Milos Raonic announced a coaching change to his team in June this year, just before attempting to defending his Wimbledon finalist run. The Canadian has struggled with injuries and results ever since he broke though at the All England Club last summer.
I am happy to inform that Mark Knowles is joining my team and will join us this week as I get ready for the grass season.— Milos Raonic (@milosraonic) June 13, 2017
What is the addition of doubles specialist Mark Knowles really going to do for him, as he makes his way toward the US Open? Knowles is a former world No. 1 in doubles, and owner of three Grand Slams. Before Raonic, he worked with former world No. 7 Mardy Fish in 2012.
“He's a great tennis mind, first and foremost. He was a great player in his own right and obviously a great doubles player,” Fish told Baseline during a World Team Tennis match earlier this summer. “He’s one of those guys too that sort of underachieved on the singles court.”
Knowles cracked the Top 100 in singles in 1996, peaking at No. 96 before focusing solely on his doubles career.
"That sort of formula I feel like makes a great coach in that you’re not able to do it on your own on the court in the moment, but you can see it, do it and talk about it away from it and outside of it," Fish said. "He was the best coach I ever had in terms of that and I had a blast working with him in 2012."
Raonic isn't the only Canadian sourcing a doubles specialist. Vasek Pospisil saw a return to the Top 100 after hiring 12-time Grand Slam doubles champion Mark Woodforde. Raonic has been very open to making changes to his team during his career, having worked with Galo Blanco, Ivan Ljubicic, Riccardo Piatti, Carlos Moya, John McEnroe and Richard Krajicek, all since 2010.
"He has been to the ATP World Tour Finals, he understands the ins and outs of [playing] late in the Grand Slams, things like that and understanding all that..." Fish said about Knowles. "He knows so much about the game and it’s a lot that goes into coaching as well, not just spending time on the court, but you’re in hotels, eating dinners all the time. It’s something that you have to get along with the player as well."
In his last three events, Wimbledon and Washington, Raonic has reached the quarterfinals. He was upset at his home event in Montreal in the first round by Adrian Mannarino. Hopefully, things will turn for the top-ranked Canadian by the time he reaches New York City.
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