Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Sharapova hires Connors as new coach

updated 5:45 PM EDT, Sat July 13, 2013
Maria Sharapova will work with former great Jimmy Connors after cutting ties with Thomas Hogstedt, left.
Maria Sharapova will work with former great Jimmy Connors after cutting ties with Thomas Hogstedt, left.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Maria Sharapova hires Jimmy Connors as new coach after splitting with Thomas Hogstedt
  • The coaching shuffle comes after Sharapova lost in the second round at Wimbledon
  • Connors won eight grand slam titles before working with former world No. 1 Andy Roddick

(CNN) -- It didn't take Maria Sharapova long to find a new coach.

Two days after announcing she was ending her successful three-year partnership with Thomas Hogstedt, Sharapova said former great Jimmy Connors will be Hogstedt's successor.

"I have known Jimmy for many years and we briefly worked together in 2008 just before the Australian Open," Sharapova told her website. "I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments."

The coaching shuffle comes about two weeks after the U.S.-based Russian was upset by qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito in the second round at Wimbledon.

"Due to personal issues, (Hogstedt) was not able to travel in the near future and we both agreed it was the right time to move our separate ways," the world No. 2 had said. "I am very thankful for all his work and wish him much success in the future."

Read: Larcher de Brito sends Sharapova packing

Connors won eight grand slam titles.

Like Sharapova, he was a steely competitor who never gave an inch. Some of his most memorable battles came against fellow American John McEnroe.

Connors' backhand is regarded as one of the best ever.

Maria Sharapova's taste for business
The story behind Sharapova's success
How do you beat Serena Williams?

When his playing days were over, Connors kept a relatively low profile and mostly stayed away from tennis circles. That changed when he decided to work with a slumping Andy Roddick in 2006.

The move paid instant dividends for Roddick, as he reached the U.S. Open final two months later. Their association lasted two years, with Roddick saying he resigned.

Connors' autobiography was released earlier this year.

It was under Hogstedt, a former touring pro from Sweden, that Sharapova completed her grand slam collection last year at the French Open.

The victory was sweeter for Sharapova because it was her first grand slam title after a shoulder injury that derailed her career. She lost to Serena Williams in the final of this year's French.

Sharapova's movement noticeably improved under Hogstedt -- adding to her fierce ground strokes and intense desire to win.

But their last tournament together didn't go as planned, with Sharapova slipping twice on the grass at Wimbledon against Larcher de Brito and suffering her earliest grand slam exit in three years.

The loss, however, allowed Sharapova to watch the end of boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov's marathon five-set loss to Grega Zemlja.

Hogstedt left Li Na to work with Sharapova at the end of 2010, with the Chinese baseliner then reaching the final at the Australian Open while Sharapova crashed out in the fourth round.

Read: Sharapova takes swipe at Williams

Li, the French Open winner in 2011, has the same agent as Sharapova in Max Eisenbud.

Sharapova formerly worked with Michael Joyce and her father, Yuri.

Earlier this week, another former No. 1, Ana Ivanovic, severed ties with Nigel Sears, the father of Andy Murray's girlfriend.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
updated 8:52 AM EDT, Thu August 21, 2014
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
updated 7:02 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
updated 7:01 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
updated 9:14 PM EDT, Sun June 22, 2014
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
Rafael Nadal is still the "King of Clay" -- but his crown has slipped a bit, says CNN's Will Edmonds.
updated 3:46 AM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
updated 11:55 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Suisse's Belinda Bencic returns the ball to France's Alize Cornet during the second match of the Fed Cup first round tennis tie France vs Switzerland on February 8, 2014 at the Pierre de Coubertin stadium in Paris. AFP PHOTO / KENZO TRIBOUILLARD (Photo credit should read KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)
It's no easy matter becoming a world class tennis player. It's even harder when everyone (really -- everyone) is calling you the "new Martina Hingis."
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
At the 2009 Australian Open, French men's tennis was the talk of the town.
ADVERTISEMENT