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Anderson all for on-court coaching


Press Trust of India Pune
On-court coaching in tennis is a reality which the game's stakeholders need to accept and embrace the change in near future, advocates Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson,

The historic US Open title win for Japan's Naomi Osaka was overshadowed by the code-violation penalty handed to Serena Williams for receiving guidance from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou in the summit clash.
There were accusations of sexism even as Wimbledon Chairman Philip Brook said they were open to discussion on the issue.
The Grand Slams and the ATP do not allow on-court coaching even as WTA allows the coaches to converse with the players once per set.
On an experimental basis, players were allowed to talk with their coaches, sitting in players' box, during the ATP Next Gen finals, using headphones.
"There are two sides. Tennis is one-on-one sport but at the same time it is also team work. You travel with your team, you talk about matches a lot. It's very difficult to draw a line between coaching and just the support," Anderson said on the sidelines of the Tata Open Maharahtra.
"Every one knows coaching does happen but it is difficult to say if a line has been crossed. In my opinion, it should be allowed in structural sense. I don't know what is best way, we need to discuss that but I would be in favour of that (on-court coaching)," the South African star made it clear where he stood on the issue.
Anderson, who spoke about a host of issues also lamented that International Tennis Federation (ITF) did not "collaborate" enough with the players before bringing in drastic changes in the Davis Cup format.
The ITF at its recent AGM approved changes in the format, introducing one-week Davis Cup Finals instead of home and away format.
The world number six was critical of the way ITF introduced changes but was supportive of the ATP Cup, another team event, being launched at the same time.
"It's (ATP Cup) further going to increase the exposure and popularity. We are very focussed on strengthening the ATP Cup. I can't speak too much from ITF on Davis Cup, they have been doing their own thing but they did not really collaborated with the players as closely we would have liked.
"It's better than the last year which is a positive but it is also something which is out of players' hands as we do not have any say in what they do."

The ATP Cup set to roll in January 2020, will be held six weeks after the inaugural Davis Cup finals, prompting world number one Novak Djokovic to say that the short period between the two tournaments may result in two average events coming up.
Anderson, who beat Roger Federer en route the Wimbledon final, was also supportive of the new structure being introduced which will allow only 750 ranked players on the Pro circuit.
"We have to keep developing and promoting the game, make it attractive and player friendly. It's never going to be ideal for everybody but we try to make the best decisions all the time. All those changes will have a positive effects on the game," Anderson, who is part of the ATP's Players Council, said.
When asked if it will discourage players from taking up sport, the South African begged to differ.
"I don't think so. The amount of people making a living playing tennis, is more than ever. Nobody is making a living at 800 or 900 in the world. Before it was top-100 now it is getting lower, maybe top 75.
"In my opinion, it is good for ATP's image to have a cut-off, where people who are ranked much higher. Like PGA, there are 750 players how have Tour cards, you earn your spot there. Anyone knows if you have a card what level they are in rest of the world. With ATP introducing this new system, it is very positive," he asserted.
Anderson said the 2018 season turned to be great for him as he ticked a few boxes like making the London year-end tournament, winning more than one tournament, winning an ATP 500, and to top it all making it to the hallowed Centre Court on SW19.
He felt that though the Grand Slams are being taken by the old group (Federer, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal), the 2019 season may see a new face laying his claim on one of the trophies.
"It is going to be interesting because Novak has re-established himself at the top of the game, Rafa (Rafael Nadal) is coming back from the injuries, if he is healthy he will be a contender at every tournament he plays.
"Roger is always tough (to beat). Guys like Andy Murray and (Stan) Wawrinka are also coming back, so that is going to be tough competition," Anderson said.
"But there are quite a few player, who like me, are setting big goals, trying to make a breakthrough. In terms of Grand Slam wins, it's same group of people in the last few years but I will not be surprised, if this year we see some changes," he signed off on a positive note.

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First Published: Dec 31 2018 | 5:40 PM IST

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