennis after also previously working with Ons Jabeur, Peng Shuai and Tatjana Maria. 

“I just would like to thank Bertrand and all the hard work we did this year. It was a great investment personally and professionally. We started far away and we came to the top of it at the end of the season,” said Garcia.
“He decided to leave the team after Mexico and I respected the decision.’
“Now I have to be focused on the present, on the action, my best preparation I can have to play this tournament.”

In wake of the split, Garcia has turned to the help of tennis coach Juan Pablo Guzman who previously worked with her during the second half of last season. It is unclear if this arrangement is just for the WTA Finals or if Guzman will continue supporting during the off-season. 

In her return to the season-ending tournament, the 29-year-old has been drawn in the same group as the formidable Iga Swiatek who she has beaten already this season. Also in her section is rising star Coco Gauff and Daria Kasatkina. 

“She lost very few matches. I won against her in Poland, but it was in very different conditions. She was playing in Poland, and it was probably her first time.” Garcia said of Swiatek. 
“It’s a whole different match for sure. It’s group stage as well. I will try to play my game, and be aggressive. That’s my way of playing, and that’s probably the best chance I have to beat her.”

Garcia is bidding to become only the second Frenchwoman in history to win the WTA Finals crown after Amélie Mauresmo in 2005. 

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Emma Raducanu Confident Of Full Fitness Ahead Of Grass Swing



Emma Raducanu - Cincinnati 2022 (foto Twitter @cincytennis)

Emma Raducanu has no regrets about her decision to skip the French Open and now believes she is in a ‘really fit place’ ahead of Wimbledon. 

The former US Open champion opted to end her clay season earlier than other players to focus on fitness and training with her coach. Raducanu stated earlier this year that her primary focus in 2024 is on her health after undergoing a series of wrist and ankle surgeries last year which sidelined her for months. 

Raducanu will return to action this week at the Nottingham Open, which is the event where she made her WTA main draw debut back in 2021. Despite her lack of match play in recent weeks, the Brit is feeling good and relishing her return to the grass.

“Body-wise, physical-wise, I feel really healthy,” she said on Monday.
“I’ve done amazing work with my trainer over the last few months, since surgery. I’m in a really fit place. I’m healthy and just looking forward to starting playing.”

Shedding more light on her health, Raducanu says she has full confidence in her wrists and believes they are in top condition. Making her feel more at ease when playing matches on the Tour. 

“I think my wrists are actually in a better position than they ever were. So there’s zero doubt or apprehension whether I’m hitting the ball or designing my schedule,” she explained.
“It’s more about being proactive and not wanting to put yourself in any unnecessary situations. I don’t need to rush and try to win the French Open, it wasn’t my goal this year.
“I had to prioritise where I wanted to target and it was just a good block for me to get some physical work done.”

Raducanu has played seven WTA events so far this season with her best run being to the quarter-finals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, where she was beaten by world No.1 Iga Swiatek. The 21-year-old is currently ranked 209th in the world. 

At the Nottingham Open, she will play her first match on Tuesday against Japanese qualifier Ena Shibahara. 

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Russian World No.78 Elina Avanesyan To Switch Nationalities



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A week after losing her fourth round match at the French Open, a government minister has confirmed that Elina Avanesyan is in the process of changing the nationality of who she plays for. 

The 21-year-old is switching her aligence from Russia to Armenia, according to Armenia’s deputy Minister of International Affairs and communication. Karen Giloyan has told the news agency Armenpress that Avanesyan will soon be representing his country. However, the tennis player has yet to comment on the matter.  Avanesyan was born in Russia but has Armenian parents.

“Elina Avanesyan will compete under the Armenian flag, but there is nothing official yet. We are waiting for her to get the citizenship of the Republic of Armenia so that everything will be official,” Giloyan told Armenpress.

Such a development would be a massive coup for the Armenian tennis federation which currently doesn’t have a player ranked inside the top 500 on either the men’s or women’s Tour. The country has a population of less than 3M. Perhaps their best-known player is Sargis Sargsian who reached the top 40 back in 2004. Others on the Tour also have Armenian heritage but don’t represent the country such as Karen Khachanov.  

Avanesyan is currently ranked 78th in the world, which is 18 places below her career high. This season, she has scored high-profile wins over Maria Sakkari at the Australian Open, Ons Jabeur in Charleston and Qinwen Zhang at the French Open. 

She has yet to play in the final of a WTA tournament.

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Iga Looks To Be In A league All to Herself At Paris

Iga Swiatek claimed her fourth Roland Garros title in Paris.



(@Eurosport - Twitter)

Just call her Iga. No other identification is needed.

As the years go by, Iga’s notoriety is sure to grow.

She’s probably already earned a spot in tennis’ Hall of Fame.

Yes, Iga Swiatek is a name to remember. A hero in her native Poland, a superstar in the world of sports.


Iga just added to her stardom Saturday with an impressive 6-2, 6-1 victory over little-known Italian Jasmine Paolini to win her third straight French Open title. This was Paolini’s chance to make a name for herself, but she didn’t have the game to make it happen.

Iga was just too good. She made it look too easy.

Paolini could hit some great ground strokes, but when she looked up a bigger shot was on its way back. Iga doesn’t look like a power hitter, but she is.


The 23-year-old Polish Wonder finished the first set winning five straight games, then started the second set winning five more games in succession. The 28-year-old Paolini didn’t seem to have a clue on how to upend Swiatek.

It took just 78 minutes for Iga to win her fifth Grand Slam title.

She’s a lot like her French Open hero, Rafa Nadal.

She takes every match seriously.


No wonder Iga owns a 35-2 record at Roland Garos. Or that she has won 21 straight matches. Or that she owns a 5-0 record in Grand Slam finals.

She only dominated opponents, except for Naomi Osaka in the second round. Swiatek escaped a match point in that one and didn’t look back.

Iga’s game should be just as superb on the green grass of upcoming Wimbledon.

James Beck was the 2003 winner of the USTA National Media Award  for print media. A 1995 MBA graduate of The Citadel, he can be reached at

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