Maria Sharapova-Jimmy Connors Pairing Quickly Goes Way of Hollywood Marriage
When Maria Sharapova announced she was bringing Jimmy Connors to her team earlier this summer, many expected that it might not be a match made in heaven.
Few, however, expected this.
After just one match—a second-round loss to Sloane Stephens at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati—the two decorated champions have parted ways.
Their partnership, which lasted only 33 days and one competitive match, makes Kim Kardashian's 72-day marriage look like a lifetime.
Sharapova announced that she was teaming up with Connors after she parted ways with her longtime coach Thomas Hogstedt following her early exit at Wimbledon.
Rumors of discord began to spread last night when Connors tweeted he was home in Santa Barbara enjoying a vodka on the rocks. Sharapova had told reporters that she was probably going to be training in Florida before heading to New York for the U.S. Open, which starts on Aug. 26.
Back home in SB-- family,pups, and home cooking. Oh-- I forgot, and a vodka on the rocks.— Jimmy Connors (@JimmyConnors) August 15, 2013
On Friday morning there was a report in The London Times that Sharapova had dumped the controversial Connors, and soon the split was confirmed by Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud, and the four-time Grand Slam Champion herself.
The incredibly quick split has brought out the jokes on social media.
Jimmy can expect an invoice for all of the residual Sugarpova.— Davey (@ovafanboy) August 16, 2013
Even Andy Roddick, who worked with Connors from 2006-08, has added his commentary to the mix.
Who took the under on a match and a half for Connors/Sharapova ?? If you did, congrats on your newfound wealth .... You smell terrific— andyroddick (@andyroddick) August 16, 2013
One of the reasons this is so shocking is because after Sharapova's loss to Stephens three days ago in Cincinnati, there was no outward indication that she was going to make any changes.
After the upset, she told reporters she enjoyed having Connors in her corner:
It's great to have his support. And as I said, I mean, I'm enjoying being part of his experience and him—you know, just the understanding of certain situations. He's been there, done that. It's just nice to have.
Connors, meanwhile, seemed to be looking toward the future as well:
Every good round starts with a bogey-- Not the start we wanted, so back to work tomorrow.— Jimmy Connors (@JimmyConnors) August 14, 2013
Unfortunately for him, Sharapova didn't have quite the same outlook on bogeys.
This breakup is just another bump in a tumultuous summer for the world No. 3. After going 36-5 the first six months of the year, Sharapova is just 1-2 since her loss in the French Open final and is reeling as she goes to the U.S. Open, where she is defending semifinal points from last year.
Before her stunning loss in the second round of Wimbledon, Sharapova was having one of the most consistent years of her career. In fact, between the Australian Open and French Open, Sharapova beat everyone in her path except for Serena Williams.
But with losses to Michelle Larcher de Brito and Stephens this summer, and hip troubles that caused her to withdraw from two tournaments, Sharapova heads into New York with several question marks.
And, according to Doug Robson of USA Today, she'll be tackling those problems solo.
Sharapova-Connors always felt like an odd pairing. The Russian will go it alone in NYC at the Open. #wta— Douglas Robson (@dougrobson) August 16, 2013
As competitive and hardworking as she is, it's unlikely that Sharapova will go without a coach for long, and there's no doubt she'll have her pick of candidates.
However, future coaches might want to consider adding a longevity clause to their contract.
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