In an interview to NRC, tennis coach Sven Groeneveld commented on his co-operation with Roger Federer in 1997 when the Dutch was named the Swiss National team coach. Federer threw a racket outside the court in a training session and Groeneveld punished him saying that the Swiss had to help the club's groundsman.
"He spent ten days every morning helping with the clean-up operation", said Groeneveld. "He just needed to be motivated in order to perform." Groeneveld was Maria Sharapova's coach when the Russian was banned.
Groeneveld was on Maria's side when they headed into the court. "No one knows Maria as me. I 100 per cent trust her. I have an opinion on the process she was part of. I was involved in the investigations. I fully supported Maria and I am still there for it.
You definitely have the possibility to think: What do you want to do? But there wasn't a moment where I doubted of her. I said: I am behind you, I am your coach, I am here for you. Because I know who she is and what she means.
We supported a lot with each other. Consequently, my role became opener. I was still for her. I had an enormous impact but there was no strength in our relationship anymore. But I am still a trustable person for her."