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ATP Coaches Test Ends Tennis Hypocrisy

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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Patrick Mouratoglou congratulates the ATP for pressing pause on training charades.

Mouratoglou, who trains Simona Halep after years of training Serena Williams, applauds the ATP’s decision to allow “off-court” training on a trial basis and says it means “no more hypocrisy” for the sport.

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Plus: ATP to trial training starting next month

the The ATP announced that it will allow training from designated seats in the stands beginning the week of July 11, 2022 as part of a trial spanning the second half of the season.

The test includes the US Open and will run until the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals in Turin in November.

“Congratulations to the ATP for ‘legalizing’ a practice that has been happening in almost every match for decades,” Mouratoglou posted on Twitter. “No more hypocrisy.”

Mouratoglou was at the center of a coaching controversy in the 2018 US Open final during Serena Williams’ straight-set loss to Naomi Osaka.

The 20th-seeded Serena received a game penalty for verbally abusing chair umpire Carlos Ramos after the veteran referee hit her with two warnings: one for coaching and one for breaking her racket.

Mouratoglou, who was caught on courtside cameras making a “come forward” gesture with both hands, told ESPN pam shriver tried to coach Williams, but said that’s standard procedure for coaches in major finals. Mouratoglou cited Toni Nadal for constantly training from the stands for years.

“I’m honest. I was training,” Mouratoglou told his ESPN colleague. “I don’t think he looked at me, but like 100 percent of the coaches in 100 percent of the games. [coach].

“I was training, Sascha [Bajin] I was also training. Toni Nadal is training every point and has never given a single point [penalty].”

Coach Mouratoglou’s admission drew condemnation on social media from Hall of Famer and TV tennis analyst Todd Woodbridge, who called it “disappointing” for such a high-profile coach to admit to chronically breaking a rule. basic.

Critics argue that legalizing coaching simplifies the game, shatters tennis tradition and gives an unfair advantage to stars who make the most money and can afford entire teams of coaches, while young players sometimes simply can’t afford the expense. to pay a coach to travel. the world.

Proponents claim that since bleacher training has been going on in professional tennis for years, legalizing it is a common sense change.

Tennis Now asked Toni Nadal for his opinion on the legalization of training at a clinic he organized at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center in Mexico before the pandemic. Toni Nadal said that he supports training from the stands but opposes training on the court.

Rafa Nadal’s original uncle and trainer admitted he frequently coached the king of clay from the support box, but called the practice “normal”. Toni Nadal said that since you can hear a stadium full of fans commenting during a match, why can’t a coach speak as well?

“For me, I wouldn’t like to go on court,” Toni Nadal told Tennis Now after a morning training session in Costa Mujeres, Mexico. “But I liked to talk when I was the coach. Because when you’re in the stadium with the whole crowd, the only one who can’t speak is the coach, it’s incredible.

“I think it was normal for me. [to coach from the box]. In tennis you don’t talk because what can you say? It’s not like football. There’s not much you can talk about [during a game].”

Pointing to the fact that box training doesn’t interrupt the flow of a match while potentially inspiring players and engaging fans, Toni Nadal suggests box training already happens so often that “it’s normal” to legalize it.

“For me, it’s normal that you can talk a little bit,” Toni Nadal told Tennis Now. “Saying something positive, encouraging, is part of the competition.

“Sometimes tactical, but not too much. For me, life has changed, so we have to change something.” [in tennis]. So yes, he would support the coaches so they can speak from the box, not on the court.”

Photo Credit: Simona Halep Instagram

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