A good coach can make all the difference in the world for a tennis player, and a coaching change can be a great way to start the New Year. Kei Nishikori hired Brad Gilbert. Andy Murray decided to keep Alex Corretja. After a difficult 2010 season, Jelena Jankovic is trying out Andrei Pavel.
Japanese player Kei Nishikori is currently 98th in the world in singles and has been in the top 60. At 21 years old—the same age Andy Roddick was when he worked with Brad Gilbert—Nishikori plans to have Gilbert travel with him as well as his full-time coach, Dante Bottini. Gilbert has also coached high-profile players Andre Agassi and Andy Murray. He plans to begin training Nishikori for the Aircel Chennai Open on January 3 and balance his role as an ESPN tennis broadcaster.
Nishikori is excited to have Gilbert on his team and said, "Brad's knowledge as a former top player, as well as his coaching success, is something that can help me become a better player."
Speaking of Brad Gilbert's former coach-ees, Andy Murray decided to stick with Coach Corretja after looking for a coach the last couple of months after firing Miles Maclagan. He plans to keep him around at least until Wimbledon. Murray plans to work with both Corretja and Dani Vallverdu with no intention to appoint a full-time and permanent coach any time soon. Murray will start the New Year by playing in the Hopman Cup.
Former World No. 1 Jelena Jankovic dropped to eighth in 2010 and ended the season in poor health. She decided to hire on Andei Pavel, who was the former world No. 13 and won nine ATP singles and doubles titles, on a trial basis. On January 9, she will begin the 2011 season in Sydney with Coach Pavel by her side.
"I'm hoping to train hard and start the 2011 season strong—I'm always trying to be a better player and I'm really looking forward to the new season," Jankovic said on her official website.
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