News bites: Stephens’ new coach, Khachanov slump persists

Published by Tennismash

Sloane Stephens (Getty Images)
Sloane Stephens has teamed up with credentialled coach Sven Groeneveld while Karen Khachanov was bundled out in his opening match in Munich – taking his losing streak to five.

Sloane Stephens has linked up with esteemed coach Sven Groeneveld ahead of next week’s tournament in Madrid.

Stephens, the 2017 US Open champion, parted ways with long-time coach Kamau Murray in December 2018 and worked intermittently with coaches Sly Black and Kathy Rinaldi in subsequent months.

Groeneveld was the long-time coach of Maria Sharapova, helping guide the Russian to the 2014 Roland Garros title. He and Sharapova split in March 2018.

Groeneveld has also worked with Monica Seles, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, Mary Pierce, Caroline Wozniacki, and Ana Ivanovic.

Kohlschreiber extends Khachanov’s losing run

At the ATP clay-court tournament in Munich, Philipp Kohlschreiber upset second seed Karen Khachanov to advance to the quarterfinals.

The 7-6(6) 6-4 win to Kohlschreiber means Khachanov has now lost his past five matches – all in straight sets.

The first of those five losses came in two tiebreaks to Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells, his best tournament result of 2019.

Yet he entered Indian Wells on a three-match losing streak and has failed to gain any momentum after that quarterfinal run.

The world no.13, who was the Paris Masters champion as recently as November, is 7-10 since that breakthrough performance.

Also winning through to the quarterfinals in Munich were Matteo Berrettini, Roberto Bautista Agut and Guido Pella.

The 20+ wins club

Pella’s victory in Munich saw him become one of just three players to win 20 or more matches on the ATP tour this year.

Pella has won 21 tour-level singles matches after beating Taro Daniel in three sets in the second round in Munich.

It puts him one ahead Stefanos Tsitsipas, the top seed in Estoril who reached the last eight there a day earlier courtesy of a straight-sets win over Guido Andreozzi.

Leading the pack is Daniil Medvedev – the Sofia champion and three times a finalist in 2019 – on 25 wins.

The Russian enjoyed a brilliant start to his clay-court season with a semifinal in Monte Carlo and trip to the final in Barcelona.

As a result, he finished third in the April Money List behind Fabio Fognini and Dominic Thiem, the respective champions at those two events.

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