Thierry Van Cleemput has joined Simona Halep's team as her new coach, replacing Darren Cahill, who stepped away from the role citing familial obligations. The split between Halep and Cahill that came about in late 2018 was unexpected, and now the world no.
3 will rely on David Goffin's former coach to help her maintain her good form. When Van Cleemput was working with Goffin, he helped him achieved great results. Van Cleemput had been with the Belgian since 2014 and helped him reach a career-high at no.
7 of the ATP singles rankings in 2017. The same year, Goffin reached the final of the ATP World Tour Finals (lost to Grigor Dimitrov). For Halep, these helped her consider Van Cleemput as a coach. Van Cleemput's association with Halep also starts off at a different time-line unlike Cahill's partnership with her.
For Halep, the next few months are crucial since she is defending quite a few points in the clay season, where she the defending champion in Madrid and the French Open. This week Halep has been in incredible form in Doha, both mentally and in terms of her game.
Under Cahill, Halep's mental composure grew stronger and beyond her results, it remains to be seen if Van Cleemput is able to hone on her mental stability in critical moments of a match. If he is able to do so, the partnership between the Romanian and Belgian will be a success in more ways than one.