No. 6 Agnieszka Radwanska has hired 18-time Slam champion Martina Navratilova as a coaching consultant for 2015. Navratilova will work with Radwanska at the four Grand Slams next year while Tomasz Wiktorowski will remain Radwanska's full-time coach. Navratilova will join the team after Christmas for the pre-season training block in Miami.
Radwanska announced the hiring on Twitter:
"I am absolutely delighted that Martina has agreed to help me and my team next season," Radwanska said. "She is my idol in tennis and I am honored we will be working together. Her achievements speak for themselves and I hope that I can learn from all her experience."
Radwanska, 25, has been a consistent elite player and has finished in the top ten six of the last seven years, but continued to struggle at the majors. Radwanska's best result at a Slam came at Wimbledon in 2012 when she made the final and lost to Serena Williams 6-1, 5-7, 6-2. Since then she has gone no further than the semifinals twice, at Wimbledon in 2013 and earlier this season at the Australian Open. Radwanska's most successful major, Wimbledon, just happens to be the same one Navratilova dominated, winning the Venus Rosewater dish a record nine times. That's no coincidence.
"My goal is to win a Grand Slam, so to have someone with Martina's accomplishments in my corner is going to be hugely advantageous and give me a big boost," Radwanska said. "We are originally from a similar part of the world so we share an understanding about tennis and life, which I'm sure will translate into a successful relationship."
This will be Navratilova's first stint as a WTA elite coach, having spent most of her time since her retirement in 2006 as a television analyst. Over the course of her legendary career, which spanned over 30 years, Navratilova won 18 Slam singles titles as well as 31 doubles title and 10 mixed doubles titles. Her 167 singles titles and 177 doubles titles are an all-time record for any player, male or female.
"I did not sleep very well last night, thinking about getting back into match mode and the competitions," Navratilova said. "I am really excited about this opportunity to join Agnieszka's team and work with Tomasz and it is going to be a fun challenge."
Andy Murray, who hired Amelie Mauresmo as his coach last season, was quick to support the hire:
Radwanska's announcement comes just a few weeks after American Madison Keys hired three-time Slam champion and former No. 1 Lindsay Davenport as a part-time coach as well. Both hires follow the trend from the ATP last year of former Slam champions stepping into current coaching positions.
Radwanska begins her 2015 season at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia before playing her first WTA tournament of the year at the Sydney International.
(This post has been updated)