Sharapova Hires Sven Groeneveld as Coach

MOSCOW, November 23 (R-Sport) – Maria Sharapova, the world’s fourth-ranked female tennis player, on Friday named as her new coach the man who guided Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Ana Ivanovic to their Grand Slam titles: Dutchman Sven Groeneveld.

Sharapova has been without a coach since splitting from US tennis legend Jimmy Connors after the first match under his guidance, suffering a second-round defeat to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati in August.

“I’m happy to announce my official partnership with Sven Groeneveld,” Sharapova said on her website. “We’ve been working together since I got back on the court and after seeing him on the opposing side for so many years, I’m excited to have him become a part of my team.”

Sharapova has recently recovered from a shoulder injury that has kept her sidelined since a shock second-round defeat at Wimbledon to Portuguese qualifier Maria Larcher de Brito in June.

Groeneveld, 48, has more than 20 years of coaching experience, as he achieved three Grand Slam titles: with Seles at the 1992 Australian Open, with Pierce at the 1995 Australian Open and with Ana Ivanovic at the 2008 French Open.

He also led Ivanovic and Caroline Wozniacki to the world No. 1 position in the WTA rankings.

Sharapova will make her first competitive appearance under Groeneveld’s guidance at the Brisbane International next month. She has announced exhibition matches in Bogota, Mexico City and Thailand.

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