Tennis - David Taylor, the new coach of French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko says that he hopes to work on the Latvian's serve, as it one of the known weaknesses in her game. The pair have started working only recently but Taylor says he has already started working on a few things with Ostapenko.
"She can improve in a lot of areas. I think the most obvious one is her serve. People talk about that so it’s not a secret, but, it can be, I think, very good and she’s a physically strong girl and I just think that can become a good part of her game.” Taylor also hopes that his experience at the elite level of the women's game, having worked with the likes of Martina Hingis, Sam Stosur and Alicia Molik, will help Ostapenko.
"Well, the thing I probably have that her mother doesn’t have is a lot of experience with a lot of elite players. I’ve coached six top-20 players over my coaching career, and often very long-term ones. So, I assume that they’re wanting that sort of experience to sort of navigating the waters now that she’s made this big, big jump.
She’s sort of missed a few levels (of progression) and gone straight to being top 10, which, is incredible unusual and I think they didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I think she’s going to have to add things to her game.
But that’s a difficult thing because she’s had all this success already, so a bit of logic would say: ‘well, why do you have to do anything else?’ But I think you have to keep improving because everyone knows you a lot more than they did.
A lot of coaches would get together and formulate different sort of plans against her. She’s just a lot more a topic for conversation among coaches and players than she used to be, because of her achievements in 2017.” Taylor says that he is most impressed by Ostapenko's super agressive game and her belief that she belongs to the top level in the game as well as her awareness about players weaknesses.
Hopefully, the duo will translate their off-court work to on-court success. The Latvian players lost her first two matches of the season - in Shenzhen and Sydney - and will head to the Australian Open hoping to score her first win of the season.