Quick Quotes: The [Yet Again] Unemployed Ricardo Sanchez Speaks

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Ricardo Sanchez has always been one of the WTA’s more colorful characters. From “Stopwatchgate” in Stuttgart 2008, where he heckled Venus Williams for taking too much time between points, to the Tokyo drama last season, he’s built up quite an infamous reputation. His latest interview, conducted in Spanish, gives Sanchez’s take on working with Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Wozniacki and most recently, Nadia Petrova; Sanchez says he and Petrova decided to mutually part ways for this season and still have a nice relationship.

If your Spanish is better than mine, you can read the original interview here.

Some of the best bits:

On the idea that Petrova is difficult to work with and is not popular on tour:

Nadia is a woman from the East and each has a different character. She’s very quiet, but when she opens up to people, she is a spectacular person…Nadia is not a person who opens to the whole world, but when she does, she gives her heart and friendship.

On his failed coaching venture with Wozniacki:

At this moment, a qualified coach for her does not exist, because father and daughter have a very special chemistry…I do not believe Piotr had the capacity to leave his daughter alone with me, so it did not work out.

Had he been able to work with Wozniacki without issue:

This year, she would have certainly remained in the top five and could have won a Grand Slam…Serena, Azarenka, Sharapova, Radwanska and Petrova are playing better than Caroline. They have far more resources and Wozniacki, at the present time, has a more defensive game.

On Maria Sharapova:

For me…she has not improved in the last three years. This year at Roland Garros…everybody lost and instead there was Errani, who is inexperienced in such games. I have great respect for Sharapova and believe she and Serena are very good for tennis.

On his oldest charge, Jankovic:

If Jankovic calls me and tells me: ‘Richi, grab a plane and we’ll go through the circuit the two of us alone,’ tomorrow, I go where she is.

On the drama in Spanish women’s tennis:

Of course I would [like to be Spanish Fed Cup captain.] If you leave me to my work, in three or four years, Spanish women’s tennis would improve.

On possibly coaching on the ATP:

I would not mind, but on the women’s tour I am at the level of the five best coaches in the world…I have spoken with [Verdasco] and his father several times.

Sanchez is quite observant regarding the goings on with the WTA, and despite his loose cannon of a mouth, many of the things he says in this interview are both thoughtful and correct. Sanchez’s narcissism is one of his biggest personality traits, and while I wouldn’t go so far as to anoint him as ‘one of the top five’, he *is* a good coach. He got Petrova to play her best tennis in arguably six years at the end of 2012 and was largely the driving force behind all of Jankovic’s success – success that she hasn’t found again.

He Said What? – Piotr Wozniacki Proclaims Caroline Is “Ready to Win Madrid”

Caroline Wozniacki has fallen from World #1 to World #6 in a span of three months. She has not reached a final in 2012. Heading into what is historically the weakest portion of her season, the Wozniacki camp would have a general reason to be concerned. Or maybe not.

Wozniacki’s father and coach, Piotr had this to say about his daughter’s 61 62 drubbing at the hands of Angelique Kerber in the 2nd round of Stuttgart.

“It is a special base in Stuttgart, and it’s not something she is so accustomed to. The German girls have a big advantage at the very base, because they play Fed Cup and trainer on it. Therefore, they are favorites, when on the ground, for it is very, very difficult to play,” says Piotr Wozniacki.

Piotr’s logic might actually make sense if…nope. Maria Sharapova beat Victoria Azarenka in the Stuttgart final. Neither of them are German nor played in the Fed Cup tie between Germany and Australia the weekend before the tournament. Azarenka defeated two German players, Andrea Petkovic and Mona Barthel en route to the final. Semifinalists Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova and Polish and Czech respectively, and still performed well in the tournament.

Wozniacki lost in Stuttgart for one reason only. Kerber knew exactly how to play her; she played with consistent, controlled agression and sustained a level that Wozniacki is incapable of reaching. For the 67 weeks she was #1 in the world, Wozniacki prided herself on out-steadying her opponents – forcing them to hit one more ball, which they would miss without fail. Players have finally cracked the secret to playing Wozniacki, and now her self-confidence has taken a hit. Her opponents can expect more unforced errors off the Dane’s racket than they did before; her “air of invincibility” has evaporated. They don’t need to be perfect to win, they only need to be solid and take advantage of opportunities.

The two main warmup events in Madrid and Rome remain on the road to Roland Garros. Piotr had this to say about his daughter’s upcoming participation in the Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open.

“She is strong at the moment and if you ask me, so I think she wins the tournament,” said Wozniacki.

Wozniacki’s career record in Madrid is 8-3; however, in her past two trips there she has lost in the second round in 2010 (l. to A. Bondarenko) and in the third round last year (l. to Goerges).

As it has so often been the case with Wozniacki in the past, there is no consideration of the bigger picture. While Piotr says “their” main focus is the Grand Slams, the fact remains Wozniacki has not realistically challenged for a major title in over a year. One has to wonder what exactly he’s doing to fix it.