Tennis - Former World No. 1 Angelique Kerber has hired a new coach - Dirk Dier - for the upcoming Asian swing. After playing without a coach since splitting from Rainer Schuettler in July, Kerber will work with Dier at least through the Asian swing.
Dier is currently the national coach of the German Tennis Association (DTB) and the partnership will be an interim one until Kerber finds a permanent coach. For now, Dier has received an exemption from the German Tennis Association for working with the German player.
Kerber has worked with Dier several times during Germany's Fed Cup ties. Dier is a former professional tennis player himself - playing from 1990 to 2000. He peaked at No. 118 in the rankings in April 1996 and has also worked with Anna-Lena Gronefeld in the past.
Kerber has not won a match since losing in the second round at Wimbledon - post which she split with Schuettler. The two had worked since January and Kerber did not win a title under their partnership. The German is currently ranked No.
14 in the world and is on a four-match losing streak since Wimbledon - losing in the first round in Toronto, Cincinnati and the US Open. She started the year ranked No. 2 and could fall further when the new rankings come out on Monday.
She could also likely miss qualifying for the season-ending WTA Finals unless there is a major revival in her form post her collaboration with Dier. Kerber will start her Asian swing on Monday in Zhengzhou as a wild card on Monday when she meets the American Alison Riske in the first round.