WTA CEO Steve Simon shares thoughts about on-court coaching


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WTA CEO Steve Simon shares thoughts about on-court coaching

On-court coaching is one of the most discussed things in women's tennis in 2020, with the WTA trying to implement the new rule at the Premier and International tournaments. Dubai Duty Free Championships will serve as the starting point, allowing coaches to help their players from the stands and point up to their errors and things they have to improve or keep working on.

With the current rules being "difficult to regulate," the organization will try to make things more transparent, allowing players and coaches to exchange a few words when they are on the same side of the court or to share hand signals.

Back in 2008, WTA permitted players to call their coach once per set and that rule still stands ahead of the upcoming changes that will not happen on the Grand Slam level yet. The new WTA CEO Steve Simon is totally behind the changes and new rules, calling them a step forward and something that will improve the entire game.

"Every tournament has to have its personality but what you have here in Dubai is an amazing world-class destination and the phenomenal evolution of this city running hand-in-hand," Steve Simon said. "What also makes it successful is the continued investment, along with the unique experience.

With that, you have a destination that everyone wants to be part of and that's not because of the wonderful tennis alone but the experience makes it special. Coaching is a part of any sport and I have always felt that coaching needs to be a part of the tennis story.

I always wonder why tennis should be any different? No doubt, we have our own traditions but we are not going to see coaches on the sidelines of the court who will tear their shirts off and throw tantrums that you tend to see in some other sports today.

We've got to admit that coaching happens even if it is not meant to be. In that case, why are we not supporting this aspect where we can share some crucial moments happening on court with everybody? Fans want to know what that interaction is; it is very much part of the story and it makes perfect sense.

If we want a gladiator sort of sport, then we shouldn't have anything - no coaches and no support of any sort but only the player all by himself or herself out there; we are not trying to do that. The unique thing about tennis is that there is no one with you; no one can hit the forehand or the backhand for you.

No one can put in that second serve for you and you are ultimately all alone out there. Player coaching is a good part of the sport and we need to embrace it. It has to be done tastefully and then we need to figure out how we are going to bring it out to the fans as well."