With the above selfie, captioned "Let's start with a selfie Serious Sam" Eugenie Bouchard confirmed what Canadian journalist Stephanie Myles reported early Friday morning, that Sam Sumyk was now her coach.
Most fans waited for formal announcements from both Bouchard and Victoria Azarenka but it seems that's not what's going to happen. Sumyk and Azarenka have been together for about five years. Before Azarenka he coached Vera Zvonareva. His strength seems to be building confidence in a player so that they can maximize their game. Bouchard needs someone to break her "game" down to the studs, someone who will start from "let's see if you can hit the ball over the net" and help her to think on court instead of bashing the ball over the net with all the subtlety of someone wielding a sledgehammer.
The interesting part is that Sumyk's wife, Meilen Tu, the former player, is Victoria Azarenka's agent and works for Lagardere, the French PR firm. She also travelled with Victoria and her husband. Bouchard left Lagardere for IMG and Jill Smoller, Serena Williams long time agent, is now the lead person on her account. Did Sumyk get a deal for his wife? With no formal announcement that situation, as I type this, is unknown.
In the end tennis is a business and no matter how serious fans feel about Bouchard Sumyk made what he feels is the best deal for himself. Yeah, he looks like a deer stuck in headlights in that selfie, like a man who may only now be realizing what he's done, but he made his bed and now he's got to lie in it.
I have read unsourced reports about Smoller having had several coaches tryout with Bouchard including Larry Stefanki. As I said these reports are unsourced.
Azarenka is now looking for a new coach and United States sources are saying she will have one by next week. There's a lot of snark around about how Sumyk dumped the superior player but someone thinks he can make her a Slam winner otherwise he wouldn't be there.
Doesn't this remind you of the Li Na situation where she found out Thomas Hogstedt would be coaching Maria Sharapova either online or in the newspaper?
Anyway let's see how long this lasts. If someone who has known her for years said publicly that he didn't want to travel anymore rather than coach her (that's the tennis equivalent of a politician saying he's resigning to spend more time with his family by the way) I don't know if Sumyk is ready for the ego he's going to be dealing with. Then again why should I care? He's made his bed...