It has taken some seven weeks for Bianca Andreescu to decide on a new coach.
After parting ways with fellow Canadian Sylvain Bruneau, who guided her to the very top of the game in a crazy run in 2019, the next move was a crucial one.
And Open Court has learned from multiple sources that the successful candidate is a coach with the best resumé you could ask for on the WTA Tour: Sven Groeneveld, the longtime former coach of Maria Sharapova.
No comment from either Groeneveld or Andreescu’s new agent, Max Eisenbud of IMG.
Andreescu said in an interview a few days ago to promote her new partnership with Amazon Alexa that an announcement was imminent.
She admitted after her first-round loss to Alizé Cornet at Wimbledon that it had been tough going without a coach.
High-level player = high-level coach
The number of candidates to fill the position for a top player with so much upside is limited even if the field is wide open. But Eisenbud, who took over Andreescu’s representation officially as of mid-June, has a stable of coaches he and his players regularly work with.
With all his years alongside Sharapova, Groeneveld would necessarily be at the top of the list.
Except that the Dutchman was otherwise engaged, working with Japanese player Taro Daniel.
After nearly two years, that collaboration officially ended 10 days ago, with the usual “mutual agreement and good terms”.
Except, in this case, that likely was true.
Long and distinguished resumé for Groeneveld
The Dutchman, who turned 56 last week, has worked with a number of top women on the WTA Tour.
And, during a long period as head of tennis for adidas, had a hand in the development of dozens more.
Most prominent among them recently was Sharapova, with whom Groeneveld worked from 2014 through 2018.
On the women’s side, that illustrious list includes Monica Sales, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Mary Pierce, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens.
On the men’s side, Groeneveld has worked with Michael Stich, Greg Rusedski, Nicolas Kiefer, Tommy Haas, Mario Ancic and, most recently, Daniel.
Groeneveld and Andreecu getting acquainted in Toronto
Andreescu and Groeneveld are in Toronto, getting acquainted and getting to work ahead of the most crucial period of the 21-year-old Canadian’s career.
She has been practicing in various places, including at the Aviva Centre and should head to Montreal next week.
After early losses at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, the Canadian is coming into the North American hard-court season with massive ranking points and results to defend.
The 2020 season was a washout on many levels, between the pandemic and Andreescu’s slow rehab from a knee injury.
But the Canadian won the Rogers Cup in 2019 in Toronto. Now renamed the “National Bank Open”, the tournament will take place in Montreal this year. And, with no event in 2020, she is the defacto defending champion.
As well, Andreescu won the 2019 US Open (as everyone knows). She did not go to New York to defend her title in 2020. But she will be back this year, with very little recent tennis under her belt.