Maria Sharapova has a new coach and his name is tennis Hall of Famer Jimmy Connors. Just a few days after Swede Tomas Hogstedt split with the Russian because of his own personal reasons, Sharapova announced the partnership this morning on her website:
“I am happy to announce that Jimmy Connors will be my new coach,” Sharapova wrote. “I have known Jimmy for many years and we briefly worked together in 2008 just before the Australian Open. I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments.”
Sharapova and Hogstedt had been working together since the start of the 2011 season.
“After almost 3 years of working together, Thomas Hogstedt and I decided to part ways,” she wrote on Thursday. “Due to personal issues, he was not able to travel in the near future and we both agreed it was the right time to move our separate ways. I am very thankful for all his work, and wish him much success in the future.”
Connors previously coached Andy Roddick in 2008 with mixed results. The 60-year-old 8-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t been back in the coaching circle since, but his name was in the news earlier this year after he released a controversial book.
Sharapova is playing well and ranked No. 2, but Jimmy’s real task will be stemming the tide of 13 straight losses to rival Serena Williams. In his first role as a women’s coach, Connors will also have to deal with Maria’s father and her off-court demands and romances, like her current one with boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov.
So will Connors help Maria?
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