|Name:||Anabel Medina Garrigues|
|Role:||Coach to French Open Champion 2017 Jelena Ostapenko|
Ana Isabel Medina Garrigues is a Spanish professional tennis player. She reached a career high WTA Tour ranking of No. 16 on 4 May 2009, and has won 11 singles titles and 28 doubles titles, including the 2008 French Open and 2009 French Open with Virginia Ruano Pascual. Like many of her Spanish compatriots, she is a clay court specialist who grinds to win most of her rallies. However, unlike most of her fellow Spaniards, she prefers to play on hard courts. She won the WTA tournament in Strasbourg, France, beating Katarina Srebotnik in the final in May 2008, thus defending the title she won the previous year against Amélie Mauresmo. Her other singles titles came in Palermo in 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2001; Canberra in 2006; Strasbourg in 2005 and Fès in 2009.
More recently, Anabel has become known as the woman behind the success of Jelena Ostapenko as Anabel took her from being unseeded in the tournament to becoming the first Latvian player to ever win a grand slam.
Below is an article which appeared on the WTA website about how Anabel started her journey coaching Jelena…
The 34-year-old Spaniard is still an active player, but hasn’t competed since August of last year due to a lingering shoulder injury. During the off season, Medina Garrigues was the tournament director for an ITF event in her hometown Valencia, and now during this year’s clay season she’s taken up a new role: assistant coach to Ostapenko.
“Jelena and I share a manager, and it was him that told me she was a good player,” Medina Garrigues told Punto De Break in an interview earlier in the season at the Mutua Madrid Open. “He also said she was a girl who was used to working with women, and that I could help her to improve her tennis because I have a lot of experience in my career.”
The pair tried to work out a coaching partnership during the 2015 offseason, which Ostapenko spent in Valencia, but as Medina Garrigues was still competing regularly they put the plans on the backburner.
But after the shoulder injury at last year’s Wimbledon sidelined the Spaniard, Ostapenko came calling again.
After testing their coaching partnership for two weeks during the 2016 Asian swing, Medina Garrigues, a two-time Roland Garros doubles champion, is back in the Latvian’s box for the clay season alongside Ostapenko’s mom, who remains her primary coach.
Medina Garrigues describes Ostapenko as “a girl with strong character and an East European mentality” and she hopes to help her learn “the patience of a Spanish tennis player.”
“Her groundstrokes are very strong, I would say she’s among two or three of the most powerful players currently on tour,” she said. “At the same time she’s just a girl, only 19, and she needs to work at it. She wants to end every point in two shots – you have to explain to her that she needs to adapt to the rival and the surface, learn to build the point, play more organized and be patient to make less mistakes.
“If she plays a well-organized tennis and stays focused, she’s capable of beating anyone.”
As far as results go, it seems that Ostapenko is a quick study. With Medina Garrigues in her box, she’s reached the best results of her career, reaching the final in Charleston, semifinals in Prague and now her first ever Grand Slam semifinals at the French Open.
The pair don’t have long-term plans in place; Medina Garrigues still has plans to return to WTA action, and though she says she’s about 80% recovered from injury, she’s in no rush to come back.
“I’ve got a lot of free time. I’m doing a lot, but it’s not like we’re spending 24 hours on court. I dedicate time to what I need to do, to my tournament [in Valencia] and to myself as a player.
“Luckily, all these projects have caught me while I’m recovering from injury, and I’m not worried about too many hours of competing.”
SOURCE: WTA website