Today Ana Ivanovic announced on her website that she and her coach of a year, Nemanja Kontic, are ending their partnership:
Ana and Nemanja Kontic have ended their coaching partnership by mutual agreement. Kontic’s contract expired after Wimbledon and, after amicable discussions, the pair decided not to renew it.This announcement came as a big surprise today because, by all accounts, it was a success. The Serb was having her best year since 2008 when she won Roland Garros and grabbed the keys to the WTA Penthouse. She won titles in Auckland, Monterrey, and Birmingham. At the Australian Open in January, she upset Serena Williams in the fourth round, and beat Maria Sharapova in Rome, ending her seven-match losing streak to the Russian.
In an interview with The New York Times back in May, the 26-year old expressed how her new team had brought a calming influence to her life off-court.
“This is the thing that many people don’t understand. It’s actually very hard because we are a lot of times on our own, and with my previous coaches I didn’t have that kind of feelings that we would have dinners together, or lunch. It would be more like a work relationship. But since my team now is Serbian and very young, I actually enjoy hanging out with them. I enjoy having dinners, having chats, and they’re able to not talk about tennis. This is what I enjoy — because I think there is so much more to life than just sports.”The team's influence seemed to be effecting her positively on-court as well, which is why this news is so surprising. There are still many questions about the decision (was it financial? too much travel?), and Ana will surely be asked about it in the coming weeks. Before Kontic, she worked with a long list of well-regarded coaches, including David Taylor, Craig Kardon, Sven Groeneveld, Heinz Günthardt, Antonio van Grichen, and Nigel Sears. She plans to appoint a new coach soon.
This announcement follows on the heels of the surprising Li Na-Carlos Rodriguez split that happened during Wimbledon. More coaching changes are likely to come. Stay tuned.
[Photo(s) credit: Getty Images]