Jimmy Connors joins team Sharapova

Jimmy Connors coaching Andy Roddick at the US Open 2007 (thanks to zimbio.com)

Jimmy Connors coaching Andy Roddick at the US Open 2007 (thanks to zimbio.com)

Maria Sharapova has announced Jimmy Connors as her new coach. It is a partnership to get the mouth watering. One of the most pumped up intense players on the WTA tour being coached by a former ATP player famous for the same qualities.

It is not Connor’s first time as a coach on the tennis circuit. The American coached Andy Roddick from July 2006 to March 2008 and helped him make the 2006 US Open final before leaving for ‘logistical reasons’.

While Sharapova is not in the dire straits Roddick was in when Connors became his coach, the Russian does have a major problem she has not been able to solve in Serena Williams. Roddick, too, was unable to get one over Roger Federer, being 0-11 down where he teamed up with Connors and 0-17 down after they split, though Roddick did score his first win over Federer a few weeks after the split. Sharapova has been unable to beat Serena in 12 meetings since 2005 and has lost two high profile finals to her in Miami and at Roland Garros this year. Some of the losses have bordered on humiliation for the Russian and unless an answer comes soon her losing streak to the American may be as much a talking point when her career comes to an end as her history-making career Slam.

Sharapova will be hoping the super competitive Connors will be able to guide her to a solution and secure some memorable wins over the current women’s number One. Maria could not have hired anyone who is likely to empathize with her more than Connors, a man who left it all out on the court as famously as Maria does. How their partnership pans out will be a fascinating talking point over the next season, the success of it being determined by whether Maria can beat Serena and also whether she can win another Major other than Roland Garros.

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Christian Deverille

Christian Deverille is a tennis writer with a diploma in Freelance Sports Writing from the London School of Journalism. He loves all things tennis, most of all the Federer and del Potro forehands.

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