Following Ana Ivanovic’s recent appointment of Antonio Van Grichen and Jelena Jankovic’s hiring of Andrei Pavel, it was revealed today that young British star Laura Robson is to be coached in 2011 by Patrick Mouratoglou. For the last few years Robson, 16, has trained sporadically at Mouratoglu’s academy with her ex-coach Martijn Bok. However, after her split from Bok and Mouratoglu’s split with Rezai, the pair will join together on a full-time basis next year.
I’m not going to tempt fate or attempt to predict how this partnership will turn out, but I can’t say it’s an exiting prospect. Mouratoglu did a good job with Rezai, who obviously, under his influence, stormed her way though Venus Williams, Jelena Jankovic and Justine Henin to the Madrid title. However, I’m just not a big fan of his approach to the game. He’s all about the gung-ho aggressive approach to tennis, and rejects variety, consistency and other less obvious approaches. Watching Rezai this past year comfirmed all of this. She has always been an aggressive player, but under Mouratoglu she just took that aggression to new, unseen levels. When it worked, it was brilliant. But when it didn’t, it was disastrous.
Laura Robson is, of course, an aggressive player by nature. However, she isn’t the type of player who can dominate a match the way in which Rezai can. For someone of her height and build, she drastically lacks natural power and the ability to muscle the ball and opponents around the court. Her talent lies in her soft hands which enable her to not only create deft angles and maniplulate the balls in ways that most can’t, but it also means that she creates most of her power through her crisp timing of the ball. Thus, if Mouratoglu approaches Robson in the manner in which he has with Rezai and many other of his students in the past, this partnership could be bad, bad news.
But who knows? All shall be revealed in 2011.