Carlos Moya, the coach of Rafael Nadal, says he is ‘totally against’ on-court coaching, which the ATP will trial later this year.
Coaches are currently forbidden from helping their players during matches as players are expected to solve their own problems on court.
That is something that has always contributed to the sense that tennis is, at it’s core, a duel between players, and Moya firmly believes it should remain that way.
“I am not very much in favour of coaching,” Moya said.
“What makes tennis a special sport is that it is the only sport where you are alone against another without help from anyone.
“In the rest of sports you do have that contact in some way, be it with the presence of your coach, through the radio, with the caddy, whatever.
“That solo battle that the tennis player has, placing the pieces of the puzzle at 180 beats and 20 seconds between points, choosing the correct tactic in each play, is part of the quality of each player.
“For me it is essential that the player thinks for himself, the coach’s job is already done. It’s like an exam, the teacher can help you, but once the exam starts you’re on your own.
The change to allow on-court coaching would generally bring Carlos Moya and his ATP counterparts more into the game.
However, Moya believes a coach’s job is done before the player walks out onto court and this will only devalue the role in real terms.
It is also worth considering that, since Moya coaches one of the most intelligent players on the ATP Tour in Rafael Nadal who does not require help in mid-match problem-solving, other players and coaches will feel the benefit of the change much more than they will.
Moya continued: “The coach’s job has to be done before the game, the player must have controlled all the variants, because then things will happen that surely weren’t in the script. In that sense, I am totally against [on-court] coaching.”
“Perhaps it is the first step to later look for a more important change.
“I would leave everything as it is, the beauty of tennis is the solo battle with your rival, that shows how intelligent you are and how good each one is.”