Jimmy Connors may have eight Grand Slam titles to his name, but that resume was apparently not impressive enough to make Maria Sharapova retain his services.
Sharapova hired the 60-year-old tennis legend as her coach after a disappointing showing at Wimbledon last month. Connors’ tenure lasted a mere one match, though, as Sharapova relieved him of his duties after losing to Sloane Stephens 6-2, 6-7, 3-6 in the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Sharapova, who has won four Grand Slam titles of her own and entered the week ranked No. 3 in the world, was uncharacteristically sloppy throughout her match with the 20-year-old American, recording 62 unforced errors in the three-set loss.
Injuries and lack of consistent tournament play may have had a role in Sharapova’s poor showing, but it was clear that she and Connors, who was known for his intensity during his playing days, were not a compatible pairing.
“[It was] not the right fit for this time in my career,” Sharapova said in a statement Thursday.
Though decorated as a player, Connors does not have extensive coaching experience. Prior to Sharapova, he had coached only Andy Roddick — a partnership that lasted 19 months between 2007 and 2008.