Maria Sharapova parts ways with coach, hires Jimmy Connors
Maria Sharapova didn’t take long in hiring a new coach, announcing on Saturday that Jimmy Connors will replace Thomas Hogstedt, who oversaw her training for the last three years and helped her return to the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis.
Connors, an eight-time champion of Grand Slam tournaments, worked with Sharapova before the 2008 Australian Open, which she won. He had coached Andy Roddick for two years before resigning in 2008.
Sharapova announced on Friday that her and Hogstedt had agreed to a mutual parting of the ways.
“I am happy to announce that Jimmy Connors will be my new coach,” Sharpova said in a statement on her official website. “I have known Jimmy for many years and we briefly worked together in 2008 just before the Australian Open. I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments.”
Hogstedt joined Sharapova’s team in late 2010 as she continued a comeback from shoulder surgery, assisting then-coach and hitting partner Michael Joyce.
Sharapova, who had not made it to the semifinals of a Grand Slam event since winning the 2008 Australian Open, vaulted from a world ranking of No. 18 to No. 1 under Hogstedt’s tutelage.
Sharapova, who last held the No. 1 ranking in 2005, had a banner 2012 when she claimed the top ranking while completing a career Grand Slam when winning her fourth major, the French Open. She also earned the silver medal at the London Olympics that summer.
Those were the two best results she had under Hogstedt. She did not return to a final at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open or the Australian Open.
Sharapova, who lost in the second round at Wimbledon and is ranked No. 2 behind Serena Williams, released this statement on her website with the announcement:
“After almost 3 years of working together, Thomas Hogstedt and I decided to part ways. Due to personal issues, he was not able to travel in the near future and we both agreed it was the right time to move our separate ways.
“I am very thankful for all his work, and wish him much success in the future.
“I will be announcing my new coach in a few days. Very excited!”
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