from DION HENRICK in Cape Town
CAPE TOWN – AFTER signing a new coaching deal with the rising Belgian tennis doubles team of Sander Gillé and Joran Vliegen, South African coach, Jeff Coetzee, has set his sights on guiding the pair to the global top ten and Grand Slam titles.
The Belgian duo, ranked 13th in the world as a team, approached Coetzee after he ended his long-standing coaching arrangement with Colombian Grand Slam winner, Juan Sebastian Cabal, and Robert Farah last month.
Gillé (30) and Vliegen (28) are ranked individually 24 and 32 respectively on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) world doubles ranking.
The team have won five ATP tour career titles and reached the semi-finals of the ATP Masters in Madrid (May) and Toronto (August) this year.
“Joran is left-handed which is a huge plus in the combination and to me he is a rough diamond ready to be polished and to shine. Sander is right-handed and has such a loose arm offering the team the perfect mix to break well into the world’s top 10,” Coetzee said.
He believes the Belgian pair and he are up for the challenge.
“The exciting part for me is that I love challenges and there is no substitute for hard work with these two guys,” Coetzee said.
“They are very eager to learn, and they believe in me by their side and have set goals with me as coach to break into the world’s top ten and go deep into the majors and win some Grand Slams,” he continued.
Gillé and Vliegen must put behind them a tough 2021.
Both sustained injuries throughout year.
“One thing I want is to assist the boys in staying healthy and change their nutrition” Coetzee revealed.
He will join the Belgians overseas on December for the opening tournaments of the 2022 season in Australia.
They are scheduled to play two ATP 250 events in Adelaide ahead of the first Grand Slam of the new year, The Australian Open in Melbourne.
– CAJ News