Ana Ivanovic Splits With Coach Heinz Gunthardt

Lauren LynchCorrespondent IINovember 1, 2010

ROME - MAY 07:  Ana Ivanovic of Serbia speaks with her coach during her match against María José Martínez Sánchez of Spain during Day Five of the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 7, 2010 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

(October 30, 2010) Ana Ivanovic has spent recent months rebuilding her ranking. The former No. 1 will try to continue her climb with a new coach. Ivanovic has split with her coach of nine months, Heinz Gunthardt. Ivanovic , who announced the coaching change on her official website, said she is seeking a coach who can travel full-time with her.

Gunthardt, who began coaching Ivanovic in February and continued to coach her through Beijing earlier this month, has been a court-side presence at most of Ivanovic's tournaments, but has commentary responsibilities as the lead analyst for Swiss television that prevents him from traveling as a full-time coach. 

"I'm very grateful to Heinz for all his hard work, and for sharing his knowledge with me," said Ivanovic. "We had nice success together and we definitely made improvements to my game. Looking ahead, I really need a full-time coach who is with me at all tournaments and during training periods. Heinz has family and other obligations, which I fully respect, so he is unable to give me the kind of commitment I am looking for."

Gunthardt, who formerly coached Steffi Graf, helped Ivanovic regain her confidence and form in recent weeks.

"It's been a real pleasure working with Ana. She's got lots of talent and I feel in the last few months the hard work that we have put in started to pay off," Gunthardt said. "If Ana feels she needs a coach at her side full-time to be able to further improve, it cannot be me. I wish her all the best and I will be supporting her."

Ripping returns with the authority she displayed in her days as World No. 1, Ivanovic broke serve six times in a 6-1, 6-2, 47-minute demolition of Patty Schnyder in the Generali Ladies Linz final two weeks ago.

The 22-year-old Ivanovic won her ninth career title and first championship since she claimed the 2008 Linz crown. Ivanovic raised her record in finals to 9-4 after dispensing Schnyder in the shortest final of the year.

Gunthardt helped Graf win 12 majors during their time together and is known for his emphasis on technique and footwork.
Prior to joining forces with Gunthardt, Ivanovic was participating in the adidas development program. She had been working with Sven Groeneveld on a part-time basis. Groeneveld, who works with several adidas-sponsored players as part of its developmental program, guided Ivanovic to the World No. 1 ranking and the 2008 Roland Garros title.

While Ivanovic has praised Groeneveld as one of the best coaches she's worked with and has expressed interest in reprising the partnership in the past, his work with adidas has prevented him from working as her full-time coach in the past.

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