Croatian tennis stars Borna Coric and Ana Konjuh paid their tributes to coach Kristijan "Kiki" Schneider, who passed away at the age of 41 after battling cancer. Schneider was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2019 but didn't require any chemotherapy as he returned to the tour around six months later.
Unfortunately, Schneider was diagnosed with cancer again two years later and this time he did require a treatment. On Monday, the Croatian Tennis Federation announced the sad news in a statement. “Kristijan Schneider has died after a serious illness.
One of our most famous coaches, the favourite Kiki everywhere, lost the hardest battle against a vicious disease,” the statement read. “He was the coach of many tennis stars, such as Borna Coric and Ana Konjuh.
He recently participated (supported) junior Australian Open winner Petra Marcinko, and also worked with Bernard Pero, Olga Danilovic…’ “Unfortunately, Kiki’s life ended prematurely, at the age of 41.
Kiki, thank you for everything you gave to tennis and was what you are. We express our deepest condolences to the family in this way”.
Coric, Konjuh pay their tributes
Schneider played a big role in helping Coric becoming pro and turning into the player he is today.
"Rest in peace my friend and my coach. I was blessed to have you in my life," Coric wrote on Twitter.
Konjuh, who only has good memories about Schneider, was devastated after learning about the news.
‘I’m lost for words. Until we meet again, save me a hug up there (heaven). Rest in peace Kiki,2 Konjuh wrote on Instagram.
Most recently, Schneider was working with promising Croatian Petra Marcinko.
Marcinko is one of the most promising talents on the tour, having won this year's Australian Open girls' singles title. After returning from Australia with Marcinko, Schneider told 24sata, before bursting into tears: "It is not good, unfortunately it is not."