Former world No 3 Sloane Stephens has announced that Rafael Nadal's former coach Francisco Roig has joined her team. Nadal, a record 22-time Grand Slam champion, announced last Friday that he and coach Roig ended their partnership.
Five days later, 2017 US Open champion Stephens is announcing Roig as her new coach. "Happy to have Francis Roig join my team as my new coach! Here's to a successful journey together, let's get to work," Stephens announced on Twitter.
Happy to have Francis Roig join my team as my new coach! Here's to a successful journey together, let's get to work ✨
Muy contenta de comunicaros que Francis Roig será mi entrenador esta temporada ✨ pic.twitter.com/lr1JOGfqkY — sloanestephens (@SloaneStephens) December 21, 2022
Stephens picks up Nadal's ex-coach Roig
Roig started working with Nadal at the start of the Spaniard's career and they ended up having a very long and successful collaboration.
On Friday, Nadal described Roig as a special person and wished him all the best in the future. "I wanted to inform you that Francis Roig is leaving the team. Francis has been an important person in my career and I am very grateful to him for all these years of work and friendship.
When we started working together I was a child and together with my uncle Toni, we started on the circuit. Francis is a great coach who knows tennis very well and has helped me a lot to get better and better. I only have words of gratitude and I wish him all the luck in the world in his new project," Nadal announced on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Roig will be hoping to help Stephens return to the top-10. Stephens, who is a Grand Slam champion and a former top-5 player, is now ranked at No 37 in the world. This year, Stephens made it all the way on the hard courts of Guadalajara and her best Grand Slam result came at the French Open, where she made the quarterfinal before losing to Cori Gauff.
Roig knows what it takes to win and that's probably one of the reasons why Stephens wanted him to be her new coach. It remains to be seen if Roig can help Stephens rediscover her best tennis.