We Need More Women Coaches in Pro Tennis
Why aren’t there more women’s coaches in professional tennis? Not even in the women’s ranks do you see them being coached by women. It’s a question I’ve asked myself because I’m a fan of so many other sports, and this is not the case there. Whereas in other sports men are usually coaching the men, you definitely see women coaching the women in women’s sports. You see it in women’s soccer, volleyball, basketball etc.
So, what’s the deal with tennis? Is it because most coaches of professional tennis players are former players, and women don’t want to continue the tennis lifestyle after their careers are done? Tennis is one of the most taxing of sports because they literally travel the world for 20 to 30 weeks out of the year. This also makes it difficult to start and maintain a family. This is not true all the time in other sports. Maybe that has something to do with it? According to some of the commentary that’s available on the subject, this is a big part of it.
All that being said, it is interesting to look at the results the first woman to coach a top man in tennis had, Amelie Mauresmo. She coached Murray from June 2014 to May 2016. In that span, Murray had quite a little successful run, where he won the Madrid Masters, beating Nadal in the final. Also, Murray won the 2016 Wimbledon one month removed from her stepping down as his coach. You can argue that she had an impact on that win as well. Many people thought Mauresmo being hired by Murray would result in more women’s coaches in the men’s and women’s tours. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.
Another great example of a successful woman’s coach is Lindsay Davenport. She’s been coaching Madison Keys off and on since 2015. Davenport was on board during Keys’ successful run to the 2017 US Open final and solid showings throughout 2018.
So how do you get more of these former great tennis players more involved in coaching the pros? For one, I think a combination of more former greats and big pay checks. Get Navratilova out there coaching a high-profile player and give her a big paycheck. I can assure you many other women would start thinking about following her lead.