The best way to describe Craig Kardon's place in the game of pro tennis might have been a simple line uttered by the host of the Tennis.com Podcast, Kamau Murray. In describing his fellow coach, Murray mentioned how Kardon is one of the most familiar faces he sees, and he always looks forward to seeing him in his natural setting. So how did a former college tennis player from Texas end up as a premier titan on the ATP and WTA tours? There's some unquestioned luck, but there's also no shortage of hard work.
"I had practiced with Martina (Navratilova) when I was in college and we forged a relationship of respect," Kardon recalled. "After I retired in 1987, she approached me out of the blue and asked me if I would be her traveling coach." And with that, he was off to the big leagues. The No. 2-ranked player in the world sought a different voice, and Kardon offered up a perspective that clearly stuck. Navratilova opened the coaching door, and Kardon sprinted right through it.