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Eye of the Coach #58: Let coaches coach – it’ll be great for the show

Patrick Mouratoglou reacts to the big news in the ATP Tour this week – that off-court coaching will be allowed in the second half of the season

June 24, 2022
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Plenty of people have made their feelings known about the ATP’s introduction of on-court coaching as an experiment – and Patrick Mouratoglou is no exception.

In the latest episode of Eye of the Coach, he talks about why he thinks it’s a great innovation – and breaks down the arguments against it.

Key moments

  • 0.12 – Mouratoglou says there are good reasons to embrace coaching. First of all, he thinks it’s great for fans, who find it exciting to hear an interaction between coach and player, and they enjoy the emotion.
  • “In a lot of other sports, it’s one of the highlights of the show because they get some inside information about the tactics,” he says. “They love to be like a little mouse that is here and that hears the secrets.”

    0.53 – Coaching has been seen before on the WTA Tour, and there have been some great coaching interactions, which Mouratoglou has enjoyed as a fan.
  • 1.02 – He thinks it’s great for the players as well. He acknowledges that critics will say the beauty of tennis is that players have to find their own solutions – but you still have to do that even with coaching.
  • 1.24 – He recounts a story from coaching Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, where all he needed to do was tell her how many winners she had hit as opposed to her opponent, and left it to her to turn her performance around.
  • 2.01 – Mouratoglou says that it will also present new challenges for the coaches, who have to adapt to their player. Some players always need lots of coaching; sometimes if a player isn’t playing well, they don’t see what’s wrong, but know they need something and turn to their coach.
  • “You see that they’re asking for something,” he says.
  • 2.41 – A coach can offer help with tactics – sometimes with stress you don’t see things that are obvious.
    2.53 – People say coaching isn’t fair because some have better coaches – but, he says, this is also true off court and away from competition. Some coaches make their player progress better than others. A player isn’t a machine, they are a person who needs to surround themselves with the right people
  • 3.28 – The players who are prepared beforehand are the smartest, says Mouratoglou, and the people around them should be able to play a real role.
  • “They’re helping the player improve,” he says. “Let them help the player when it’s necessary, and it’s going to be great for the show.”
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