THE ATP announced this week that they intend to trial allowing limited off-court coaching during matches after Wimbledon.

But the idea has already been criticised by Nick Kyrgios, who in his usual abrupt online manner has slammed the decision.

The ATP will test off-court coaching from the week commencing July 11 with players allowed to receive instructions in qualifying and main draw matches in tournaments – such as the US Open – and will finish at the conclusion of the ATP Tour finals in November.

Verbal and non-verbal coaching will be allowed as long as it does not interrupt a player or hinder the opponent.

Verbal coaching will only be allowed when the player is at the same end of the court as his coach.

Serena Williams’ former coach Patrick Mouratoglou got the debate started when he said off-court coaching has been going on “at almost every match for decades”.

But Kyrgios was quick, as ever, to pounce.

Nick Kyrgios is at odds with the ATP over the decision to allow limited sideline coaching. Photo: Mark Dadswell/TENNIS AUSTRALIA

“Completely disagree. Loses one of the only unique traits that no other sport had,” Kyrgios replied to Mouratoglou’s tweet.

“The player had to figure out things on his own. That was the beauty of it.

“What happens if a high-profile player versus a low-ranked player who doesn’t have or [cannot] afford a coach?”

If only Kyrgios has the same amount of channelled energy when on court.

Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas has attracted attention for allegedly breaking the coaching rules.

And Tsitsipas there was an incident in the 2018 US Open final with Serena Williams and Patrick Mouratoglou were seen to be communicating.

In their official announcement the ATP said that coaching would be allowed under the trial under the following conditions:

  • Coaches must sit in the tournament’s designated seats
  • Coaching (verbal and non-verbal) is allowed only if it does not interrupt play or create any hindrance to the opponent
  • Verbal coaching is permitted only when the players is at the same end of the court
  • Non-verbal coaching (hand signals) is permitted at any time
  • Verbal coaching may consist of a few words or phrases, but no extended conversations are permitted
  • Coaches may not speak to their player when the player leaves the court for any reason
  • Penalties and fines will still apply for abuse or misuse for the above coaching conditions
  • The trial will end at the ATP Finals at the end of the year in Turin with the results of the trial to be assessed at the end of the season to see whether it will be included in seasons to come.
Serena Williams uses tape to combat her sinus difficulties.

WHAT does Serena Williams wear on her face when she plays?

That was the question on everyone’s lips last week as Williams was seen wearing black plasters or medical tape on her face during a match.

Williams suffers from sinus problems, according to the London Times, and wearing them relieves pain and pressure.

Williams’ comeback was curtailed after her doubles partner at Eastbourne, Tunisian Ons Jabeur, was forced to withdraw with injury.

So will we see the ‘new-look’ Serena at Wimbledon next week?

Venus Williams reacts after winning her match against Kirsten Flipkens at the Australian Open last year. Photo: Tennis Australia/ MORGAN HANCOCK

SISTER Serena is returning to competitive tennis next week at Wimbledon, but there are no signs Venus following her lead.

Venus has confirmed she will not be playing Wimbledon. “No I’m not playing but I’ll be watching, I’ll be watching Serena,” she said win Instagram when asked if she would be playing.

Williams, 42, hasn’t set foot on a competitive tennis court since August 2021, mainly because of a leg injury.

Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton.

WIMBLEDON chief executive Sally Bolton insists the decision to ban Russian and Belarusian players this year is still the right decision.

“We hugely regret the impact on individual players, but it remains the right decision for us this year,” Bolton told the BBC.

Bolton then said the removal of ranking points “disproportionate”, adding: “We are deeply disappointed by that decision.”

The Wimbledon chief also confirmed their decision was based on government policy and guidance and was “the only viable option for this year’s Championships”.

The ruling has seen some players withdraw from the event with Naomi Osaka saying the decision reduced the tournament to an “exhibition” event.

And defending champion Novak Djokovic, who will not be able to defend the points he earned last year as a result of the ATP’s decicion, said it was “crazy”.

THE partnership between Wimbledon and Robinsons soft drinks has ended after 86 years.

The drink maker’s lemon barley water was developed at Wimbledon in 1935 to hydrate players and the drink has appeared by umpires’ chairs ever since.

Robinsons’ parent company Britvic wanted to use Wimbledon to promote all its products, including Gatorade, something Wimbledon felt extended beyond the contract agreement.

“We can confirm that Robinsons and the AELTC will not be renewing their Wimbledon partnership,” A statement from Britvic said.

PICTURE OF THE DAY: Rafa with fans after a spot of shopping in SW19 on Saturday.

NOVAK Djokovic is odds-on favourite to win the men’s championship at Wimbledon in two weeks time, with current world No. 1 Iga Swiatek also a firm favourite for the women’s title.

Djokovic is 4/5 odds on with bet365, ahead of Italian Matteo Berrettini at 11/2.

Rafa Nadal sits at 13/2 with fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz at 8/1.

Good outside bets include Hubert Hurkacz at 14/1 and Aussie Nick Kyrgios at 18/1.

Real outside bets figure Andy Murray at a long shot 25/1 and big American Taylor Fritz at 50/1.

Swiatek is also an odds-on favourite in the Women’s event, at 1`3/10, with Cori Guaff second favourite a log way back at 10/1.

Ons Labeur (10/1), Simona Halep (12/1) and Serena Williams at 16/1 fill out the top five.

And British favourite Emma Raducanu?

According to the bookies, very little chance at 20/1.

Diego Schwartzman was the victim of a hotel robbery at Eastbourne.

DIEGO Schwartzman and Pedro Martínez had expensive belongings stolen from their hotel rooms while they were competing at the Eastbourne tournament last week.

Police attended the Hydro Hotel in Eastbourne on Monday evening where both Martínez and Schwartzman gave statements.

“When I arrived in the room I realised that my watch wasn’t there. I searched throughout the room, it was not there and when I went to reception to communicate to the people, then Diego came 15 minutes after telling the same,” Martinez said.

Sussex police later confirmed the burglaries, saying “a number of high value items including watches and bags were stolen, along with cash and some personal items”.


Our WTF moment … Media shy Naomi Osaka, who is not at Wimbledon as it’s only an ‘exhibition tournament’ this year, has teamed up with basketball great LeBron James to launch a new ‘media’ company!

Ash Barty and Karolina Pliskova in last year’s final. Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

FORMER world No. 1 Ash Barty has reportedly requested that Simona Halep be allowed to play the opening women’s singles match at Wimbledon this year, suggests the Australian’s former coach Craig Tyzzer.

Former world No. 1 Barty, who retired from tennis in March aged 25, opened Wimbledon at the 2021 edition despite not being the defending champion at the time.

The Grand Slam was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 and 2019 champion Halep could not participate last year due to injury.

With defending champion Barty no longer competing, her former coach Craig Tyzzer has hinted that the Queenslander has requested that Halep gets to play the opener.

Update: Barty’s request for Simona Halep to open the tournament on centre court this year has fallen on deaf ears, with Wimbledon officials announcing Iga Swiatek would open.

The decision has divided tennis, with reporter Yasmin Syed on Twitter: “Very deserved but still the wrong decision. Absolutely should have been Simona Halep, no question about it”.

AND finally. check out Wimbledon’s animated promo video for this years event…