August 9, 2022

Open Court


If Svetlana Kuznetsova’s coach reminds you of someone, you’re not alone

INDIAN WELLS – Carlos Martinez-Comet sometimes stops people in their tracks as he walks around the grounds during tennis tournaments.

I’ve seen the reaction more than once – it’s usually a double-take, perhaps followed by  a whisper to a friend.

(Is that? No. It couldn’t be. Is it?)

By now, even you have probably seen the resemblance to … this guy.

Good hair. Can play a bit. Been around awhile.

The longtime coach of Kuznetsova, Martinez-Comet is a 42-year-old Spaniard who played on the Tour a little and got into the top-200 in doubles.

The top photo is of him, earlier in the Indian Wells event, taking in a Federer practice with Alexander Zverev. So I took the opportunity to ask him what I’d always wondered about – namely, how many times a week he gets asked if he’s Federer, or related to him.

Martinez-Comet said it happens often although when I suggested he looked like Federer’s older Spanish brother, he faked some outrage and laughed, “What do you mean, OLDER?”

Martinez-Comet said he does see the resemblance himself. “But there is no resemblance in our bank account,” he laughed.

He and Federer are not friends, but they do know each other a little; Kuznetsova’s off-season training base is in Dubai, as Federer’s is.

Did Fed himself notice? “Well, we shook hands and said hello but, no, it’s not like he said to me, ‘Hey, did you know what, you look a lot like me!’ So I don’t really know,” Martinez-Comet said, laughing again.

The “Twinsies” in Dubai. (From Martinez-Comet’s Instagram)

He did manage a pic with the maestro. Side by side, the resemblance isn’t quite as marked. But when Martinez-Comet is just walking around at a tennis tournament and you see his face – especially around the eyes and nose – you definitely stop and take a quick second look.