Caroline Wozniacki finished the season ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row. (Icon SMI)
Caroline Wozniacki has named Ricardo Sanchez as her new coach, according to the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.
The moves comes after a summer in which Wozniacki said she was working with a coach but refused to name him. Sanchez reportedly is not the "mystery coach" who watched Wozniacki's practice tapes and gave her feedback.
Sanchez is Jelena Jankovic's former coach. He helped her reach her only Grand Slam final, the 2008 U.S. Open, and capture the season-ending No. 1 ranking that year. Sanchez was quoted as saying that he would work closely with Wozniacki's father, Piotr, who, according to the world No. 1, suggested the hiring.
It's an interesting move for the 21-year-old Wozniacki, who has finished No. 1 for the second straight year but has yet to win a major. Sanchez is a fiery coach, often standing and cheering his charges, fist-pumping and pounding his chest on big points. He drew the ire of some observers when he was caught by cameras using a stopwatch to check the amount of time Venus Williams was taking between serves in a 2008 match against Jankovic in Stuttgart, Germany.
While Wozniacki generally plays a similar game as Jankovic -- both skew defensive in nature -- Jankovic was, at least in 2008, a much more skilled counterpuncher, with a backhand down the line that she could hit often for winners. Wozniacki has yet to develop that weaponry -- Sanchez has work to do with her serve and forehand -- but she is bigger, stronger and younger than Jankovic. Whether Sanchez can add some aggressive flourish and convince her that she must be willing to attack in the big moments, as opposed to waiting for her opponent to miss, is one of the big questions.
The Dane won a Tour-high 63 matches this year and tied for the lead with six titles. She said she's focusing on the majors and the Olympics in 2012, even if that emphasis costs her the No. 1 ranking. "I will make every effort to win a Grand Slam title and a medal at the Olympics," she reportedly told Ekstra Bladet. "These are my big goals. And if I prioritize differently should mean that I lose my first-place ranking, then I just have to accept that."