Unsettled coaching situations for several big names as season draws to close
Several players have made news in recent weeks by splitting with their coaches. Here's a quick roundup of some big names with unsettled coaching situations as the offseason approaches:
Roger Federer: After Federer's split with Paul Annacone, I'd be surprised to see him go forward with anyone other than his well-established team of Swiss Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi and fitness trainer Pierre Paganini. Though Darren Cahill's name has popped up in the very fluid rumor mill, he has such a good thing going with his ESPN and Adidas duties that it's hard to see him walking away even to coach Federer, who approached the Australian about the job in 2009. The more important questions for Federer are how he'll schedule 2014, whether he'll change permanently to a larger racket and whether he can remain healthy for a full season.
Maria Sharapova: She still hasn't announced a successor to Thomas Hogstedt -- yes, I'm ignoring the flash-in-a-pan Jimmy Connors debacle -- and she's not the type of player I could see thriving without a coach. Whoever takes the new job will have a delicate start, given Sharapova's shoulder injury.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga: The eighth-ranked Tsonga says he's close to replacing Roger Rasheed, with whom he severed ties in August after less than one year. Rasheed is now working with Grigor Dimitrov on a trial basis.
Laura Robson: She has split with both Zeljko Krajan and Andy Murray's former coach, Miles Maclagan, this year. The 19-year-old's talent and upside make this position attractive. Several big names have been linked to the job, including Hogstedt and Sven Groeneveld. Robson should take her time with this hire. She's already earned a reputation for churning through coaches and needs to find someone who understands her game and personality.
Bernard Tomic: The 20-year-old Aussie says he's looking for a coach to replace his father, John, who is serving an ATP ban after being found guilty of assaulting his son's former hitting partner. Tomic's game would be a fun one to help mold from such a young age, but who would want the position knowing that his father will be keeping a close eye? Tomic's reputation for having a poor work ethic doesn't help, either.
Ana Ivanovic: The 25-year-old Serb parted ways with Nigel Sears in July and hasn't appointed a full-time successor yet. The prospect of working with Ivanovic has always tempted coaches. She has the talent, work ethic and desire, but needs someone who can help her put the pieces together on the mental side.
Sam Stosur: Stosur has actually had some of her best results this year after cutting ties with longtime coach David Taylor this summer, winning the Southern California Open (Taylor was still at the helm but the partnership was pretty much done by then) in August and the Japan Open last week. What will the 19th-ranked Stosur do next after two disappointing seasons following her 2011 U.S. Open title? She'll be 30 next year, and reinvesting in a proven coach would mean going all-in for one last push late in her career.
Caroline Wozniacki: This is the long-standing "open" coaching position that never seems as open as it should be. Wozniacki, 23, seems staunchly committed to sticking with her father as coach, but it's hard not to think that if the right person came around, the former No. 1 might finally relent. Ryan Harrison: He split with Tres Davis this summer and has been working with the USTA in Boca Raton, Fla. The USTA setup could be good for the 21-year-old Harrison, who is 11-21 this year and ranked No. 108, but a player with his drive and ambition will probably want a voice of his own.