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View Full Version : Patty lacks confidence and self-belief in the most important matches.


vogus
Jun 29th, 2006, 10:32 PM
Since Aus Open 2004 (where she reached the semifinal but without a big win), in the important matches at the Grand Slams, Patty has given poor, un-inspired, under-achieving performances over and over again. And i think it's clear that the reason for this is, Rainer Hofmann is doing a poor job of motivating Patty and preparing her psychologically for these matches. He has basically turned Patty into a player like Sylvia Farina or Maggie Maleeva or Sandrine Testud who were very consistent on tour but always faltered against the big name opponents in Grand Slams.

If Patty would have played with some enthusiasm and fire against Venus Williams at Roland Garros, she would have won that match for sure because Williams was less than impressive in most of the rallies. This was one of the biggest matches of Patty's career, yet in the deciding 3rd set, she looked like she was just going through the motions. In the losses to Mauresmo and Dementieva at Aus Open and US Open, Patty played like a soul-less robot and was simply crushed. At Roland Garros 2005, Patty came in riding a tremendous clay season, got a great draw, and she should have convincingly beaten Mary Pierce and continued on to reach the final. At Wimbledon, viewed by many as the world's most prestigious tennis event, it goes without saying that Patty should have done much better in the last 3-4 years, considering she has one of the strongest serves on tour.

But after each loss, Hofmann has nothing to say except to make some weak excuse and then, two weeks later, print something on his website like "Everything is going perfect for us, we are such a great team, we are working on many problems together and making excellent progress, bla bla bla". Instead of trying to avoid the blame, Hofmann should recognize his own limitations and hire a professional tennis coach, because looking at the results, it's clear that he is not able to give Patty the proper psychological support that she needs to reach the next level at the Slams. In 2002 under Hubert Choudury, Patty was a faster, more exciting, and more emotionally inspired player than she is today - even though she often struggled with inconsistency back then.

Of course, the fact that Patty has reached the Top 10 earns Hofmann some credit, and it's true that maybe with a different coach it won't be any better, but at least they should try to change something while there is still time. It wouldn't take a "Tennis Einstein" to coach Patty successfully. You just have to make sure the strokes are in working order, make sure she is motivated and focused and the rest will take care of itself...

*JR*
Jul 8th, 2006, 10:32 PM
A good coach in time becomes someone whom the player trusts like family. Other than his, Rainer isn't too keen on PP having that level of trust in anyone else. (The real reason Hu-Bear was axed after 2 years, despite the Zurich title).

UncleZeke
Jul 19th, 2006, 02:23 AM
A little coaching from the right person would probably help Patty. Problem is, I can't see Hofmann parting with any money for any coaching.

*JR*
Jul 19th, 2006, 09:33 PM
A little coaching from the right person would probably help Patty. Problem is, I can't see Hofmann parting with any money for any coaching.
Which is a lousy business decision, if she'd presumably earn more in prize money. :shrug:

vogus
Jul 24th, 2006, 12:45 AM
A little coaching from the right person would probably help Patty. Problem is, I can't see Hofmann parting with any money for any coaching.


I don't think it's that much about saving 100K$ a year on a coach, rather it's more an issue of control. Hofmann is the kind of guy who wants to control everything. It's all about him, he wants to be the star. Hoffy figured that he could do as good a job himself as most of the other so-called professionals hanging around the women's tour who work as coaches, and to a large degree, he was correct about that. But ultimately, Hofmann is still a Hobby-Coach (as the Germans like to say), even though he has built some good knowledge about the game over the years. When it comes to Patty facing the best players, Hofmann has taken the wrong approach from the standpoints of both motivational psychology and tennis strategy. Like many hypercontrolling personalities, he gets too caught up in minor details while missing the big picture, and he's too arrogant to admit his mistakes or take responsibility for them. But these mistakes are the difference between one of the most talented players of this generation merely sitting on the edge of the Top 10 and losing every time in the middle rounds of the Grand Slams, instead of contending for the major titles and reaching her potential to become a true champion.

*JR*
Jul 24th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Vogus, the recent history went like this: in PP's 2nd year with Hu-Bear, she had the great run in Charleston (beating Momo, Mareee, Serena, and Jen, B4 losing to an Iva who had a far easier draw). And won her only career Tier I that fall. But then the "other stuff" happened, and Hoffy couldn't get a US visa anymore (which lasted 2 years).

So @ Charleston '03, he asks her the most innocent kind of question imaginable, the kind that coaches do in many sports: what did she want to do with her life after her tennis career. When Hoffy (who didn't marry PP until the coming December, BTW) heard about it from her on the phone, he fired Hu-Bear immediately, via telephone.

Why? Because if the question made her think of some post-tennis possibilities, a couple might not have included Rainer. So while she'd get some coaching the next couple of years from those of her dubs partners (Raul Ranzinger and ironically Eric van Harpen) he was never going to risk her developing too much trust in a coach again.

switz
Jul 27th, 2006, 12:38 AM
Hofmann is never going to take her anywhere with his coaching abilities - that is obvious. I give him little credit for her results in recent years except to say that from outside it seems to have given Patty more stability in her life (as much as we all dislike their relationship)

Hu-bear was nothing special either. They had two good tournaments - and i would give more credit to Patty's natural ability than his coaching for those results. If he were up to the job he would have been able to help her consistently produce that form. Yes he was probably working under less than ideal circumstances but there's really no way of suggesting Patty's good results began and ended with him because that's simply not true.

He did great work with Lamade as well :o

Patty needs Peter Lundgren - he's an expert in dealing his nut cases.

vogus
Jul 30th, 2006, 05:54 AM
Hofmann is never going to take her anywhere with his coaching abilities - that is obvious. I give him little credit for her results in recent years except to say that from outside it seems to have given Patty more stability in her life (as much as we all dislike their relationship)

Hu-bear was nothing special either. They had two good tournaments - and i would give more credit to Patty's natural ability than his coaching for those results. If he were up to the job he would have been able to help her consistently produce that form. Yes he was probably working under less than ideal circumstances but there's really no way of suggesting Patty's good results began and ended with him because that's simply not true.

He did great work with Lamade as well :o

Patty needs Peter Lundgren - he's an expert in dealing his nut cases.


Along with Mauresmo and Clisters, Patty is the most physically solid player in women's tennis today. She is extremely strong and she is also still one of the fastest players.

I believe she could still win Grand Slams and become a top 5 player, up to and even past age 30 - especially considering the current state of the women's tour with most of the stars aging, and not many outstanding young players coming up to take their places in the forseeable future.

I pretty much agree with what you said about Choudury, but the positive thing about him was that he didn't get in the way of Patty's natural ability, as you say, and so there were times when she was playing absolutely brilliant tennis. Under Hofmann Patty plays a more restrictive and controlled style imo. In some ways, this style is more efficient, but on the other hand she tends to make the same mistakes time after time. I watch a point unfolding and i can see, ok, Patty is going to make an error here, because she's not making the adjustment during the point, she's just going by a script.

It's a pity what happened to Lamade, but i guess she wasn't very smart about the way she managed her career.