Fed Cup - Sears quits LTA to coach Ivanovic

Thu, 30 Jun 09:22:00 2011

Nigel Sears has quit as Great Britain's Fed Cup captain to take up a position as Ana Ivanovic's full-time coach.

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Sears has lead Great Britain in the Fed Cup as the LTA head coach of women's tennis for the past four-and-a-half years but has resigned in order to coach former world number one Ivanovic.

The Serb held the number one ranking for nine weeks June 2008, assuming the mantle shortly after winning her first, and to date only, Grand Slam title at the French Open.

Since then the 23-year-old has struggled with injury and form and dropped as low as 63 in the world rankings before climbing back up to her current position of 18.

"I couldn’t be happier," Ivanovic said in a statement on her website. "I’ve admired Nigel for some time now, and I can’t wait to start working with him on court.

"It was important that I waited for the right coach, and we are both excited about the challenges ahead."

During Sears' time at the LTA five British women, Elena Baltacha, Anne Keothavong, Heather Watson, Katie O'Brien and Melanie South, have broken into the world's top 100 although Keothavong, O'Brien and South have all since dropped out again. Baltacha and Keothavong made it as high as the top 50 in the world.

Also during Sears' reign at the LTA, Laura Robson and Watson won the Wimbledon girls singles and US Open girls singles titles respectively.

"It's been a real privilege to be in charge of women's tennis at the LTA and an honour to captain Great Britain's Fed Cup team," Sears said.

"I feel we've made considerable progress in the women's game over this period.

"I've been fortunate to work with some great coaches, trainers and physios and I look forward to following the progress of our players over the next few years."


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