25 Greatest Players Turned Coaches/Broadcasters in Tennis History

Madhusudan G Rao@madhugrContributor IIIApril 22, 2012

25 Greatest Players Turned Coaches/Broadcasters in Tennis History

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    Players after their retirement cannot stay out of tennis for long. They return back in the form of a coach or commentator.

    Although there has been a big demand for players to ply their wares on the Senior Tour of late, coaching or broadcasting seems to be the favorite profession for ex-players.

    The two roles also provide the players a financial cushion as well as a chance to stay in touch with the game that has given them name and fame.

    Let us look at 25 players who have become coaches or broadcasters. 

Jimmy Arias

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    Jimmy Arias reached a career-high ranking of No. 5 during his career but could not live up to his early reputation as a child prodigy.

    Arias currently serves as a commentator for ESPN and the Tennis Channel.

Tim Henman

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    Tim Henman was unlucky to have never won Wimbledon or for that matter, any Grand Slam in his career.

    He was the brightest hope from UK for a long time but could not fulfill the hopes of his fans.

    Henman became part of the commentary team for the BBC coverage of the 2008 Wimbledon Championships and has remained there since.

Justin Gimelstob

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    Justin Gimelstob was a player who started off promising but could not replicate the success on the ATP Tour.

    A career high of No. 63 on the tour, Gimelstob has been quite controversial with his blog for Sports Illustrated as well as the commentary for Tennis Channel.

Martina Hingis

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    Martina Hingis was ranked No. 1 for more than 200 weeks on the WTA Tour, thanks to her innumerable wins on the playing circuit.

    Martina has turned to a coaching consultant now at the Paris-based Patrick Mouratoglou academy.

    Martina Hingis seems to have started to like coaching and her wards include Daria Gavrilova, Yulia Putintseva, Naomi Broadly and Sachia Vickery.

    Let us see if any of these names become famous anytime soon.

Vijay Amritraj

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    Vijay Amritraj was one of the trio that formed the "ABC" of tennis in the '70s—Borg and Connors were the others forming the combo.

    After retirement, Vijay has been the face and voice to the Asian continent during Grand Slam tournaments.

    His witty remarks as well as his closeness to the players have ensured that Vijay is a sought-after broadcaster.

Tracy Austin

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    Tracy Austin is a former world No. 1 whose career was cut short by injuries.

    Austin has worked frequently as a commentator for NBC and the USA Network.

    Austin also worked for the Seven Network at the Australian Open as well as the BBC's Wimbledon coverage.

    Tracy has been working for the Tennis Channel. 

Pam Shriver

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    Pam Shriver became famous for her doubles matches with Martina Navratilova.

    Pam is one of the few who have won more than 100 career titles in the Open era.

    Pam has played the role of a mentor for Venus Williams (must have been a real challenge) for a short while.

    Her main role has been of a broadcaster for all the major television stations across USA, Europe and Australia.

Todd Woodbridge

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    Todd Woodbridge was among the most successful doubles players of all time, having won 16 Grand Slam men's doubles titles and six mixed doubles titles.

    He formed a great pair with Mark Woodforde in his playing days with whom he completed a career Golden Slam (after winning the gold in 1996 Olympics).

    Woodbridge is one of the few who have performed both roles of broadcaster (with Australia's Seven Network) as well as coach (of Australian Davis Cup team).

Mary Joe Fernandez

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    Starting off as a teenage prodigy, Mary Joe Fernandez ended her career well known on the doubles circuit.

    Mary Joe Fernandez has served as a tennis commentator for ESPN and joined CBS Sports as an analyst.

    Mary Joe also coaches the U.S. Fed Cup team, taking over from Zina Garrison.

Darren Cahill

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    Darren Cahill has a great knowledge of the game and had his greatest success with Lleyton Hewitt.

    Though he won only two titles in his playing career, the players he has coached include Lleyton Hewitt, Andre Agassi, Fernando Verdasco, Daniela Hantuchova, Andy Murray and Ernests Gulbis.

    Cahill also works as a tennis analyst for ESPN.

Lindsay Davenport

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    Lindsay Davenport was quite successful in her playing career. She was ranked No. 1 and had many Grand Slam wins in her career.

    After retirement, Davenport has been very successful as a broadcaster, mainly for the Tennis Channel.

    Her commentary has been liked by many for her neutral stance and level-headed predictions during the match, unlike her peers.

Alex Corretja

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    Alex Corretja was quite successful in his playing days, winning 17 titles on the tour.

    Alex was a clay-court specialist who took his Spanish team to Davis Cup triumph.

    Corretja became a temporary coach of British tennis player Andy Murray in 2008 and 2009 during the clay-court season before mutually parting ways. 

    Alex is now in charge of the Spanish Davis Cup team as its new captain, a role he is looking forward to.

Patrick McEnroe

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    Patrick McEnroe may have been overshadowed in a long way by his illustrious brother John but in coaching, the junior has made a name for himself.

    With McEnroe as captain, the Davis Cup team won the cup for the U.S. in 2007.

    Patrick resigned the position of team captain in 2010, serving for the longest of any US Davis Cup captain.

    McEnroe serves as a TV commentator for CBS Sports and ESPN.

Jimmy Connors

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    Jimmy Connors is one of the legends on the ATP Tour who last played the role of a coach of Andy Roddick (though it lasted little more than 18 months).

    Connors also did commentary with NBC for the French Open and Wimbledon in 1990 and 1991. 

    During the Wimbledon of 2005, 2006 and 2007, Connors commentated for BBC alongside John McEnroe, giving rise to various arguments during their stint. 

    Connors has been an analyst for the Tennis Channel since 2009.

Jim Courier

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    Jim Courier is another No. 1 on the ATP Tour who has been successful as a commentator post-retirement.

    Courier has served as a tennis analyst and commentator for the USA Network, NBC Sports, TNT and the Seven Network.

    Since 2005, Courier has headed the commentary at the Australian Open where he conducts the post-match on-court interviews with the winning player. 

Peter Lundgren

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    Peter Lundgren played tennis along with the likes of Edberg and Wilander, though he was not as consistent as they were.

    Lundgren first started as a coach of Marcelo Rios and helped him break into the Top 10 before parting ways.

    Working with Roger Federer from 2000 to 2003, Lundgren helped the Swiss ace reach higher grounds.

    Marat Safin was next on the list for Peter, whom he guided to the 2005 Australian Open championship.

    Peter was later involved with Marcos Baghdatis, Grigor Dimitrov and Stanislas Wawrinka.

Chris Evert

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    Chris Evert was the darling of the media during her playing days and surely things have not changed in her current role as well.

    Chris started an academy in her name in Florida helping tennis hopefuls.

    Chris has also been busy contributing articles to the Tennis magazine.

    In 2011, Chris Evert joined ESPN as a tennis commentator.

Ivan Lendl

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    Ivan Lendl was a formidable No. 1 in his prime, a player who terrorized his opponents by his mental strength and physical stamina.

    Lendl was initially relatively silent upon retiring. 

    Late in 2011, Lendl made a comeback to the ATP Tour as the coach of Andy Murray. 

    With the results Murray has been putting up, it definitely looks like a win-win relationship for both.

Paul Annacone

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    Paul Annacone is a highly respected coach who has mentored some of the best players on the ATP Tour.

    Though he won only three titles as a player, his list of mentees include Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Tim Henman.

    He has not been as successful with the British Davis Cup team, however.

    Paul's current stint with Federer will hopefully see the Swiss master back at his best.

Larry Stefanki

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    Another modest talent while playing, Larry Stefanki has taken three players to the top as a coach.

    Players whom he has coached include John McEnroe, Marcelo Rios, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Tim Henman.

    Rios and Kafelnikov both achieved their No. 1 tennis rankings under his guidance, and Henman reached a career high of No. 4 under his coaching.

    Stefanki was also the coach of Fernando Gonzalez, and currently has been mentoring Andy Roddick.

Billy Jean King

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    Billy Jean King is one of the legends on the WTA Tour and was also famous for her "Battle of the Sexes."

    In the 1990s, King became the captain of the United States Fed Cup team and coach of its women's Olympic tennis squad. 

    King guided the U.S. to the Fed Cup championship in 1996 and helped the team capture Olympic gold medals.

    King has been busy with her comments on tennis on different channels.

Brad Gilbert

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    Brad Gilbert was ranked No. 4 in the ATP rankings and mentored Andre Agassi to reach the pinnacle of tennis success. 

    Andy Roddick, Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori have been his wards since.

    Winning ugly was his style of play and not surprisingly the name of his book he wrote where he explained his strategy for players to defeat highly skilled opponents.

    Gilbert appears as a tennis analyst on and off for the ESPN channel.

Tony Roche

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    Tony Roche can be regarded as the godfather of coaching for being the influence of many players in their prime.

    He is also very well known for coaching many Grand Slam-winning world No. 1s, like Ivan Lendl, Patrick Rafter, Roger Federer, Lleyton Hewitt and former world No. 4, Jelena Dokic.

    Tony Roche currently coaches many junior players at Sydney Olympic Park to help them prepare for their ATP junior qualification pro tours.

Martina Navratilova

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    Martina Navratilova is arguably the greatest player to have ever played on the WTA Tour. She has played many roles after her retirement on the regular tour.

    Martina played tennis till her age of 51 and subsequently is a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy. 

    Martina has joined the Tennis Channel as a lead analyst.

John McEnroe

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    McEnroe has focused his energies towards the role of a broadcaster, often making his point with his natural wit and cynicism (when not playing on the Senior Tour).

    One wonders if it would be possible for John to coach or even mentor any player (though he served for a short while as the U.S. Davis Cup captain in September 1999).