Bruguera Basking In Coaching Career
by ATP Staff|
With the second Grand Slam of the season sliding into action on the red clay at Roland Garros, we caught up with ATP Champions Tour’s Sergi Bruguera at the French Open.
The Spaniard ruled at Roland Garros twice in 1993 and 1994. Over a decade passed between retirement from professional tennis and into the role of coach on the ATP World Tour, but Bruguera regrets not taking the step much earlier.
The Spaniard remained active in the game with his flourishing academy in Barcelona, before signing up with World No. 25 Richard Gasquet in December 2013. His work alongside Thierry Champion has seen the Frenchman clinch four ATP World Tour titles, a semi-final spot at the 2015 Wimbledon and a quarter-final showing last year on home soil at Roland Garros.
“I enjoy coaching very much,” stated Bruguera. “It’s a challenge, but I like it, you get to experience the victories and competition through your player.”
The 46 year old, who reached a career-high No. 3 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is more than happy to pass on his wisdom from between the lines.
“There is nothing harder than playing on the tour," he said. "It’s incredible some people say coaching is more difficult. Coaching is a pleasure.”
Bruguera, a 14-time ATP World Tour title winner, aims to make an impact on and off the court for Gasquet.
“Everything is important, it depends on the moment, but it is important that when you are on the court you can talk all the time,” added Bruguera. “We don’t talk too much about technique, when we are on the court we talk about everything in order to gain improvement.”
A host of former Grand Slams champions have also launched a coaching career following their trophy-laden playing days. Among them are many of his peers on the Champions Tour, including Carlos Moya, Michael Chang and Jonas Bjorkman.
“Maybe we have seen the first few do it and then we have then seen a player we would like to help,” explained Bruguera. “Seeing other former top players become good coaches made it more common.”
Back on the grounds of his finest victories, Bruguera cherishes being able to return to Roland-Garros on an annual basis.
“Those were my two Grand Slam victories, my best memories on a tennis court,” said Bruguera. “It’s a special place, especially for Spanish players growing up on clay. It's the main goal, the pinnacle. Every time I came here, I made a lot of special memories. I always wanted to play my best in Paris.”