Sharapova Hires Jimmy Connors

Maria Sharapova has announced that Jimmy Connors will be her new coach.
Maria Sharapova has announced that Jimmy Connors will be her new coach.

Maria Sharapova, the world’s number two ranked women’s tennis player, has a new coach in Jimmy Connors. The announcement comes shortly after announcing that she parted ways with her old coach on Friday.

Maria Sharapova and Coach Thomas Hogstedt have mutually decided to split up and go their separate ways. The two worked together for nearly three years, however the time has come for them to move on with their respective careers. Hogstedt helped return Sharapova to the number one ranking in women’s tennis, but for personal reasons will not be continuing to coach her.

Sharapova announced on her website today that “After almost 3 years of working together, Thomas Hogstedt and I decided to part ways. Due to personal issues, he was not able to travel in the near future and we both agreed it was the right time to move our separate ways.”

She also released a statement on her website that she has found a new coach in Jimmy Connors. The two have worked together in the past, briefly in 2008 before the Australian Open. She says that she has known Connors for many years already, and that “I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments.”

Jimmy Connnors has an impressive resume that includes coaching Andy Roddick, and winning 8 Grand Slam titles. Sharapova hopes that she will be able to add a few more Grand Slams to her resume now that Connors is her coach.

Maria has an impressive resume of her own, including a world number two ranking and four Grand Slam titles. She won three of those Grand Slam events between 2004 and 2008, but recently won the 2012 French Open. A silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics also is in her impressive trophy case.

She will be looking to avenge an embarrassing Wimbledon where she was one of many stars to be upset, falling in the second round to Michelle Larcher de Brito, who was the number 131 player in the world heading into the tournament.

Whether or not she can reclaim the world number one ranking with new coach Jimmy Connors remains to be seen from Sharapova, but she certainly seems excited about the change.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille

Senior Sports Editor

The Guardian Express

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