chang can’t hang, drops out as shuai peng’s coach

michael chang - shuai peng coach

Could he look more bored? He saw this pic and realized that it was time to quit…

More coaching news: Michael Chang has stepped down as the tennis coach to Chinese player Shuai Peng, citing disagreements with Peng and the China Tennis Association (CTA) about how much time Chang would devote to coaching. “They wanted me to travel with her to all the events and I just don’t have the time to do that,” he said. “Obviously we would always keep our door open if she ever needs anything.”

He made this blunt announcement at a press conference for his 50-court Mission Hills Michael Chang Tennis Academy, set to open next year in southern China.

Chang is giving plenty of details on what was not working with Peng. (Basically, he wanted Peng to train harder than she wanted to.) Chang also continued to express his interest in helping CTA develop some Olympic hopefuls, especially in light of Beijing hosting the Summer Olympics next year. So far, his requests have been rebuffed.

FYI: Peng is China’s top-ranked doubles player (No. 20) and second-ranked singles player (No. 45). The WTA lists her as an amateur (can someone help me out with that one?). She plays two-handed off both wings.

(via Reuters and AP; photo via Yahoo!)

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golovin bids farewell to wilander

golovin - red underwear - wimbledon

Add to the recent round-robin in tennis coaching the partnership of hot pants queen Tatiana Golovin and Mats Wilander. The 19-year-old told l’Equipe on Thursday that she has replaced Mats with reputed no-nonsense Dutchman Glen Schaap, former coach of Dinara Safina and Airness-sponsored Nadia Petrova. Wilander was coaching the teenager since July 2007 and worked through a few tournaments including Los Angeles (Carson), Toronto, and the U.S. Open.

wilander-golovin-toronto.jpg

Golovin on Schaap: “I know how he is. [...] He works a lot with the ball cart, I like that.” Her new coach has the reputation of being severe. “When I have [Schaap] on the phone, I take a small voice to appear the nicest possible! [...] I told him that he could be strict, but that if he was to yell at me all the time, that would not work.”

But why end the relationship with Wilander? “The problem with Mats is that he has no desire to work with me in Paris, or in Florida, or to follow me in tournaments,” she explains to l’Equipe. (Their summer hardcourt collaboration was arranged by Christian Bîmes, president of the FFT.) FYI, Golovin could still end up with Wilander after the 2008 Australian Open, which is when Golovin will reevaluate her coaching situation.

In an earlier interview with l’Equipe, Tatiana learned of Brad Gilbert‘s alleged availability (post-Andy Murray): “Really? Since when? Brad is almost too big of a personality to have him besides you. I love to go and see him work because he really knows tennis, but to have him every day, that’s a bit stressful.” Doesn’t matter, since Brad still has a commitment with the LTA.

On what she sees as an ideal coach: “He needs to have experience. I need a coach that knows all that goes around on tour and that knows the other players. Today, to beat players in the top 10, it’s not just a matter of playing well, but of making them play bad. We would need to get along well, and to be on the same wavelength about the manner in which I want to work. He would need to be… perfect.”

FYI: At the moment Tatiana is training in the French alps (Alpe-d’Huez) with the French Federation. She’ll then travel to Miami for a charity event. Afer that, she’ll go back to Roland Garros for more training.

More on Schaap: Here’s an interview with Schaap from 2005 when he was training Petrova. He shares strategy on how to beat Justine Henin. He obviously knows tennis.

Over the years, Schaap has trained Brenda Schultz, Jennifer Capriati, Mirjana Lucic, and Magdalena Maleeva. By 2005 he had been Petrova’s coach for seven years (and they split a year later). In 2006 he was with Dinara.

I can’t find a picture of Schaap anywhere. In other recent news about Schaap: in the last week it was announced that he’ll coach Dutch player Martin Verkerk (674th) for a year beginning in January.

(via l’Equipe and Golovin Attitude; photos via Getty Images)

Thanks to Patricia for her help on this post.

trophy watch: paul rocks the haarhuis

The season might be over, but we’re still seeing trophies here and there…

paul haarhuis - dubai - trophy

Dutchman Paul Haarhuis took out tennis impresario Jim Courier 6-1, 6-4 in the finals of the The Legends Rock Dubai Championships on Saturday. This is the final stop of the year for Courier’s seniors tour, the Outback Champions Series.

In the match for third place, Thomas Muster beat Michael Stich 6-4, 6-4.

Fun trophy, eh? We’ve seen Dubai do better (ships! teapots!), but this is alright for a simple transparent piece of crystal. At least we now know what the outline of UAE looks like.

A pic of Haarhuis (and details of the Dubai tourney) after the cut…

we’ll be back on sunday…

Hey all –

I’m taking it easy this weekend — clearing my head to make way for all the food I’ll be eating…

To those celebrating Thanksgiving: have a nice and safe holiday.

To that guy I ran into at The Factory last night: it’s weird talking about YouTube/Nikolay Davydenko in a club, sorry. E-mail me, and we’ll have a more proper conversation.

To everyone else: we’ll be back on Sunday!

xoxo – e

fashion bits: another 'free kolya' shirt, fred perry + emma cook, reebok's revival

fred perry emma cook

Cooking up a collection: British clothier Fred Perry, sponsor to the currently coachless Andy Murray, has partnered with designer Emma Cook for its latest Limited Edition collection.

From left to right: a loose-fitting polyester hoodie (£90), a rollneck dress with tipped sleeves and hemlines (£115), a amazing scoop neck polo (£80), and a sixties style mini-dress with a drawstring hem (£100). In the first three, the signature Fred Perry laurel appears on the neckline. Love it. This women’s collection is a good complement to the most recent men’s Limited Collection with Alastair McKimm.

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free kolya dave

Others Free Kolya: Here’s the adorable Dave wearing our Free Kolya shirt. (Thanks for sending us the pic!)

reebok court victory pump

80s revival: Reissues keep coming from the folks at Reebok. They follow up a glow-in-the-dark Court Victory Pump (the CVP being the shoe worn by Michael Chang during his days as a pro) with this neon version above. Per Sneaker Freaker, there’s no word yet on price or release date.

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louis cayer = andy murray's new coach?

andy murray brad gilbert split

Thanks to this reader who gave us a tip on what Andy Murray might do about his coaching now that he’s broken up with Brad Gilbert (both links in French):

“Murray is working with Louis Cayer, a well-known coach in Canada. Anybody who has done anything involving tennis in Quebec has met with Louis Cayer at one time or another. Cayer was captain of the Davis Cup team [1994-2000] and of the Olympic team [2000], but he also had an impact on all kinds of players and coaches at all levels. The public will have seen him commenting matches on TV.

“Cayer is now working for the LTA and coaching [Andy's brother, Jamie,] in doubles. Everybody in the Murray family was impressed by Cayer’s work. Shortly after the US Open, Andy requested the services of Cayer for himself. Apparently, the two of them were working together when Gilbert was out of town [i.e., back in Florida].

“Since the breakup with Gilbert, the temporary arrangment is that Murray will work with Cayer for the next three weeks (from Monday Nov 19), and he will accompany Murray at his first tournament in Qatar. Cayer told the press that he already has a full-time job with the LTA, and that he already promised to accompany [Jamie] at 14 doubles tournaments. So, it doesn’t appear that Cayer will be able to coach Murray full time. But he will help him periodically to work on specific strokes.”

Bio: There’s also a brief bio of Cayer on this ITF page.

Edit: Fellow Scot Leon Smith might also be in the running. (Times) And photos of Andy practicing with Cayer are on Andy’s Flickr.

(photo by Getty Images)

short balls: good doubles news, bad doubles news, what brad gilbert will do after a second andy dumping

Williams sisters to play doubles: The pair will participate in the Australian Open draw. Does this mean they’ll be able to play Beijing?

The Gilbert/LTA saga: Esteemed tennis coach Brad Gilbert will stay with the LTA even after his split with Andy Murray (that’s his second “Andy”… the first being Andy Roddick… and his third “And”… the other being Andre Agassi). The Scot will replace Gilbert with a team of experts. Meanwhile, LTA chief exec Roger Draper announced that Gilbert, whose contract has been renegotiated (just its duration — NOT his £750,000 in guaranteed earnings), will focus on getting British No. 2 Alex Bogdanovich to move up in the rankings (he’s currently at No. 161) and training other coaches. Of this move by Draper, critics are speaking out.

Wow: So. Many. Air Quotes.

Chasing a Canuck: Junior Jesse Levine has a suitor in Tennis Canada. (ZooTennis)

Checking in at Chennai: Rafa Nadal gives a Q&A for the Chennai Open. (Indiatimes)

Sometimes, it’s better after a break-up: A falling-out between Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor in May didn’t stop the duo from success. In fact, after losing their first 13 tourneys in 2007, they went on to win three — Roland Garros, Queen’s Club, and Tennis Masters Cup — of their last seven. (Nestor, who broke off the partnership, will play with Serbia’s Nenad Zimonjic; Knowles will play with Mahesh Bhupathi. (The Globe and Mail)

(OT) Live from New York: Just because TV writers have struck doesn’t mean their creative juices have stopped flowing. SNLers performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade on Saturday night (with Michael Cera hosting), while a live version of 30 Rock played on Monday night. (NYT)

(OT) Child Matadors: Good read. (NYT)

(OT) Choking on growth: For those who want to get depressed, follow NYT‘s series on China’s growing pains.

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