May 13, 2021

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Don’t look back: Hogstedt re-joins Team Maddy

Hogstedt

Don't look back: Hogstedt and Keys reunite

It would be fair comment to point out that Madison Keys has had nearly as many coaches as Thomas Hogstedt has had players, relative to their ages.

But in the merry-go-round that is women’s coaching on the WTA Tour, what’s old is new again.

Experienced veteran Hogstedt has returned to Keys’s side, as her European clay-court season begins in Madrid this week.

It is not a trial – those two have history, so they’re far beyond that.

The 57-year-old Swede, we’re told, is officially her new coach.

From Sharapova to Bouchard (twice) – and many in between

Hogstedt has been around the block. A few times.

It is a credit to him that in a universe where coaches are hired to be fired, he continues to have his coaching excellence and his positive energy be in demand after all the years.

In addition to his work with Maria Sharapova, Genie Bouchard (twice), Li Na and Keys, he has helped many other players.

Here’s a non-exhaustive gallery of his previous charges. Some were longer term, some were short-term, some were in an advisory capacity.

(Hogstedt never worked with Pennetta; that pic taken at the 2013 French Open, came when Pennetta was practicing with Maria Sharapova).

He’s also worked with Tommy Haas, Nicolas Kiefer, Magnus Norman, Joachim Johansson and Jonas Björkman on the ATP side. And with the German and Chinese tennis federations looking out for upcoming talent.

Keys coaching merry-go-round

Keys’s coaching situation stayed fairly stable while she was in the USTA. And prior to that, at the Evert Academy.

But her journey on the pro tour has been a succession of relationships, some rather short-lived..

There was Jesse Levine (who suddenly, almost exactly on this day five years ago, found out in Madrid that he was out of a job, replaced by Hogstedt).

And then, there was longtime Tennys Sandgren coach Jim Madrigal (blink and you missed it). There was David Taylor, and then a reunion with Juan Todero. And Dieter Kindlmann in between.

Lindsay Davenport and her husband Jon Leach were a duo for awhile, with Davenport jumping in and out through the years as her other commitments allow.

Keys also had help from some USTA folks when she was between coaches: Ola Malmqvist, Lisa Raymond.

“Personality conflict” ended first run with Hogstedt

Keys and Hogstedt split because of a “personality conflict” back in 2016, although there was no doubt her tennis was at its best when he was on board.

At the time, he was her fifth coach in six months after Davenport and Leach, Levine and even Mats Wilander – for about a week.

She reached the final in Rome, won Birmingham on grass, made the final of the Rogers Cup and the semis at the Olympics. She reached the semifinals in Beijing, before getting to Singapore for the WTA Tour Finals.

Keys reached her career-high ranking of No. 7 that season.

And then, at the end of it, they were done.

Ola Malmqvist of the USTA was watching on as Keys waited for new coach David Taylor to arrive in Paris in 2018. He was done by Cincinnati that summer.

Rough start to 2021 for Keys

She’s currently at No. 24, after a rough start when a positive COVID-19 test just before leaving for Australia cost her the entire beginning of the season.

At 2-4 in 2021, Keys has yet to win back-to-back matches. She lost to Ana Konjuh in her opener at the Miami Open, and to good pal Sloane Stephens in her first match at Charleston a few weeks ago.