I recall some of these moves happening a few months ago, but my discussion here was dormant. No need to dig into much obscure commentary out there, but just mention what we know from a basic read on some players and their coaching carousels.
Obviously this isn’t thorough and only a partial account of the myriad coaching moves.
Djokovic is the most intriguing player on tour at this point because, for one, he’s crawling back to prominence from his Djokollapse, which involved a complete overhaul of his box, other than the mysterious interloping of one Pepé (le pew). All kidding aside, Novak has continued to solidify his coaching situation, manifesting from a fairly thoughtful design, we must say: the big-picture and part-spiritual counsel of Agassi and the day-to-day operations handled by the more pragmatic Radek Štěpánek. He appears, from at least a coaching stand-point, to be ready for war.
Here’s an article that addresses Djokovic’s strategy coach; indeed, Djokovic has apparently gone ahead and hired the well-known journalist/analyst/coach Craig O’Shannessy to handle strategic plans developed for specific players. One of O’Shannessy’s claims-to-fame as far as “tailor[ing] strategies for specific opponents” was the R2 Dustin Brown over Nadal affair at Wimbledon 2015.
Going from the more humble Marian Vajda, et al., to this super team is quite the development from the soon to be (May) 31 year-old.
We have no Novak results yet from Kooyong where we’re eager to see how the Serb’s actual tennis and physical health are progressing, but from a coaching perspective, looking good! 😉
Murray appears to have gone the opposite direction. Though we hear his hip surgery a couple of days ago was a success, the source of most (if not all) of his significant tennis success has gone away. Lendl and he have parted ways again. Tough to imagine, hip, age and all, that Murray will return to championship form, but who knows.
Wawrinka, too, has split ties with his great teacher. We won’t know about any of the effects these moves have on any of these players, of course, until play gets underway. I am very intrigued to see how Stan establishes himself, especially in the major draws where he became, once year or so, an immovable force. The image of him looking at Magnus, pointing at his head will be on all of our minds, at least mine, as Stan looks to over-power his opponents both physically and mentally. Remember: as dominant as he can be, smashing opponents with that heavy FH/BH combination, his three majors are against Nadal and Djokovic twice — so one could argue that the mental game of Stanimal is as critical as the physical, if not more so. This I attribute to Norman.
Zverev the younger, we already know, has added Juan Carlos Ferrero. Interesting choice and seems to be working. He has to be on everyone’s list as a next, non-Big 4 breakthrough.
Dimitrov continues with what has to be a solid coaching situation with Danny Vallverdu, who with just over a year’s work has the Bulgarian at #3 in the world. I’ve written a bit about this coach, who’s essentially a Lendl apprentice. There is no reason Grigor can’t continue to climb the sport, other than himself.
Kyrgios continues to operate on his own. One has to feel as if Nick is wasting some of his valuable time and youth on this solo effort. The absence of a strong coaching presence and the emotional shit-shows we have been accustomed to seeing are vastly correlated. If he continues to under-achieve, we probably see a Kyrgios coach in a last-ditch effort. Will be too-little-too-late, imho.
We know Nadal‘s coaching change by now, as well. Toni will apparently stay in Spain but for perhaps a major appearance. But we can all agree that the addition of Moya has paid-off big-time.
Federer, of course, still has his Ivan the terrible in tow. I began to lean racket as perhaps the biggest influence on the new Federer, but Ljubičić has clearly been an important factor. The mental game from Federer, for me, has improved, that business-end of the point/game/set/match. Sure the racket is big (literally), the injuries to others have facilitated, but Ivan’s friendly toughness has to have done wonders to Roger’s Swiss team.
And let’s not forget Federer’s fitness coach, Pierre Paganini. Can the 36 year-old’s fitness and health garner him more major accolades in this ATP literal survival-of-the-fittest?
Good luck to all of these blokes.