Maria Sharapova Fires Coach Jimmy Connors After One Match


Britain Wimbledon TennisJimmy 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.

Click here for a look at Sharapova’s life off the court >>

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