Maria Sharapova splits with coach
Maria Sharapova has split with coach Thomas Hogstedt, according to an announcement on her official website.
"After almost 3 years of working together, Thomas Hogstedt and I decided to part ways," the statement read. "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."
Sharapova hired Hogstedt at the end of 2010 to serve as a "co-coach" with her then hitting partner/coach, Michael Joyce. Hogstedt joined the team when Sharapova was ranked No. 18 in her comeback from shoulder surgery and had not progressed past the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam tournament since she won the Australian Open in 2008.
Once Hogstedt took over full-time coaching duties at the start of 2011, her results took off. That year she made the French Open semifinals and Wimbledon final and won two WTA Premier titles. The team improved Sharapova's footwork and balance while reshaping her game to play with more margin and use more topspin to keep herself in the rallies. That work paid off in 2012, when she won the French Open to complete her career Grand Slam and recaptured the No. 1 ranking for the first time since before her shoulder surgery. She also won the silver medal at the Olympics and made the Australian Open final and U.S. Open semifinal.
Sharapova made her second straight French Open final this year and has won two Premier titles (Indian Wells and Stuttgart). She will announce her new coach in the coming days.
Sharapova isn't the only high-profile player to announce a coaching change. Ana Ivanovic has parted ways with Nigel Sears, her coach since July 2011. Ivanovic had hired Sears away from his position as Head of Women's Tennis at the LTA.
A statement on Ivanovic's website read: "Ana and Nigel Sears’ coaching agreement has come to an end by mutual agreement. Briton Sears was appointed as coach in July 2011 on a two-year contract, which the pair have chosen not to renew."
Under Sears' tutelage, Ivanovic reached her highest ranking since 2009 (No. 12) but won just one title.
"I’d like to thank Nigel for his dedication and professionalism," Ivanovic's statement read. " I enjoyed working with him." Sears, who has also worked with Amanda Coetzer and Daniela Hantuchova, is the father of Andy Murray's girlfriend, Kim.