Jimmy Connors is an eight-time winner of Grand Slam tournaments and had coached Maria Sharapova before.© AFP 2013/ Patrick Kovarik | Don Emmert
WASHINGTON, August 19 (RIA Novosti) – Embattled Russian tennis champion Maria Sharapova has dumped her latest coach, US men’s tennis legend Jimmy Connors, after a single match, cutting short a partnership that had lasted just over a month, according to media reports.
"It’s not the right fit for this time in my career," the Tennis.com website said Sunday, quoting an emailed statement from Sharapova. News of the split was reported Friday by the ESPN sports broadcast network and The Times of London newspaper.
Sharapova, 26, recruited Connors, 60, in July to replace her previous coach, Thomas Hogstedt, following her shock 2nd round defeat at Wimbledon in June. Sharapova had previously worked with Connors in 2008, after which she won the Australian Open.
But following a loss to American Sloane Stephens at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati last Tuesday – her first match since Wimbledon – it was curtains for the Sharapova-Connors team-up, the reports said.
Connors, an eight-time Grand Slam tournament winner, was sanguine about the firing, Tweeting Thursday:
Back home in SB-- family,pups, and home cooking. Oh-- I forgot, and a vodka on the rocks.— Jimmy Connors (@JimmyConnors) August 15, 2013
The Belarusian player Victoria Azarenka then added to Sharapova’s woes by winning the Cincinnati tournament Sunday, ascending to #2 on Women’s Tennis Association rankings, relegating Sharapova to 3rd place.
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