Sharapova hires Jimmy Connors as coach

by: AP July 13, 2013

AP Photo

A day after announcing she was parting with coach Thomas Hogstedt, Maria Sharapova posted on her website Saturday that she would work with eight-time major champion Jimmy Connors.

Connors coached Andy Roddick for a year-and-a-half before resigning in 2008, and worked with Sharapova on her ground game during the off-season before the 2008 Australian Open, which was the last major she won before undergoing shoulder surgery. They tried to extend the part-time coaching arrangement (at the time, Sharapova was being coached full-time by Michael Joyce) but sources say they could not agree on the financial terms of a contract. Sharapova’s father Yuri is said to have always liked Connors’ style.

Hogstedt coached Sharapova for two-and-a-half years, beginning in the 2011 offseason. He co-coached her with Joyce until the 2012 Australian Open, when Joyce left because he didn’t feel that the arrangement was working out. Sharapova won one Grand Slam under Hogstedt, the 2012 French Open.

Sharapova said Friday that Hogstedt wouldn’t be able to travel in the near future, and they agreed she should find a new coach.

A winner of the career Grand Slam, the second-ranked Sharapova was upset in the second round at Wimbledon this year. “I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments,” Sharapova said on Saturday.

Sharapova is next scheduled to play Stanford, which begins on July 22. Connors, who lives in Santa Barbara, Cali., will presumably make an appearance there.

In related news, some members of the Danish press are suggesting that Hogstedt will end up working with Caroline Wozniacki, whose father and coach, Piotr Wozniacki, will stop coaching her at the end of this season. Piotr Wozniacki is said to like Hogstedt’s work.

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