BRADENTON, FL, USA - After missing almost all of the second half of the 2013 season, Maria Sharapova has been back on the practice court in recent weeks, and she made a very special announcement this past week - she has found a new coach, the extremely reputable Sven Groeneveld.
"I'm happy to announce my official partnership with Sven Groeneveld," Sharapova said. "We've been working together since I got back on the court and after seeing him on the opposing side for so many years, I'm excited to have him become a part of my team. It has been a very seamless transition and I have had a lot of fun with the hard work we have put in so far. Looking forward to the year ahead."
Groeneveld is one of the most experienced coaches in the game, having previously worked with such WTA stars as Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki, Mary Pierce, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Mary Joe Fernandez, Anna Chakvetadze, Maria Kirilenko and Sorana Cirstea.
The Dutchman has also worked with a slew of men's players on the ATP World Tour, such as Roger Federer, Tommy Haas, Michael Stich, Greg Rusedski, Nicolas Kiefer and Fernando Verdasco.
Sharapova is hoping to put a difficult last few months behind her with the dawning of the new season. She had a fantastic first half of 2013 - winning 36 of 41 matches and titles at Indian Wells and Stuttgart - but due to hip and shoulder injuries she only played one match in the second half of the year, dropping her opener at Cincinnati to Sloane Stephens and eventually finishing the year at No.4.
The Russian will kick off her 2014 season at the Premier-level Brisbane International in Brisbane.