July 11, 2024

Open Court


Svitolina and … Saviano on coaching trial

After Elina Svitolina’s fouth-round exit from the US Open, she announced that she and her coach of nearly two years, Frenchman Thierry Ascione, were parting ways.

But the No. 6-ranked player from Ukraine, who turned 24 Wednesday, already has a potential successor lined up.

It is none other than … veteran coach Nick Saviano.

Tennis.Life spotted the former coach of Genie Bouchard and Sloane Stephens (among many other notable names) at the National Tennis Center during the US Open.

It turns out the 62-year-old Floridian was there to discuss a potential collaboration with Svitolina, her agent and her father.

One of our eagle-eyed spies spotted her down in Florida this week, working with Saviano at his academy.

An up and down 2018


Saviano is expected to travel with Svitolina to Asia.

So far, she has no plans to play next week in Tokyo or the other smaller events. She’s signed up for Wuhan, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Svitolina reached the quarterfinals at the Australian Open this year after kicking off the season with a title in Brisbane, and following it up with a title in Dubai.

But her results were up and down after that. After a major win in Rome, she struggled. That included a first-round loss at Wimbledon as she visibly had lost a significant amount of weight in a very short time.

Good hard-court summer

But Svitolina rallied on the North American hard courts, with a semifinal in Montreal and a quarterfinal in Cincinnati. She reached the fourth round in New York. And all three players who defeated her – Sloane Stephens, Kiki Bertens and Anastasija Sevastova, were fully in fine form.

But then, in New York, she announced the end of her collaboration with Ascione. 

For the first part of that association, Svitolina was sharing Ascione with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, with hitting partner/associate coach Andrew Bettles the more constant presence. But with Tsonga on the shelf with a knee injury, they had more time together.

Svitolina won five titles in 2017, and reached a career best No. 3 in the rankings on Sept. 11, 2017.

Saviano worked with Genie Bouchard during the best period of her career in 2014, although a return for a second tour of duty wasn’t as successful. (Stephanie Myles/Tennis.Life)

Saviano, who has an academy in Plantation, Fla. has done a lot of work with rising American teenager Amanda Anisimova over the last few years.

He did two stints with Bouchard . During the first stint, she reached the French Open semifinal, the Wimbledon final, won her first and only title in Nürnberg and reached No. 5 in the world briefly, at the end of 2014.

Saviano also worked with Sloane Stephens, prior to Stephens’s current association with Kamau Murray.

Both Bouchard and Stephens had been at his academy as pre-teens.

And, in other coaching news …


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