Consider Halep’s quarter-final match against Amanda Anisimova of the United States on Wednesday. For more than six years, longtime coach and ESPN commentator Darren Cahill, who has worked with Andre Agassi, Andy Murray and Anna Ivanovic, among others, has coached Halep.
They split in September. Cahill, who is Australian, said the rigors of travel and the Covid-19 quarantine that Australia requires every time he returns home have become too much. But after Australia raised the requirements, Anisimova asked Cahill to join her squad ahead of the Australian Open in January and he obliged.
Anisimova’s main coach was her father, who died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 52 in 2019. She has been struggling to find a stable coach ever since. But the relationship with Cahill didn’t quite work out, and Cahill split from Anisimova in March, saying he overestimated his ability to manage a commitment to her and his family. Cahill has since signed Yannick Sener, the 20-year-old Italian budding star, who in February sacked his coach Riccardo Piatti, a relationship that was most likely to last years until the split. Sinner lost Tuesday to Novak Djokovic.
Many players seem to go through several coaches. However, Paul Anacon, who has coached Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Sloane Stevens and recently started working with Taylor Fritz, said the most important thing a coach can offer a player is “stability” and what he described as “a total understanding of” the environment and best practices to make this The player is convinced by an agreed upon philosophy.”
Anacon said that coach-player relationships often falter when contact is lost. “Knowing the other person is essential,” he really said.
Or maybe, sometimes, it isn’t.
Muratoglu and Williams have been nearly inseparable for years. He was a constant presence in the training grounds with her and in her box. He even admitted to coaching her during the 2018 US Open final against Osaka, a violation that saw her penalized with a point and then a match during the match, which she lost in straight sets.