Coach Dmitry Tursunov acknowledged it's tough to find a player like Rafael Nadal who is a full package -- a combination of talent, passion and hard work. Tursunov once stated that a lot of players who could improve are not improving.
During his interview with Tennis Majors, Tursunov was asked to elaborate that statement. "It’s the same question, like why do some people, when they don’t have a lot of money, still spend it on buying things they don’t need? Sometimes a player is quite talented but that’s not what their passion is.
Very few combinations are like Rafa where it’s a hard worker and a passionate person, and also someone quite talented," Tursunov explained to Tennis Majors. "It’s a question to each individual player: why is their priority not to improve? I was never super fanatical about tennis.
Had I been more fanatical, I would have definitely been a better player. I probably would have done things differently or would have made better choices for my tennis. You have to give up something: some players are willing to give up relationships or spend all their money on improving their tennis, but some players aren’t willing to do that."
Tursunov works with Anett Kontaveit
Kontaveit, who hired Tursunov in August, won four titles, broke into the top-10 and debuted at the WTA Finals in just three months after hiring Turusunov. Tursunov was asked what she saw in Kontaveit's game that he wanted to change.
I felt like naturally she’s quite aggressive, but she wasn’t really utilising that. I think she was playing a role of a player that she is not. And so the question was why it happens. And the question is, also can she play as a more aggressive player, or need to develop some shots or a better understanding of court positioning? It’s my job to figure out what she can add to the game to really match her character and help her bring out the best of her personality into her game," Tursunov said.