Nick Kyrgios, Todd Woodbridge and Patrick Mouratoglou are all big names in the tennis world but they don’t see eye-to-eye on a new coaching trial.
The coach at the center of Serena Williams’ infamous 2018 US Open final meltdown has engaged in an ugly spat with Australian tennis great Todd Woodbridge over a new ATP coaching trial.
And Nick Kyrgios got involved, too.
The war of words began when Patrick Mouratoglou, who is now coaching Simona Halep after splitting with Williams, applauded the ATP Tour’s decision to trial ‘off-court’ coaching in the second half of the season.
“Congratulations to the ATP for ‘legalising’ a practice that has been going on at almost every match for decades. No more hypocrisy,” Mouratoglou tweeted.
All ATP tournaments from July 11 until season’s end, as well as this year’s US Open, will allow coaches to provide brief verbal and non-verbal coaching to their players during matches from designated seats.
Mouratoglou admitted after the controversial 2018 US Open final that he was coaching Williams from the players’ box despite the American’s mid-match protests after chair umpire Carlos Ramos issued her a warning.
That moment proved the tipping point in Williams’ emotions spilling over and eventual demand for Ramos to apologise to her.
“I have never cheated in my life. I have a daughter and I stand for what is right and I have never cheated,” Williams told Ramos at the time.
Woodbridge took an exception to Mouratoglou’s tweet, writing “This is so disappointing to see that such a high-profile coach blatantly admits that he has broken the rules of our sport for so long.”
That reply seemingly enraged Mouratoglou, who tweeted three more times in reply to the Australian doubles legend, including questioning why Woodbridge would deny that mid-match coaching was rife in the game.
Woodbridge went on to say he had never received coaching from the stands during his career, to which Mouratoglou sarcastically posted: “You are such a role model. I wish I would be you. Maybe in my next life.”
But the French tennis coach did not bite back at Kyrgios, who believes the decision will rob tennis of “one of the only unique traits that no other sport had”.
Kyrgios has decided not to employ a coach for his past few years on tour.
“Completely disagree,” Kyrgios wrote in reply to Mouratoglou’s tweet.
“Loses one of the only unique traits that no other sport had. The player had to figure out things on his own.
“That was the beauty of it. What happens if a high-profile player versus a low-ranked player who doesn’t have or afford a coach?”