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Here is an article on it:
http://foxsports.com.au/common/Printpage/0,6334,3050308%255E9754%255E%255E,00.html

Kournikova hires rival's mum

By MATT FAWLTY

15 October 01

The Australian

ANNA KOURNIKOVA is striving to rebuild her shattered career with assistance from the mother of Martina Hingis, once her most despised rival.
In an extraordinary volte face, Kournikova has enlisted the coaching expertise of Melanie Molitor as the Russian tennis babe heads for a winter of hard labour after vanishing from the rankings radar.

Just over 10 months ago, Kournikova and Hingis had to be kept apart in a locker room in Santiago, Chile, after a furious row threatened to get out of control. Some witnesses claim flower vases, as well as bitchy insults, were hurled across the room by the divas of the courts.

"I thought they were going to beat each other up," said Jaime Fillol, a former Chilean Davis Cup player, who promoted the exhibition match.

Three months later, Kournikova was forced from the circuit with a stress fracture in her left foot and returned only last month. Four first-round defeats have sent her ranking into freefall. In the current form guide, Kournikova is ranked No.71 in the world, sandwiched between Australia's Rachel McQuillan and unknown Tunisian Selima Sfar.

Which is why Hingis's mother has become an especially close friend. They were seen working together last week at a tournament in Filderstadt, Germany.

Kournikova, who has relied on her parents, Alla and Sergei, since Eric van Harpen was fired as her coach in August 2000, realises she has to make alterations to her game or risk being banished to the catwalk forever.

After starting the year as world No.8, Kournikova's crisis was framed in her latest setback against Anne Kremer last week when she served 25 double faults. But later the same day, Kournikova was giggling in harmony with Hingis as the self-proclaimed Spice Girls of the court dispensed with golden oldies, Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, in the doubles competition.

Micky Lawler, highly respected vice-president of Octagon, the Washington DC-based company representing Hingis and Kournikova, was in Santiago when the young women clashed and she has seen them reconstruct their friendship on and off the court.

"In Chile, Anna thought Martina said something (wrong) and there was a misunderstanding that admittedly involved them shouting at one another. Anna went to her mother, Alla, and she went to Melanie. There was a whirlwind explosion," Lawler said.

"Everyone was exhausted at the end of a trip that was exhausting and earlier in the day, we had been to a hospital to see some kids with spinal injuries. This was emotionally taxing and these factors undeniably contributed to the conflict.

"But a week later, I was in Ecuador with Anna and her parents and she was in contact again with Martina."

Phil de Picciotto, the head of Octagon's tennis division and the mastermind behind Steffi Graf's successful off-court portfolio, has also played a tactful role in Kournikova's shift of position.

"Anna and Martina have practised together at Saddlebrook in Florida, and they plan to do so in the winter," de Picciotto said.

"Anna is happy for Melanie to oversee her game, so is Alla. Anna and Martina get along great as doubles partners. You must realise, Anna had a big injury. She had a choice. She could delay her comeback until next year, or return to playing with no expectations after being out of the game so long.

"We are satisfied with her progress and ask that she should not be judged on this year."

Kournikova's visit to Moscow a fortnight ago, when she won the doubles title with Hingis, enabled her to seek advice from her first coach, 71-year-old tennis babushka Larissa Preobrazhenskaya. She also recruited help from fitness coach Igor Andrev and masseur Dimitri Sharipov.

At 20, Kournikova understands her tennis future is on the line.
 

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Hopefully Anna would improve her game. I wouldn't be surprised if she'll win her first WTA title next year. <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">
 

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The news would seem more positive for Anna if Melanie's main client had won a tournament recently. Hope this helps Anna, but I'm not holding my breathe.
 

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Kournikova is ranked No.71 in the world, sandwiched between Australia's Rachel McQuillan and unknown Tunisian Selima Sfar.
How dare they do that to Selima! <IMG SRC="smilies/freaked.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/eek.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">
 

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I think Anna has went to the wrong person. Martina doesn't seem to be doing very well. Maybe she should go to Stefano or Richard.

Dokic worked with Richard for a while, and she is now winning titles. Well ok, maybe it isn't all Richard's work that has caused this <IMG SRC="smilies/wink.gif" border="0">
 

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I think Anna will be fine. Melanie is a great coach. Martina's problem has been NOT listening to her Mom. Anna could do alot worse. I think we'll see some improved results next year.
 

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I didnt see this topic earlier, so I posted another one (which is now deleted).
Here is the tennisweek article on the same thing, that contains much of the same info, but its another source at least <IMG SRC="smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Anna Reportedly Hires Hingis' Mom As Coach


Anna Kournikova By Richard Pagliaro
10/15/2001

In an effort to fix the flaws in her game, Anna Kournikova has turned to a familiar face for help — Martina Hingis' mother, Melanie Molitor. The 20-year-old Russian has reportedly hired the mother of her doubles partner to assume the coaching role which has been held by her parents, Alla and Sergei.

The former Wimbledon semifinalist sustained a fractured left foot in February and has been sidelined for most of the year. Kournikova has suffered three straight first-round setbacks since her return to tennis. Her most recent defeat degenerated into a double-fault debacle. Kournikova committed an astounding 25 doubles faults today — more than a set of points lost on double faults — in falling to Luxembourg's Anne Kremer 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 in the opening round of the Porsche Grand Prix.

Prior to that loss, Kournikova teamed with Hingis to capture the Kremlin Cup doubles championship and apparently made the decision to work with Molitor while in Moscow, according to a published report in The Australian.

"Anna and Martina have practiced together at Saddlebrook in Florida, and they plan to do so in the winter," said Phil de Picciotto, who heads the tennis division of Kournikova's management company, Octagon, in an interview with The Australian. "Anna is happy for Melanie to oversee her game, so is Alla. Anna and Martina get along great as doubles partners. You must realize, Anna had a big injury. She had a choice. She could delay her comeback until next year, or return to playing with no expectations after being out of the game so long. We are satisfied with her progress and ask that she should not be judged on this year."

The Molitor-Kournikova pairing comes nearly a year after Hingis and Kournikova had a major falling out following an exhibition singles match in Chile. Angry that a line call went against her, Hingis questioned the call to Kournikova, who sided with the line judge. An irate Hingis verbally blasted Kournikova during the ensuing changeover, screaming: "Do you think you are the queen? Because I am the real queen." The tirade caused Kournikova to cry, and though she went on to win the match 6-4, 6-4, the on-court argument erupted into a locker room fight that escalated into a melee of WWF-proportions. The doubles partners threw insults, ashtrays, glasses and bouquets at each other during the locker room battle. "It was so bad," event organizer Jaime Fillol told tennis writer Jon Wertheim, who chronicled a blow-by-blow account of the battled in his book Venus Envy. "I thought they were going to beat each other up."

Since then, they've made up and plan to continue their partnership in 2002.

"In Chile, Anna thought Martina said something and there was a misunderstanding that admittedly involved them shouting at one another," said Micky Lawler, Octagon vice president, in an interview with The Australian. "Anna went to her mother, Alla, and she went to Melanie. There was a whirlwind explosion. Everyone was exhausted at the end of a trip that was exhausting and earlier in the day, we had been to a hospital to see some kids with spinal injuries. This was emotionally taxing and these factors undeniably contributed to the conflict. But a week later, I was in Ecuador with Anna and her parents and she was in contact again with Martina."

With Hingis sidelined for six to eight weeks while recovering from surgery to repair torn ligaments in her right ankle, Molitor will be able to work exclusively with Kournikova.
 
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i dont wanna get all over this guys case but to me this is a badly written piece(the first, as i have not read the second)

i am in full agreement with VS fan, Sfar is a great player, too bad shes tainted by tauziat, and is not unkown, what an insult to tennis fans that we only focus on top 5 or 10 players. theres more players in teh world than them. anyways

good for anna seeking help and you know, making mature decisions and seeking alternative methods that may continualy improve her game

i think this is an insult to anna to state shed quit tennis, or rather allow her self to be banished to the run way. anna has said over and over and over in the past, she plays tennis and its what she does and will do for her life or whatever.
 

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Do you think Octagon has been instrumental in forging this new arrangement? They seem to be quite prominent in this announcement, which I find unusual in a press release about a player's coaching change. They represent both players and they certainly have a lot at stake in Anna's career. Not that it matters; it just struck me.

[ October 15, 2001: Message edited by: janie ]
 

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'"I thought they were going to beat each other up," said Jaime Fillol'

If they had come to blows, I wonder who would have won, if any?? I think AK would take her........bigger and meaner.
 

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LOL @ antonella! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">

That Chile cat fight was widely regarded on tha CNNSI board as one of the tennis Highlights of 2000, with many guys expressing regret it was not available on videotape. <IMG SRC="smilies/smileyshot.gif" border="0">
 

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Perverts.. How amusing can it be seeing two girls fighting on video? I'd really prefer some footing of them taking shower instead..
 

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That would have been voted THE Highlight of 2000, I'm sure! <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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I agree with Janie that it is very unusual for a management company to announce a player's coaching change. Octagon has so much at stake in Anna's future that I am not surprised that they have attempted to forge this alliance. While I think it is great that Anna will have a coach to work with her, I don't think Melanie is this person for the job. Here are the reasons why.

1. She is Martina's coach- While Martina may have had a subpar year leading up to her injury, she was still working with her mother. I agree that Martina may not have been willing to listen to her mother in trying new tactics to improve her play. However, her reliance on her mother makes Martina the dominant player on her mother's agenda. So the question begs to be asked: When Martina gets well, how much time will Melanie be able to spend with Anna? Especially when you consider that Martina will be aching to recapture that no. 1 ranking.

2. Martina's subpar play this year- While an argument can be made that Martina didn't listen enough to her mother, another argument can be made that Melanie is not willing to teach Martina new tactics that will help her improve her game. There is no doubt that Melanie has taught Martina to be a brilliant tactical player, but she has apparently not taught Martina to use those skills efficiently against the power players. So how much will she be able to help Anna in this respect?

3. Alla Kournikova- There is no doubt that Alla is the woman behind her daughter's superstardom; however, Alla has also been the instrument behind her daughter's declining tennis skills. She fired Pavil Slozil, the best coach Anna ever had and her relationship with Eric Van Harpen quickly deteriorated due to her interference with Anna's practicing. The question will be "how much will Alla allow Melanie to coach Anna? " Another question will be "Is Anna ready to cut those apron strings yet/"

4. Is Anna ready for prime time?-While there is no doubt that Anna is a star off-the-court, is she ready to take her tennis to the next level? She has the tools to do so, but her mental toughness has always been her achilles heel. With rumors of a James Bond movie role looming next summer, is Anna ready to commit 100% to tennis, as Melanie would require, or would her off-court commitments take time away from the tennis court?

Please no one take offense to the questions I pose here. I like Anna and Melanie/Martina. However, I think with any new parternship, especially one this high profile, there are issues to be taken into consideration.
 

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Personally I think that this is a great choice of a coach for Anna.

In regards to Martina's lack of success, you have to consider these are two VERY different players. Anna is not Martina, and sometimes coaches suit players better than other players. Also, consider that Martina's weaknesses currently, are not really the same as Anna's in some regards. Had Kournikova not been out for so long, looking at her game technically, it's very sound, and I believe she can handle the power players far better than Hingis can at the baseline, because she doesn't just hit it right back up the middle. Hingis's problem right now is physical more than anything, and because of the fact that she's losing because of the physical disadvantage, she's losing confidence and hurting mentally.

In Anna's case, it's not so much a matter of physical disadvantage, but mental disadvantage in that she has trouble with strategy, even basic ones at times. Molitor has shown with Hingis in the past that she definetly knows tennis strategy. Hingis has just not enforced her strategy well enough this year because she is being flustered by the power. Anna on the other hand being able to handle it better, should be able to impose a better court strategy out there, and use a good technical game (which does have imo underrated power to it) and be able to improve her game far more.


All the best Anna!
 

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Anna says in her interview today on the swisscom site that no arrangement has been set up with Melanie. (you wre right, ys!) That she worked with Melanie and Martina that one week preparing for Moscow. That they work together when they play doubles.

She also scotched the "Bond Girl" rumors. <IMG SRC="smilies/smileyshot.gif" border="0">
 
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anna would kick martinas ass <IMG SRC="smilies/angel.gif" border="0"> <IMG SRC="smilies/bounce.gif" border="0">
 
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