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Ana has appointed Australian David Taylor as her new full-time coach. Taylor, who took Alicia Molik from 138 to No.8 in the world rankings, will travel with Ana while continuing his role as Australia’s Fed Cup captain on a tie-only basis.
“I am very excited about this,” said Ana, who will begin working with Taylor today. “I am at an important stage of my career and I need someone who can really help me to improve and achieve my goals. I think that David has all the right qualities.
“He’s very positive and a really nice guy. I think he’s going to be very good for motivation and we will have great communication on court. He was always my first choice, so I’m really happy.”
Taylor was a successful junior player and the hitting partner of several top players, including former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez. He coached at the Hopman Tennis Academy at Saddlebrook resort in Florida before taking charge of his first professional players, Japan’s Naoko Kijimuta and Yuka Yoshida, whom he took to 38 and 55 in the world rankings respectively.
He is well known to Ana, having also coached her occasional doubles partner Maria Kirilenko and her former practice partner, the now retired Magdalena Maleeva. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland, not far from the 18-year-old’s training base in Zurich.
Taylor said: “I’m very, very excited about coaching Ana. She’s a very special talent. I think she’s the most exciting young prospect in women’s tennis. Her forehand is already one of the most dangerous shots in the world and she has a very big serve.
“But there’s so much more that can improve and will improve. She has a great work ethic and loves tennis. Combine all those things and it’s an exciting prospect.”
During Taylor’s partnership with Molik the Australian embarked on a run that saw her only once lose to a player ranked beneath her in 50 matches. The streak included winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and four Sony Ericsson WTA Tour titles.
“That kind of consistency is so important if you want to reach the top 10,” said 34 year-old Taylor, who also briefly coached former world No.1 Martina Hingis.
Taylor is Ana’s third coach since she began playing on the Tour. She started her professional career with Dutchman Eric van Harpen then quickly turned to Hungarian Zoltan Kuharsky, who took her to a career-best ranking of 16, before they split in April of this year.
Adidas’s Sven Groeneveld coached Ana on a temporary basis during the French Open and Wimbledon, as per her partnership with the clothing manufacturer.