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Kamau Murray, nominated for WTA Coach of the Year award

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By Editorial Team

Kamau Murray has been nominated as WTA Coach of the Year with an impressive year following the 2017 US Open title by his prized pupil, Sloane Stephens. Kamau has had a working relationship with Sloane for three years, but her race to the top was heavily influenced by Kamau’s commitment to excellence and encouragement. With Sloane sporting a year-end WTA ranking of 6, French Open, Montreal and Singapore Finals appearances and a Miami Open title, Kamau is definitely well deserving of this year’s prize.

In addition to his coaching promise, Kamau is the Founder of XS Tennis and Education foundation in Chicago, which played host to Chicago’s first professional tennis event in 2018 with its inaugural WTA 125k series tournament.

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Monfils Discusses Wawrinka Final Win in Rotterdam 2019

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What can we expect from Gael against Goffin?

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By Editorial Team

Gael Monfils is ramping up his play after losing a close match against American Taylor Fritz at the Australian Open. Fresh off a semifinal loss in the Sofia Open against Daniil Medvedev, Gael hopes that he can pull himself together mentally to face one of his toughest opponents, David Goffin.

Steady baseliners have given Gael trouble late in tournaments as physical fitness becomes a major factor. In every instance lately (as in the 2018 US Open) he has fallen victim to David knowing that a tough road of long rallies and big momentum shifts were headed his way.

Gael will benefit from a high first serve percentage and his ability to go power against a smaller opponent, but with the quickness of David, Gael must also be willing to stay in the points a few strokes longer than usual. Transition to the net is also a plus for Gael if he can take advantage of any short neutral balls that may come his way.

In reference to Gael’s service game recently at the Sofia Open, Gael stated,


“I think I improved it a little bit. I had a better percentage. I found my rhythm better. I didn’t make so many double faults. I am doing a lot of double faults because it is indoors. I feel confident with my serve. So I try to use my second serve. Definitely, I want it to be even better at the quarter-final because I can serve a bit better. And when I say better I mean with more consistency. Maybe not doing so many aces, but more consistent.”

Mentally Gael is very vulnerable to big momentum shifts in a match. Staying focus on strategy is a major challenge for Gael especially if the score drifts in either direction. Gael is the better athlete and overall player, but the game within the game seems to have prevented Gael from moving past the gritty Goffin.

On Tuesday February 12th Gael will be able to test his new training methods and coaching against the well prepared and confident David Goffin at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. Fans hope for a complete match from Gael where he is able to give 100% effort while playing to win the match.  

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Tsonga returns to form in Montpellier

AP

By Editorial Team

Jo-Wilfred Tsonga has let the ATP Tour know that he is back in full form after winning his first title in over a year against countryman Peirre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 6-2 at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

This result is good news for Tsonga fans after having to miss seven months of the 2018 season due to left knee surgery in April. Jo-Wilfred was in great form in 2017 with multiple titles including his most recent prior title in Antwerp. Now it seems that he has been able to find his game and fully recover both physically and mentally.

With a ATP ranking of 210, Tsonga (picking up 250 ATP points in France this week) should be able to quickly rise among the ranks and finish the year within the top 50 giving him a chance to compete for a major grand slam title. After multiple semi-final appearances, Tsonga is training with much more intensity to accomplish his goal of lifting the big trophy later in this Summer/Fall season.

Next up for Tsonga is the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament where he faces qualifier Thomas Fabbiano of Italy in the first round on February 12th.

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