Former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who is set to fall out of the top 15 for the first time in more than five years, has parted ways with her second coach since January.
The 12th-ranked Wozniacki is no longer working with veteran Danish coach Michael Mortensen, reports Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. It's just the latest twist in the ongoing saga of Wozniacki's impenetrable coaching setup with her father, Piotr, who has been by her side throughout her career.
When it comes to the coaching hot seat in tennis, no seat is hotter than the one next to Wozniacki. Her decision to cut ties with Mortensen came just days after her disastrous performance in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. Wozniacki, the defending finalist, dropped 10 consecutive games during a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Jelena Jankovic -- her most lopsided hard-court defeat in years.
Mortensen, who coached Li Na when she won the French Open in 2011, told Ekstra Bladet that Wozniacki has chosen to focus on rediscovering the game that brought her to No. 1 in 2010 rather than taking any suggestions he might have on how to improve it.
"I can't do much more right now," Mortensen said, as translated by Tennis.com. "It's better if the two of them continue working alone.
"Caroline doesn't feel that the time is right to work on the things I'd like to change in her game. She wants to work on the things she emphasizes and that's totally fine.
"There's a lot of pressure on her and a lot of points she has to defend, and she wants to become familiar with her own game again."
Mortensen was brought in after Wozniacki split with Thomas Hogstedt, with whom she worked for just three months. Mortensen was to work with Wozniacki for four tournaments through next week's Sony Open. But it was clear that Mortensen had not taken (or been given) full control of the coaching relationship. Piotr Wozniacki continued to handle mid-match coaching timeouts, which Caroline said she preferred because her father was a better communicator.
"I think Michael and my dad work well together, and I think my dad knows a way to get things through to me in a faster way when I'm on court and there is a two‑minute break," Wozniacki said in Indian Wells, when asked about her coaching setup. "So that's how I feel best. And Michael comes in with some good inputs, as well, from the sideline."
Mortensen left open the possibility that he could rejoin the team when Wozniacki felt it was time to further develop her game.
Wozniacki's next tournament is next week's Sony Open in Miami. This post has been updated.