At his peak this season, world No. 3 Milos Raonic had not one, not two, but three coaches.
With his announcement Wednesday via Instagram that he would no longer be working with former No. 1 Carlos Moyá, the 25-year-old Canadian is now down to one.
“Thank you to Carlos Moyá for helping me tremendously this year, alongside my team, to get the best out of me. Under Carlos’ direction and tutelage I have played my best yet to date. We will no longer be continuing our coaching relationship but remain close friends. I wish him all the best.”
Moyá, 40, joined Team Raonic about a year ago at this time when the two met and bonded during the exhibition IPTL season in Asia, and decided to formalize a relationship.
The Spaniard made his debut at the Australian Open last January and appeared for many of the major events of Raonic’s 2016 season, most recently at the ATP Tour Finals in London a few weeks ago.
Another former No. 1, John McEnroe, joined Team Raonic at the French Open as a short-term consultant through the grass-court season.
The combination of the two, who often practiced together, added a dash of star power to Raonic’s practices at the All-England Club.
McEnroe remains a friendly ally; during a brief stopover at the ATP Tour Finals before he headed to Italy for a masters event, the American was both on court for a warmup and in Raonic’s box for the subsequent match.
While it’s difficult to judge exactly how much effect each of Raonic’s coaching consultants had on his game individually, the total package resulted in Raonic reaching the semi-finals of the ATP Tour Finals earlier this month, where he played some of his best tennis of the season.
He also finished the season at a career-high ATP Tour ranking of No. 3.
It should be noted, though, that the 2016 pre-season work was done with “meat and potatoes” coach Piatti and Raonic played arguably his best, most consistent, most aggressive tennis of the season during the Australian swing in January with a title in Brisbane (beating Roger Federer) and a run in Melbourne that unfortunately was cut short by a leg injury.
Piatti officially joined Team Raonic in March 2014, joining then-coach Ivan Ljubicic, although the two had already worked together during the previous off-season. Piatti had coached Ljubicic as a player for many years so, as Raonic described it then, it didn’t matter which coach was with him at a tournament; the two were in such sync that the message would always be consistent, with Ljubicic as the “quarterback” of the team and every move made going through him.
In 2016, with Raonic a far more developed player than he had been even a year prior, the message from his coaching staff was less a cohesive message from week to week, more a smorgasbord of varying opinions coming from three very different personalities and perspectives.
Whatever the recipe was, it seemed to work. It was probably a combination of all. So Moyá’s departure is a surprise even if it’s entirely possible, as was the case with Ljubicic, that it was of his own volition.
Open Court can confirm that Piatti remains on board for 2017, as are fitness trainer Dalibor Sirola and osteopath Claudio Zimaglia. While it’s possible the Canadian might add another super-coach to the mix for 2017, nothing to report yet on that front.