September 23, 2023

Open Court


Longtime Raonic coach Piatti out

Milos Raonic has been keeping a fairly low public profile in recent months, and has barely been on court since Wimbledon because of assorted injuries.

But if there were coaching changes before in his career it’s been a veritable game of musical chairs the last 16 months – ever since the Canadian reached the 2016 Wimbledon final.

The constant through all that was the veteran Italian coach Riccardo Piatti.

And now, Piatti has announced that his relationship with Raonic is done.

“It’s been an amazing ride, but it’s time for me to embrace new adventures and new challenges,” Piatti wrote on Twitter.

We’re told that Piatti called it quits around the US Open, but that the two agreed to wait until the end of the season to officially announce it and remain on good terms.

There has been no confirmation so far, via social media, from Raonic. That is fairly unusual; typically he has been the one to announce the end of coaching collaborations. One exception this year was when strength and conditioning coach Dalibor Sirola left in early April.

Piatti, who has his own academy, has been a rare sighting in 2017. He was in Paris for the French Open, and at Queen’s Club just before Wimbledon.

He was due to rejoin Raonic in Cincinnati, but Raonic was forced to withdraw with a wrist injury that also cost him the US Open.

Think about it. A year ago at Wimbledon, Raonic had three coaches: Piatti, Carlos Moyá, and short-term mentor John McEnroe.

An embarrassment of coaching riches at Wimbledon in 2016 for Raonic, who reached the final. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

At the moment, he may or may not have any.

Piatti and Moyá switched off on tournaments for much of 2016. But they were together for Moyá’s first Grand Slam with Raonic at the Australian Open. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

New faces in Team Raonic in 2017

When Moyá said hasta luego at the end of 2016 to integrate Team Nadal, Raonic looked to Dutch former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek to fill that spot.

Former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek had been tapped to be Raonic’s grass-court mentor the previous year. That ended up being McEnroe, but Krajicek came on board to start 2017. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Krajicek had been in the picture before – he was to be Raonic’s grass-court mentor the previous year. But it didn’t work out. And that mentor ended up being McEnroe.

In Miami this year, fellow Canadian Jesse Levine was on hand with Krajicek, to lend a hand.

Raonic’s countryman Jesse Levine, a south Florida resident, was in the house to lend a helping hand for the Miami event in March. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

By the French Open, Krajicek was nowhere to be seen, and Piatti was back in the saddle.

Piatti on the practice court with Raonic and Andreas Seppi – May 2017. (Stephanie Myles, Tennis.Life)

By Wimbledon (having discussed a potential association with Pat Cash), Raonic was accompanied by former doubles star Mark Knowles.

Knowles (seen here a few years ago when he was coaching Mardy Fish at Wimbledon), was with Raonic during the summer grass season. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

By the Citi Open in D.C., Raonic had former Serbian player Dusan Vemic with him.

Dusan Vemic was a surprise guest star in Milos Raonic 2017 coaching cavalcade at the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. in early August. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Through his summer struggles with a wrist issue, it was a moot point.

One more for the (2017) road

And then, Tennis.Life heard that he was working out in the Bahamas with another potential coach, longtime David Ferrer collaborator Javier Piles.

Sure enough, Raonic turned up in Tokyo with Piles. But after beating Victor Troicki in the first round, the 26-year-old Canadian retired after just one game agains Yuichi Sugita.

He hasn’t played since.

Piles was on hand when Raonic returned to action in Tokyo last month. But that amounted to one match – and one game.

His ranking is currently at No. 24 – the lowest it has been since August, 2012, when he was just 21.

Raonic is due back on court at the Abu Dhabi exhibition in late December, and then is scheduled to head immediately to Brisbane to officially begin his 2018 campaign.

Who will be with him? 

Now there’s a question.

The one member of Team Raonic from 2016 who remains with him is physio Claudio Zimaglia.

Clearly Raonic has been searching for something – something he has yet to find. 

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