Bouchard Hires Connors To Work With Her

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

It appears a major personality is required to turn Genie Bouchard’s career around after last year’s Wimbledon finalist recent dry run that has seen her win just three of her past 17 matches. So step forward Jimmy Connors.

The 62 year-old former world no.1 who collected eight Grand Slam event titles including five US Opens, is a brave man to even consider stepping back into the women’s tennis scene after his coaching relationship with Maria Sharapova two years ago lasting just one match.

Connors did enjoy a longer and more rewarding time coaching Andy Roddick; the relationship was terminated after nearly two years, citing logistical difficulties. In reality Connors did not want to spend as much time traveling.

However Roddick did credit Connors for pulling him out of a serious slump similar to that Bouchard is currently suffering and said: “When we got together I was as close to down and out as I’ve been.

“I really credit him for that spark and getting me back to the top five. He’s helped my backhand a ton – it’s a lot more solid.”

Although there is little chance Connors and Bouchard will work together permanently, he has been integral to her preparations in New York this week in a bid to end a disheartening run in majors this year that saw the  21 year-old Canadian lose in the first round of both the French Open and Wimbledon.

A 7-6, 7-6 win over Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Bondarenko  in Cincinnati is Bouchard’s only post-Wimbledon victory and three weeks ago she announced the termination of her short-lived coaching relationship with Frenchman Sam Sumyk who guided Victoria Azarenka to the world no.1 spot and two Australian Open titles.

A statement issued by Bouchard’s management company WME/ IMG said the Canadian and Connors have ”no long-term plans at this time” for a coaching arrangement.

However, it pointed out Bouchard and Connors, ”have been friends for a few years” and that the two are working together this week while Connors is in New York. The player who began the year at no.7 on the WTA rankings, has been drawn to play Alison Riske of the United States in the first round.

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.