Former world no. 6 Jose Higueras won 16 ATP titles between 1976-84, 15 on beloved clay where he grabbed 386 victories, the sixth-best result in the Open era! Two-time Roland Garros semi-finalist in 1982 and 1983 finished his career against Boris Becker in La Quinta 1986, settling in California and starting a coaching career with some of the best players in the last three decades.
Higueras had the opportunity to work with Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Sergi Bruguera, Todd Martin, Pete Sampras, Carlos Moya and Roger Federer before becoming a part of the USTA coaching staff. The Spaniard became Roger Federer's coach ahead of Estoril 2008, winning the title with the Swiss there and losing two finals to Rafael Nadal in Hamburg and Paris.
Higueras and Federer worked in the following months as well before the Spaniard took care of Robby Ginepri, staying with him until 2010. The famous coach has visited Scotland this week, spending time with the prominent youngsters at the National Tennis Academy in Stirling before taking part in the annual Tennis Scotland Coaches' Conference at Gleneagles.
Leo Azevedo, Colin Fleming, Bruno Argudo and Esteban Carril have been taking care of the kids at the Academy and Higueras is delighted to join them and meet his great friend Azevedo again, as they worked together under the USTA umbrella in the past.
Asked about Andy Murray, the experienced coach said he believes in Andy's comeback despite a severe hip injury he had in the last couple of years. Leaving it behind him and winning the title in Antwerp in October, Andy has been dealing with pelvic bone bruising since the Davis Cup Finals, skipping all the action after Madrid and not setting the return day yet.
"If there's a chance anyone can come back from an injury like that, I think Andy will," Higeruas said. "Andy is a great player and someone who I enjoy watching because he plays an all-court game; that's the way I like to watch tennis.
One of the toughest things for me with athletes is when their careers are ruined by injury. I think it was a very unfortunate thing for him because he was at the top of his game when it happened. If there is no chance because of the nature of the injury, then it's out of his control.
However, I'm hoping he can recover fully and if there is a chance, then yes, I think he's going to come back."