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In Tennis, Choosing a Woman as a Coach Is Still a ‘Bold Move’ (USA)

When Petra Martic reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal at the French Open on Sunday, she felt not only relief, but validation of what she called “a pretty bold move”: hiring a former WTA player to be her coach.

“When I started working with her, everybody was doubting my decision,” Martic said of her coach, Sandra Zaniewska, whom she hired early last year. “People underestimated it, people even laughed at it, said I did a crazy thing — what am I doing? I’m not serious about my career because she’s so young and inexperienced. But I always knew. I heard this girl talking about tennis and I knew she knows what she’s doing.”

That a WTA player would hire a former WTA player as a coach might seem obvious or expected, but it remains an exceedingly rare choice. In its most recent index of players’ coaches, provided by the WTA, only five of the top 100 women list a woman as their primary coach — and one of those five split with her coach shortly before the French Open began.

Asked why they haven’t had female coaches, many players suggest few women are willing to travel, preferring to stay home with their families. A small group of male coaches are recycled by tour players, so outside voices are often not considered.

 

READ FULL STORY – newyorktimes.com


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