Maria Sharapova

Grand slam winner Maria Sharapova will be a prominent representative of the Russian Olympic team at the London Olympics.

Olympics - Previews - Day - 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Maria Sharapova of Russia drinks water during the practice session ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Maria Sharapova of the Russia Olympic tennis team carries her country's flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Maria Sharapova of the Russia Olympic tennis team carries her country's flag during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Olympics - Previews - Day - 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a forehand during the practice session ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Olympics - Previews - Day - 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Maria Sharapova of Russia smiles during the practice session ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Olympics - Previews - Day - 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Maria Sharapova of Russia serves during the practice session ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Olympics - Previews - Day - 1

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 26: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a backhand during the practice session ahead of the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon on July 26, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova at ESPYs

The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day Five

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Maria Sharapova of Russia returns the ball during her Ladies' singles third round match against Su-Wei Hsieh of Taipei on day five of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 29, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

French Open Women's Champion Maria Sharapova Of Russia Poses Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: French Open women's champion Maria Sharapova of Russia poses with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen near the Eiffel Tower after her victory earlier in the day in the women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Russia's Maria Sharapova Poses AFP/Getty Images

Russia's Maria Sharapova poses with her trophy in the clockrooms after winning against Italy's Sara Errani the Women's Singles final tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, on June 9, 2012 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / POOL SINDY THOMASSINDY THOMAS/AFP/GettyImages

Maria Sharapova Of Russia Plays Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a backhand in the women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova Of Russia Kisses Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sharapova of Russia kisses the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen after the women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova Of Russia Celebrates Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in her changing room after her women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sindy Thomas - Pool/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova Of Russia Is Sprayed With Champagne By Her Physical Trainer Juan Reque (L) And Her Hitting Partner Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sharapova of Russia is sprayed with champagne by her physical trainer Juan Reque (L) and her hitting partner Cecil Mamiit (R) as she makes her way to her changing room after her women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Sindy Thomas - Pool/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova Of Russia Plays Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sharapova of Russia plays a backhand in the women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

TOPSHOTS Russian Tennis Player Maria Sharapova Poses With Her Trophy In Front The Eiffel Tower On June 9, 2012 In Paris, AFP/Getty Images

TOPSHOTS Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova poses with her trophy in front the Eiffel tower on June 9, 2012 in Paris, after winning the Women's Singles final tennis match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium. AFP PHOTO / PATRICK KOVARIKPATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GettyImages

Maria Sharapova Of Russia Celebrates With The Coupe Suzanne Lenglen In The Women's Singles Final Against Sara Errani Getty Images

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in the women's singles final against Sara Errani of Italy during day 14 of the French Open at Roland Garros on June 9, 2012 in Paris, France. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Sharapova, Puig heading to Puerto Rico for hurricane relief

Russia's Maria Sharapova plays a return during the first round match against Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Sharapova returned in April from a 15-month doping ban and won her first title of the season last week in Tianjin, China. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Johanna Konta splits with coach Wim Fissette and will not play again in 2017 

  Few could have imagined, when Johanna Konta walked out for the Wimbledon semi-final on July 13, that she would end the season by splitting with her coach. Yet that was the latest development on Wednesday in what has been the ultimate Jekyll-and-Hyde season. At that high point of the English midsummer, Konta stood just four sets away from a major title. Even when she succumbed to a command performance from Venus Williams – the eventual runner-up – she still climbed to No. 4 in the world. Since then, though, she has barely collected another rankings point. On Wednesday, news arrived that Wim Fissette – an experienced coach who has previously worked with three world No. 1s in Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka – had left the camp. In a statement, Konta told her social-media followers that the decision was mutual. Yet it was hard to avoid the suspicion that Fissette was taking the blame for three terrible months on the court – in which Konta has won just two matches from six tournaments entered – and her resulting narrow failure to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore for the second successive year. This is also the second season running that Konta has concluded her business by parting with a coach. Only last December, she moved on from Esteban Carril, the softly spoken Spaniard who had helped her climb an extraordinary 137 places in just 18 months. Thank you to you for being a great coach and most importantly a great person to work with this season. Wishing you all the best as well! https://t.co/Vm0nmZjT1n— Johanna Konta (@JoKonta91) October 18, 2017 In that instance, Carril can hardly have been paying for a performance slump, as Konta had concluded her season with lucrative runs to the final of Beijing and the semi-final of Zhuhai. The issue was rumoured to have more to do with his request for a pay rise, although this has never been confirmed. Fissette was trialled at the National Tennis Centre last winter and seemed a good fit, for he is a similarly understated character to Carril. With her new coach at her side, Konta began the season well at the Australian Open – where a dialled-in Serena Williams proved too strong in the quarter-final – and then collected the biggest title to be won by a British woman in 40 years: April’s Miami Open. Fissette offers Konta some advice in Indian Wells back in March  Although the European clay-court swing proved a disappointment – hardly a surprise, given Konta’s reluctance to slide in to her shots like a true dirtballer – her Wimbledon run suggested that everything was coming together in time for the hard-court run-in. Instead, she unexpectedly lost her way on her favourite surface, with a nervy first-round defeat to world No. 78 Aleksandra Krunic at the US Open now looking like the turning point of her season. So it is back to the coaching selection game, with likely try-outs for interested parties to be staged in the coming months. Could Carril – whose current client, British teenager Jay Clarke, shares an agent with Konta - perhaps make a comeback? Or what about Thomas Hogstedt, another big-hitter who has worked with Maria Sharapova and was most recently seen helping Russian world No. 33 Ekaterina Makarova? Either way, we shouldn’t expect any rapid developments. “The goal is to get a new coach or coaches in place as soon as possible,” said Konta in her statement, “but the focus will be on making the right decision rather than a quick decision.” Konta crashed out of the US Open in the first round Credit: Getty images As for the rest of her season, Konta announced that she is turning down the opportunity to be an injury back-up in Singapore, despite the $68,000 (£51,000) paid out to anyone fulfilling that role, because of an ongoing foot problem. She is also declining to participate in the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai – a tournament for the “next eight” women on the list after those who qualify for Singapore. “Both are amazing events and I will really miss being part of them,” said Konta, “but I want to make sure that I am fully fit to start preparations for what I hope will be an exciting 2018 season." Looking at her social-media feed, four of Konta’s last six posts on Twitter have not related to tennis, but to her developing passion for baking. As with Fissette’s departure, this is hardly the way she would have planned to end the year.

Johanna Konta splits with coach Wim Fissette and will not play again in 2017 

  Few could have imagined, when Johanna Konta walked out for the Wimbledon semi-final on July 13, that she would end the season by splitting with her coach. Yet that was the latest development on Wednesday in what has been the ultimate Jekyll-and-Hyde season. At that high point of the English midsummer, Konta stood just four sets away from a major title. Even when she succumbed to a command performance from Venus Williams – the eventual runner-up – she still climbed to No. 4 in the world. Since then, though, she has barely collected another rankings point. On Wednesday, news arrived that Wim Fissette – an experienced coach who has previously worked with three world No. 1s in Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka – had left the camp. In a statement, Konta told her social-media followers that the decision was mutual. Yet it was hard to avoid the suspicion that Fissette was taking the blame for three terrible months on the court – in which Konta has won just two matches from six tournaments entered – and her resulting narrow failure to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore for the second successive year. This is also the second season running that Konta has concluded her business by parting with a coach. Only last December, she moved on from Esteban Carril, the softly spoken Spaniard who had helped her climb an extraordinary 137 places in just 18 months. Thank you to you for being a great coach and most importantly a great person to work with this season. Wishing you all the best as well! https://t.co/Vm0nmZjT1n— Johanna Konta (@JoKonta91) October 18, 2017 In that instance, Carril can hardly have been paying for a performance slump, as Konta had concluded her season with lucrative runs to the final of Beijing and the semi-final of Zhuhai. The issue was rumoured to have more to do with his request for a pay rise, although this has never been confirmed. Fissette was trialled at the National Tennis Centre last winter and seemed a good fit, for he is a similarly understated character to Carril. With her new coach at her side, Konta began the season well at the Australian Open – where a dialled-in Serena Williams proved too strong in the quarter-final – and then collected the biggest title to be won by a British woman in 40 years: April’s Miami Open. Fissette offers Konta some advice in Indian Wells back in March  Although the European clay-court swing proved a disappointment – hardly a surprise, given Konta’s reluctance to slide in to her shots like a true dirtballer – her Wimbledon run suggested that everything was coming together in time for the hard-court run-in. Instead, she unexpectedly lost her way on her favourite surface, with a nervy first-round defeat to world No. 78 Aleksandra Krunic at the US Open now looking like the turning point of her season. So it is back to the coaching selection game, with likely try-outs for interested parties to be staged in the coming months. Could Carril – whose current client, British teenager Jay Clarke, shares an agent with Konta - perhaps make a comeback? Or what about Thomas Hogstedt, another big-hitter who has worked with Maria Sharapova and was most recently seen helping Russian world No. 33 Ekaterina Makarova? Either way, we shouldn’t expect any rapid developments. “The goal is to get a new coach or coaches in place as soon as possible,” said Konta in her statement, “but the focus will be on making the right decision rather than a quick decision.” Konta crashed out of the US Open in the first round Credit: Getty images As for the rest of her season, Konta announced that she is turning down the opportunity to be an injury back-up in Singapore, despite the $68,000 (£51,000) paid out to anyone fulfilling that role, because of an ongoing foot problem. She is also declining to participate in the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai – a tournament for the “next eight” women on the list after those who qualify for Singapore. “Both are amazing events and I will really miss being part of them,” said Konta, “but I want to make sure that I am fully fit to start preparations for what I hope will be an exciting 2018 season." Looking at her social-media feed, four of Konta’s last six posts on Twitter have not related to tennis, but to her developing passion for baking. As with Fissette’s departure, this is hardly the way she would have planned to end the year.

Johanna Konta splits with coach Wim Fissette and will not play again in 2017 

  Few could have imagined, when Johanna Konta walked out for the Wimbledon semi-final on July 13, that she would end the season by splitting with her coach. Yet that was the latest development on Wednesday in what has been the ultimate Jekyll-and-Hyde season. At that high point of the English midsummer, Konta stood just four sets away from a major title. Even when she succumbed to a command performance from Venus Williams – the eventual runner-up – she still climbed to No. 4 in the world. Since then, though, she has barely collected another rankings point. On Wednesday, news arrived that Wim Fissette – an experienced coach who has previously worked with three world No. 1s in Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka – had left the camp. In a statement, Konta told her social-media followers that the decision was mutual. Yet it was hard to avoid the suspicion that Fissette was taking the blame for three terrible months on the court – in which Konta has won just two matches from six tournaments entered – and her resulting narrow failure to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore for the second successive year. This is also the second season running that Konta has concluded her business by parting with a coach. Only last December, she moved on from Esteban Carril, the softly spoken Spaniard who had helped her climb an extraordinary 137 places in just 18 months. Thank you to you for being a great coach and most importantly a great person to work with this season. Wishing you all the best as well! https://t.co/Vm0nmZjT1n— Johanna Konta (@JoKonta91) October 18, 2017 In that instance, Carril can hardly have been paying for a performance slump, as Konta had concluded her season with lucrative runs to the final of Beijing and the semi-final of Zhuhai. The issue was rumoured to have more to do with his request for a pay rise, although this has never been confirmed. Fissette was trialled at the National Tennis Centre last winter and seemed a good fit, for he is a similarly understated character to Carril. With her new coach at her side, Konta began the season well at the Australian Open – where a dialled-in Serena Williams proved too strong in the quarter-final – and then collected the biggest title to be won by a British woman in 40 years: April’s Miami Open. Fissette offers Konta some advice in Indian Wells back in March  Although the European clay-court swing proved a disappointment – hardly a surprise, given Konta’s reluctance to slide in to her shots like a true dirtballer – her Wimbledon run suggested that everything was coming together in time for the hard-court run-in. Instead, she unexpectedly lost her way on her favourite surface, with a nervy first-round defeat to world No. 78 Aleksandra Krunic at the US Open now looking like the turning point of her season. So it is back to the coaching selection game, with likely try-outs for interested parties to be staged in the coming months. Could Carril – whose current client, British teenager Jay Clarke, shares an agent with Konta - perhaps make a comeback? Or what about Thomas Hogstedt, another big-hitter who has worked with Maria Sharapova and was most recently seen helping Russian world No. 33 Ekaterina Makarova? Either way, we shouldn’t expect any rapid developments. “The goal is to get a new coach or coaches in place as soon as possible,” said Konta in her statement, “but the focus will be on making the right decision rather than a quick decision.” Konta crashed out of the US Open in the first round Credit: Getty images As for the rest of her season, Konta announced that she is turning down the opportunity to be an injury back-up in Singapore, despite the $68,000 (£51,000) paid out to anyone fulfilling that role, because of an ongoing foot problem. She is also declining to participate in the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai – a tournament for the “next eight” women on the list after those who qualify for Singapore. “Both are amazing events and I will really miss being part of them,” said Konta, “but I want to make sure that I am fully fit to start preparations for what I hope will be an exciting 2018 season." Looking at her social-media feed, four of Konta’s last six posts on Twitter have not related to tennis, but to her developing passion for baking. As with Fissette’s departure, this is hardly the way she would have planned to end the year.

Sharapova and Kerber suffer first-round exits

There will be no back-to-back tournament wins for Maria Sharapova in her homeland this week, while Angelique Kerber failed again.

Tennis - Kremlin Cup - Women's singles

Tennis - Kremlin Cup - Women's singles - Round 1 - Moscow, Russia - October 17, 2017 - Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia shakes hands after winning her match against Maria Sharapova of Russia. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Tennis - Kremlin Cup - Women's singles

Tennis - Kremlin Cup - Women's singles - Round 1 - Moscow, Russia - October 17, 2017 - Maria Sharapova of Russia in action against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Tennis - Kremlin Cup - Women's singles

Tennis - Kremlin Cup - Women's singles - Round 1 - Moscow, Russia - October 17, 2017 - Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia shakes hands after winning her match against Maria Sharapova of Russia. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

Sharapova loses to Rybarikova at Kremlin Cup

Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova plays a return during the first round match against Russia's Maria Sharapova at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Sharapova returned in April from a 15-month doping ban and won her first title of the season last week in Tianjin, China. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Sharapova loses to Rybarikova at Kremlin Cup

Russia's Maria Sharapova plays a return during the first round match against Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017. Sharapova returned in April from a 15-month doping ban and won her first title of the season last week in Tianjin, China. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)