World No.3 Simona Halep has revealed Romanian Daniel Dobre is her new full-time coach.
“I have worked with him before so he knows me really well and I feel happy that he is in my team,” Halep said on a statement on her website.
“I trust him and we had a good collaboration in the past and I think the most important thing is that I feel good with him and we have a good connection.”
Halep’s successful four-year partnership with Darren Cahill ended at the end of the 2018 season, with the Australian wanting to spend more time with his family.
After a one-week trial with Belgian Thierry Van Cleemput in February, the reigning French Open champion revealed she was not in a rush to appoint a new coach.
“The priorities are changing a little bit. I’m more responsible for myself and I try to solve my own problems, on court and off court,” Halep said.
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) March 20, 2019
The appointment of Dobre soon after was unexpected, but Halep told media at the Miami Open she was excited to welcome him to her team.
“(He is) someone I’ve worked with before, even during my time with Darren,” Halep said.
Halep said their shared history made Dobre a perfect replacement for Cahill.
“The fact that a coach trusts and believes in you, that’s the best thing for a player to feel free and confident on court,” she said.
“I need to feel a connection, inspiration. You always want a coach with the best technique, but after 20 years of playing tennis, you can’t change much technically or tactically. For me, the most important thing is connection.”
The second seed, who has a bye in the opening round in Miami, faces either American qualifier Taylor Townsend or Swede Johanna Larsson in the second round.
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