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Maria Sharapova hires Jimmy Connors as her new coach

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Jimmy Connors

Jimmy Connors has been hired by Maria Sharapova to be her new coach. (Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova has hired eight-time Slam champion Jimmy Connors to replace Thomas Hogstedt as her new coach.

“I am happy to announce that Jimmy Connors will be my new coach,” Sharapova wrote 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.”

It’s an outside-the-box hire for Sharapova, a four-time major champion, who announced her split from Hogstedt after nearly three years on Thursday. Sharapova can no doubt match Connors’ trademark intensity and focus and his game-style, built on a foundation of flat, power hitting was not dissimilar to Sharapova’s, though Connors was much more willing to finish points at the net. Now 60-years old, Connors’ only significant coaching experience prior to this appointment was a 19-month stint with Andy Roddick from 2006 to 2008. Under his tutelage, Roddick made the final of the 2006 U.S. Open and won five ATP titles.

Sharapova and Serena exchange verbal volleys before Wimbledon

Aside from any tactical advice, one area in which Connors can help Sharapova is in her mental preparation when approaching her fiercest on-court rivalry against Serena Williams. Currently ranked No. 2 behind Williams, Sharapova hasn’t beaten her since 2004, going 0-13 over the last nine years. Her inability to solve her “Serena Problem” has cost her dearly on court. Five of their last six meetings have been in a tournament final, with Williams’ most recent win coming in Paris at the French Open, where Sharapova was defending champion. Connors’ ability to deal with his most intense rivalries with John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, and Ilie Nastase will surely be a dinner topic at some point.

Here’s Andy Roddick talking about his decision to partner with Connors back in 2007:

  • Published On Jul 13, 2013
  • 29 comments
    JohnG2
    JohnG2

    I would have fired her last coach too. but Jimmy i'm not quite getting it. other then good press. Job number one is figuring out a way to beat Serena, not so sure how this helps that. 

    gopdogg
    gopdogg

    I hope Conners is more successful in helping Sharapova solve her Serena problem than he was helping Roddick solve his Federer problem.

    Also, will Conners make Sharapova lose 15 lbs (15 POUNDS!!!) like he did with Roddick?  Or would that be considered sexist?

    ashok.korwar
    ashok.korwar

    choosing a coach is a very personal decision.. only Sharapova knows why she did it and only she will know whether it worked out or not.. the rest of us should keep quiet.

    aachooo11
    aachooo11

    Sharapova needs some sound tactics. Connors will juice her up-sounds kind of sexual but didn't mean it that way. Which isn't a negative.

    She has enough ghosts as it is without Serena. Also depends too much on her high risk serve which adds unnecessary stress to her matches-like Benoit Paire.

    joeshine730
    joeshine730

    Jimmy will try and drill her under the sheets

    Sportsfan18
    Sportsfan18

    I'm sure Jimmy is "excited" to be working around Sharapova.  I think she'll actually teach old Jimbo more than he's going to teach her, but have fun anyway Jimbo...

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    here i am sista chris m and wanna be a stud. LET'S GO?

    6marK6
    6marK6

    Publicity stunt by both of them. Sharapova wants more attention and Jimmy wants to sell some books. Will be a miracle if he stays with her past the US Open. And for the record, Connors is the biggest A-Hole in the history of tennis.

    JohnG2
    JohnG2

    @gopdogg  There was no solution for the Roddick vs Fed issue. They were just too far apart in capability that even the perfect day Rod would need a lot of good luck. 

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @gopdogg if he could help her lose her SCREAMING, i would be happy. if she lost 15 lbs, she would still have that FAT hanging over the armpit of her ugly tennis outfit!

    JohnG2
    JohnG2

    @ashok.korwar I could be wrong but i suspect not. She get's a vast majority of her income from endorsements, seems a rather obvious ploy to generate more press for more bucks. It's been major "news" so only raises that visibility.

    This is a no way a criticism btw. She is a smart business women and get's her time to generate max income as an athlete is limited. This just seems more that play then how he can help her game. 

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @ashok.korwar  ok shhhhh. now if screamapova would do that, i could probably appreciate her tennis. but, the screaming is a real turnoff. is she trying to intimidate her opponents by shocking them with her inappropriate screaming at critical times or does she think that screaming increases the power of her shot. it would be interesting to have a physicist weigh in on, does screaming increase the power of a shot, or does it decrease the power of the shot.

    ANY, PHYSICIST OUT THERE CARE TO COMMENT???

    aachooo11
    aachooo11

    Funny how until recently she didn't even know who Benoit Paire was. She's earning lost of money but its frustrating to see her continuously losing to Serena when she has so much more potential. 

    ChrisM
    ChrisM

    @cleopatra209 Lastly...and this is going to piss you off the most....I'm done with you..you'll get no more responses and everyone will get to read how you were owned..and your little dumbass comeback will be left blowing in the wind...OUT!

    ChrisM
    ChrisM

    @cleopatra209 Finally...just admit (hopefully) that you are under 16...then I'll cut you slack, your pig headed stupidity will at least kinda make sense.

    ChrisM
    ChrisM

    BTW.....how you going to deal with the fact that I'm a Serena AND Masha fan...oh no I didn't...don't be bringing MATURITY all up in your grill...able to enjoy 2 rival players with out having to stoop to idiot level and diss on one or the other, you gotta' be so confused....LMFAO!!!!!

    ChrisM
    ChrisM

    @cleopatra209 Oh HI MENTAL MIDGET!!! Sorry I'm late...so whadda' ya want to do, talk about how ugly she is...gee...then I wonder why she gets PAID MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FOR MODELING AND ENDORSEMENTS...oh I get it, everyone is blind and more stupid than you?  Sit down and shut up!  OWNED!!!

    BostonBruins23
    BostonBruins23

    @6marK6  Spot on. Met him. Knew him just a bit. A joy to watch play, except the tantrums. First rate A-Hole.

    ashok.korwar
    ashok.korwar

    @cleopatra209 @ashok.korwar 

    some exhalation/grunting on impact does help to focus the energies of the body on hitting the ball.. but screaming was probably taught to her by her coach.. Boliterri.. I know my son was taught to grunt by his first coach. I am surprised nobody is blaming him..

    trilly3807
    trilly3807

    @aachooo11 I think it was John McEnroe that said when Sharapova was up against Serena Williams, she was simply facing a better athlete. Williams is a phenomenal athlete & so I think McEnroe nailed it. 

    I don't know if Sharapova can ever reach Serena's physicality. As Williams said at the FO, "She (Maria) played me better than she has ever played me". Still, it wasn't nearly enough. 

    Maybe Connors can give Maria the "B game" she desperately needs.  Maria has nothing to turn to when "Plan A" doesn't work. I'd love to see the "rivalry" become a true rivalry where both rivals win some & lose some. I think Maria is something like 0-13 against Williams. Can't really call that a "rivalry".

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @ChrisM oh, my sista, what is up with the rants! calm down? i'm just messing with your idiot azz.  have a drink, take an ativan or valium. if, weed is your drug of choice, smoke a joint, but calm down.  i would hate to hear that you blew a vessel in that ignorant brain of yours. 

    listen i am seriously concerned about you. btw, what does all up in my grill mean? i know that wanna be a stud and vinnie barbarino are your BFF's and would be equally concerned about your bizarre behavior. i'm going to give a shout out to them. perhaps they can talk you down. and thanks for being done with me. wore you down didn't i, sista?

    and as don cornelius said at the end of SOUL TRAIN; LOVE, PEACE AND SOUL, IDIOT!!

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @cleopatra209 @Michael9SCREAMAPATRA is a name you should be able to identify with. Or do you prefer SHOUTAPATRA?

    Sharapova's screaming is an easy fix -- use whatever common sense you might have to turn down the volume of your TV. Better still, don't watch tennis when Sharapova plays.

    On the other hand, we can't turn off the brightness of our computer screens to avoid being offended by your annoying, meaningless, abusive shouting... otherwise we'll be missing everybody else's legitimate posts.


    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @Michael9 mikey9 i guess i like shouting in the commenting/posting vernacular, just like screamapova likes screaming, as she hits the ball.  the thing is that my typing screaming is not hurting ANYONES EARDRUMS!!! SCREAMAPOVA'S SCREAMING IS A TURNOFF, for fans of tennis.

     SO, NOW LOCK AND LOAD THAT!!

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @cleopatra209 @Michael9cleopatra: Actually you keep shouting: "Look at me. I can shout the loudest while posting menaingless comments as well as abuse at other people. That's why my selfish ego cannot tolerate other people who make noises during their high-performance activities as well as other people who happen to be more beautiful and shapely than myself". 


    Your shouting betrays your deep need for attention due to the ugliness, sadness, anger and jealousy you keep bottled up inside you.


    Here, learn some Internet etiquette: Writing in All Caps is Shouting, duh.

    "It is proper netiquette to refrain from using all capital letters in internet correspondence. All capital letters denote shouting in internet communication. Shouting at other users is not acceptable."

    http://tinyurl.com/d25kluc

    http://tinyurl.com/2fy5lqb


    Next, here is the dictionary again. Just like I helped you to learn the meaning of 'stalker' and 'abusive', now you can learn the meaninglessness of 'disquisitive' and 'hyperbolic'. In time, you might begin to understand what you're shouting about. Though I wouldn't bet on it. LOL.

    http://dictionary.reference.com/

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @Michael9 beautiful, screamapova? on whose scale of beauty? i recall another commenter calling her an AMAZON, agree. boliterri trained her to be a screamer. embarrassing! it is obviously an affectation to bring attention to her second rate playing style. IT IS LIKE LOOK AT ME. I CAN SCREAM LOUDER THAN ANY OTHER FEMALE TENNIS PLAYER!

    but, what i am most happy about mikey9, is as another poster taught me, you did not post a long rambling DISQUISITIVE, HYPERBOLIC STATEMENT.

    THANK YOU?!

    Michael9
    Michael9

    @cleopatra209 @ashok.korwar cleopatra: gosh, nobody is laughing at your pettiness. It's obvious you have issues about pretty Sharapova. It must really upset you that you can't hide behind your fake image of Cleopatra while beautiful, shapely Sharapova makes some noise on court :)

    cleopatra209
    cleopatra209

    @ashok.korwar thanks, so much, for the insight. so, her screaming was probably taught to her by her coach Boliterri. the screaming is volitional! voila, let's send her back to  Boliterri, and have him teach her not to scream. is that ok,  with you, my sistas,  CHRISM, WANNA BE A STUD AND VINNIE BARBARINO? SCREAMAPOVA, will truly be a beautiful princess and model,  when she stops SCREAMING, loses the fat under her armpit and the HULK shoulders! LAUGHING OUT LOUD!