Matt Cronin for Tennisreporters.net has insight into some recent rides taken on the WTA's coaching-go-round by two lady ballers with very similar games:
Nicole Vaidisova is again being coached by her former coach and step dad again, Alex Kodat. She let go of David Felgate, who could do nothing with her outside of practice. But neither could Kodat prior to their emotional split. Her confidence is near nil. Coaching changes are both under and overstated in tennis. Take Ana Ivanovic’s recent hire of Craig Kardon, who coached Martina Navratilova and Jennifer Capriati, among others. If memory serves us correctly, when Capriati stopped working with Kardon, she went back to her dad, Stefano, and then to her brother, Stephen. She, Like Vaidisova, liked to her keep her family close. So did Mary Pierce, who also worked with Kardon. Pierce did dispense with her father Jim as a coach, but toward the end of her career, was primarily coached by her brother, David. And what of AI? Neither of her parents coach, but her mother runs a very tight ship and is extremely aware of the ins and outs of her daughter’s career. How long does Kardon last, and will he really have Ivanovic’s full attention?Well, no surprise Vaida went back to her stepdad after her horrendous results recently. I mean, the only tourney appearances the girl makes these days is on the scrawny arm of The Worm. Kodat knows her game and personality very well and was the person who coached Vaida to two Grand Slam semifinals (Roland Garros '06, Aussie Open '07), two major quarterfinals (Roland Garros '07, Wimbledon '07), and a Top 10 spot. I don't think you can argue with those results, though I hope Kodat finally fixes the ferociously funky technique on her backhand side. Not pretty.
And what of Kardon's effect on Ana? Well, she had great results with Sven Groenefeld and he was only part-time. I imagine even if there isn't tons of closeness between these two (and she's been public about liking some distance with her coach), she could still get the best out of this relationship. Much of it depends on her attitude: if she can lighten up on herself and not expect perfection, Ana might just get out of her Serbian Slide with Craig's help.
Let's just hope she doesn't call on any old advice. *crosses fingers*
(images via Getty)