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.
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.