Top 10 tennis coaches featuring Toni Nadal, Ivan Lendl and Marian Vajda
With Toni Nadal returning to the coaching hot seat with Felix-Auger Aliassime, Isaac Seelochan ranks his top 10 tennis coaches.
10 Richard Williams
Both Serena and Venus Williams would not have been where they are today without the early coaching guidance of their father.
Williams Senior began coaching older sister Venus when she was four years old and they would both practice at a local tennis court in Compton, California. It was the support of their father from an early age which propelled the Williams sisters onto greatness.
9 Goran Ivanisevic
The 2001 Wimbledon champion turned to coaching in 2013, when he began to work with his compatriot, Marin Cilic.
Under Ivanisevic’s tutelage, Cilic won the 2014 US Open before the two split in 2016.
Despite finishing runner-up at Wimbledon in 2017 and at the 2018 Australian Open, it is perhaps no coincidence that the Croat has failed to add to his Grand Slam title haul since his departure.
The former world No 2 has since coached the likes of Thomas Berdych and Milos Raonic before becoming one of Novak Djokovic’s current coaches during which time they have won three Grand Slams together.
8 Boris Becker
Becker’s time as coach of Djokovic between 2014 and 2016 saw the Serb claim six of his 18 Grand Slams as well as winning four in a row from Wimbledon 2015 to the 2016 French Open.
Although more famous for winning Wimbledon as a player aged 17, Becker played a key role in the development of Djokovic’s serve and mental game which have been important to the success of his career.
7 Nick Bollettieri
The tennis veteran has coached an impressive list of players including Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, and Monica Seles.
But he should also be recognised as playing a key role in the development of tennis academies having opened the prestigious IMG Academy (formerly now as the Nick Bollettieri Academy) in the late 1970’s.
6 Ivan Lendl
Who knows if Andy Murray would have ever won a Grand Slam without Ivan Lendl.
The Czech was brought into Murray’s team after he lost his first three Grand Slam finals and although the Brit would lose a fourth, it proved to be fifth time lucky at the 2012 US Open when Murray beat Djokovic to claim his maiden Grand Slam.
Together they also won two Wimbledon titles during different spells in 2013 and 2016 with Murray going onto becoming world number one before Lendl stepped away in 2018.
He later went onto coach Alexander Zverev, helping the German to win the 2018 ATP World Tour Finals but he could not replicate the success he had with Murray when it came to winning Grand Slams.
5 Patrick Mouratoglou
In 2012, when Serena Williams lost in the first round of the French Open to Virginie Razzano her career was at a low point. Shortly after she brought in Mouratoglou to try and revive her career.
The results have been spectacular since as he helped guide Williams to 10 of her 23 Grand Slam titles including four in a row from the 2014 US Open to Wimbledon 2015.
Along with his coaching role, he runs the successful Mouratoglou Academy in France and also began another coaching role in 2019 with young Greek star, Stephanos Tsitsipas.
4 Lennart Bergelin
A name many will not recognise, Bergelin was the long-standing coach of Bjorn Borg from 1971 to 1983.
“It’s true, he was like a father to me,” Borg said on several occasions about the man who helped him win his 11 Grand Slam titles.
3 Magnus Norman
The Swede had a major impact on the career of Stan Wawrinka who went from being a solid top 10 player to a Grand Slam champion under him.
Starting off by winning the 2014 Australian Open, the Swiss went onto win the 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open during this most successful period of his career.
Norman was also Robin Soderling’s coach during his shock victory over Rafael Nadal at the 2009 French Open – the Spaniard’s first loss at the event and only his second overall.
2 Toni Nadal
The former coach of Rafael Nadal, 16 of Rafa’s 20 major titles came under the coaching guidance of his uncle Toni. Few coaching relationships have lasted longer with Nadal Snr first becoming his nephew’s coach in 1990.
Such was the bond between the pair that Nadal resisted calls to change coach during his struggles with form and confidence in 2015 and 2016.
His faith was rewarded as the Spaniard went onto clinch the 2017 French and US Open before his uncle stepped back from coaching duties at the end of the year.
But Toni Nadal has recently announced a shock return to coaching in 2021 and will begin to work with Felix-Auger Aliassme at the Monte Carlo Masters.
1 Marian Vajda
There has been one constant in the successful career of Novak Djokovic – Marian Vajda.
The Slovakian has been involved in the world number one’s coaching set-up for all 18 of his Grand Slam victories.
They briefly parted ways in 2017 after a period of poor results for Djokovic but shortly after reuniting in 2018, he guided the Serb back to the top of the game with titles at Wimbledon and the US Open that year.
Both an excellent tactician and a calming influence, Vajda deserves to be recognised for his player’s success as the games best coach.
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