April 18, 2024

Open Court

MORE TENNIS THAN YOU'LL EVER NEED

ROME – No doubt Dmitry Tursunov would rather not be checking off WTA Tour players so regularly on his coaching journey.

But in the last seven or eight months, he’s up to … three.

After two separate stints with now-Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka, last year it was Emma Raducanu.

But last October in Guadalajara, he arrived in Mexico with Belinda Bencic – not a trial, but an official new coaching duo.

By the end of Miami this year – less than six months on – Bencic had given him his walking papers.

But there was Tursunov on Thursday, next to where Novak Djokovic was practicing, with a new charge.

Next up for the 40-year-old Russian (a former top-20 player on the ATP Tour) is countrywoman Ekaterina Alexandrova.

(We don’t know what the record is, or if Tursunov is in range of it).

The 28-year-old is ranked No. 22, after she reached the quarterfinals in Miami, the quarterfinals in Charleston and the fourth round in Madrid, where she took world No. 1 Iga Swiatek to three sets.

Here’s what they looked like on the practice court.

(Add line brushing to Dmitry Tursunov’s many talents)

Alexandrova, who is the No. 15 seed here in Rome, takes on Camila Giorgi in her opening match Friday.

It’s purely coincidental, if ironic, that both of Tursunov’s most recent charges are both out with injury – Raducanu long term with a couple of surgeries, and Bencic absent since Charleston through these big clay-court tournaments leading up to Roland Garros.

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