One and done. After working together for just over a month, Maria Sharapova has reportedly fired Jimmy Connors after just one match.
The London Times reports Sharapova made the decision just hours after losing to an error-riddled match to Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-3 on Wednesday in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In the wake of her second-round loss to Michelle Larcher de Brito at Wimbledon last month, Sharapova announced that she parted ways with long-time coach Thomas Hogstedt and was pairing up with Connors. She subsequently withdrew from two U.S. Open lead-up tournaments in Stanford, California and Toronto, Canada. She cited a hip injury she picked up at Wimbledon, but the withdrawals also gave her a longer training block with Connors.
Andy Roddick, now a host for soon-to-be launched Fox Sports 1, was the only player Connors coached before being hired by Sharapova. Roddick offered his thoughts on the quick-split via Twitter:
Who took the under on a match and a half for Connors/Sharapova ?? If you did, congrats on your newfound wealth …. You smell terrific—
(@andyroddick) August 16, 2013
With the start of the U.S. Open less than two weeks away, Sharapova confirmed after the match that she would not take a wildcard into next week’s New Haven Open, and will instead return to Florida to train. That means the four-time Grand Slam champion will head to Flushing having played just one match on hard court since Wimbledon.
After Sharapova’s loss to Stephens, Connors appeared ready to shrug it off and get back to work to help Sharapova prepare for the U.S. Open:
Every good round starts with a bogey– Not the start we wanted, so back to work tomorrow.—
Jimmy Connors (@JimmyConnors) August 14, 2013
Then last night he sent a, in retrospect, amusing tweet revealing he was back home in California taking in a stiff drink. Note his Russian drink of choice:
Back home in SB– family,pups, and home cooking. Oh– I forgot, and a vodka on the rocks.—
Jimmy Connors (@JimmyConnors) August 15, 2013