The court-side coaching issue continues to wage a debate and this time former top tennis players Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport and Jennifer Capriati have given their opinion about where they stand with respect to the issue.
As a part of a conference during the WTA Finals to discuss this issue that was stoked by the US Open final earlier this year and then again when Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou wrote an open letter to make it legal earlier this month.
And all three of these champions stand at different ends of the issue.
Seles is against on-court coaching, Davenport reckons there are obvious benefits of doing that while Capriati says she can see both sides of the coin.
According to Seles, the ability to think for oneself during a match is one of the biggest factors in tennis and that was reduced by bringing in a coach during an encounter. She citing her own example by saying:
“My dad always used to say before I stepped on court two things: ‘Move your feet and think.'”
Davenport said there were obvious advantages to having a coach for players during play but she made a very interesting point that might compel the law-makers to think against having that rule during the Grand Slams as well. What if the player involved in the match doesn’t have the resources for a full-time, travelling coach?
“I think another topic to that whole conversation is that like another advantage to the top players?”
“What about all the players maybe ranked, I don’t know where that number is, 60 and below, that can’t afford a coach every week?”
Valid point frankly. Already the wage gap between the top tennis players and the lower-ranked ones has grown to alarming levels and for the presence of coaches to add the advantage for the higher-ranked players might not make for a great tennis future.
Capriati admits she is neither here nor there, given that a coach cannot do much in the situation anyway. However, she admitted when she thought of herself during the playing days she could have benefitted greatly from the presence of a coach during her matches.
The Wimbledon authorities had recently asked for opinions as they look to decide what needs to be done in the future with respect to the on-court coaching issue.