Maria Sharapova’s father, Yuri, will coach her at the U.S. Open, TENNIS.com has learned.
Sharapova split with her coach of one month, Jimmy Connors, last week after losing to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati. She has been practicing at Flushing Meadows with her father. Yuri Sharapov encouraged his daughter to work with Connors, whom he has long admired.
Sharapova split with her coach of two-and-a-half years, Thomas Hogstedt, after she suffered a second-round Wimbledon loss to 131st-ranked qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito.
Sources told TENNIS.com that Maria made Yuri call Connors after she lost in Cincinnati to tell him that she would no longer need his services. Yuri taught his daughter to play the game and (along with Michael Joyce) coached her until she underwent shoulder surgery in October 2008.
When Sharapova returned to play in the early summer of 2009, Joyce was her sole traveling coach, although she continued to work with her father during off weeks and spoke to him frequently about her matches, which he watched on TV or via the internet.
It is unclear whether Yuri will coach her after the U.S. Open. He spends most of his time traveling around the world to ski.