World number 1 Simona Halep has become another player on the WTA Tour who will have to chase for the new coach ahead of 2019, as her collaboration with Darren Cahill has come to its end on Friday. The Australian coach who had worked with Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi has been working with Simona on a full-time basis since 2016, forging one of the strongest combos on the Tour and guiding the Romanian towards the world number 1 spot in October last year and to her maiden Major crown this June at Roland Garros.
After many years on the Tour, Darren has decided to take a year off and spend more time at home with his family, with his son Benjamin entering the Collegiate tennis. In the last three seasons, Halep has won seven WTA titles and despite some early exits in the closing stages of 2018 she has been the most consistent players on the Tour in the last couple of years, finishing as the year-end number 1 in 2017 and 2018.
"I would like to announce that Simona and I will not be continuing our partnership in 2019 purely for family reasons on my part. After much thought and discussion, and many years with 30 plus weeks on the road away from my family, I’ve decided to take a 12 month break from coaching to be home more for support as our children enter important stages of their lives with the final year of high school, sports and college preparations all becoming more time consuming.
I’d like to thank Simona for the last 4 amazing years. Her understanding, personality, work ethic, generosity and professionalism made it a pleasure to stand by her side as her coach. She’s a young woman of total class and someone I respect greatly which is something more important than any result achieved.
Basically, I had the dream job and I want to thank her for making it that way, and the opportunity to work with someone so talented and dedicated. I wish Simo and her team nothing but continued success and I look forward to supporting her from the sidelines next year.
A special mention to Theo Cercel, Andrei Cristofor and Virginia Ruzici for all of the support, belief, friendship and great work through the years. And finally, to the Romanian fans that show unwavering passion and support for their girl.
You guys rock, seriously. Thanks for adopting this Aussie as one of your own for the last 4 years and making me feel welcome in your country. I will continue to work with the ESPN team at the AO, Wimbledon & US Open tournaments in 2019."