Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A woman coaching a man--what a concept

ATP star Nikolay Davydenko (a funny man long accused by media no-brains of having "no personality") has turned me off on a few occasions by making classic sexist jokes about his wife. But Davydenko isn't joking now: His brother, Eduardo--who has long been his coach--is backing off, and, at least for now, Davydenko's wife, Irina will be guiding him. She led him to his last Davis Cup win, and he says she has some things to teach him.

One ESPN writer has already asked us to "imagine" Irina feeding balls to Davydenko. Let's see...Zheng Jie, Patty Schnyder, Li Na...I'd say it would look something like that. It is expected that some husbands might be coaches, but apparently, we need to concentrate to come up with an image of a wife coaching her husband.

It isn't known whether Davydenko is shopping for a regular coach, but for the time being, he has someone he trusts helping him.

Michael Llodra opened the door by hiring Amelie Mauresmo as a grass season coach. At least Davydenko will have a pal when he becomes the butt of who knows how many locker room jokes.


Sunny nine said...

Irina has been traveling w Kolya for some time. We don't know what she knew about tennis before they married but just like any parent or husband, she has been watching Davydenko a lot. No matter what sex the eyes, new ones can bring a new perspective. Especially if the relationship works. Spouses don't just see how you hit your backhand time and time again but also know how you psychologically respond to matches.
I have read a couple translated items where Irina says she does love to shop and maybe what Davydenko says about it seems sexist but in some ways it seems true in their case. BUT, I think it is the media that continues to give one side of the story. The media isn't trying to ask him other questions that would give us a more well-rounded picture of Irina. Kolya is not used to the limelight, so when he got some last fall, he joked the way the press liked to hear, as he is pretty quiet in general. But anyone who saw the passion and pride on Irina's face when Davydenko won the Tour Championships knows it is more than about her getting money. She has been sitting by Eduardo, she watches her husband sleep, eat and breathe tennis (he plays alot!) so SHE can learn and give back just as much as any father who didn't know the game until their child got into it or the same for a husband. And again, she may have had some knowledge before. Go Irina! Fed asked Mirka about what she thought, how she would play someone when she wasn't being manager or mother why not Davydenko?

Diane said...

I wish him well. He is so talented, and has had a hard time of it lately, since the injury. I actually find him more interesting than many of the other players, but what do I know?

Overhead Spin said...

Uhm, everyone knows that Mirka coached Federer to No. 1 and to his very first tour title and has managed his career from the day they met until now. She has received unofficial title of "Coach of the Year" for many years running now.

How many years did Federer play on Tour without an official coach? Almost 3 or 4 years and during this time he won how many Grand Slams and how many matches? Clearly it is all due to Mirka

Sunny nine said...

I guess that is what I meant when I talked about Mirka. I put it in the words that Roger said during an interview.