World number two Maria Sharapova has taken on former men’s champion Jimmy Connors as her new coach, after splitting with Swede Thomas Hogstedt.
“I am happy to announce that Jimmy Connors will be my new coach. I have known Jimmy for many years and we briefly worked together in 2008 just before the Australian Open,” Sharapova said on her website.
“I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments.” Sharapova, winner of four Grand Slams, will now be guided by the one-time American bad boy of the game from three decades ago. Connors worked for two years with Andy Roddick, with that partnership ending in 2008.
Eight-time Grand Slam winner Connors is the classic outsider who disappeared from the sport after his retirement in the 1990s.
Sharapova may have come to her fast decision after losing in the Wimbledon second round this month under Hogstedt’s tutelage. She was upset by Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito, ranked 131, in her worst Grand Slam defeat in three years.
She is due to play on hardcourts at Stanford from July 22.