Sharapova splits with long-time coach Groeneveld amid struggles

Maria Sharapova and Sven Groeneveld split on Friday, having teamed up in 2014, winning seven titles, including the 2014 French Open.

Former world number one Maria Sharapova   -  Getty Images

Former world number one Maria Sharapova and coach Sven Groeneveld have agreed to part ways after a four-year partnership.

Sharapova, 30, made the announcement on Friday, following the Russian star's shock first-round exit at Indian Wells, where she was upstaged by Naomi Osaka.

The five-time grand slam champion and Dutchman Groeneveld teamed up in 2014, winning seven titles together, including the 2014 French Open.

But Sharapova – who returned from suspension in 2017 – has struggled for form this year amid a run of three consecutive defeats.

"After four successful and challenging years of collaboration together, I would like to thank Sven for his incredible loyalty, work ethic and most importantly the friendship that we have formed that will go beyond this working partnership," a statement on Sharapova's website read.

"Although we have mutually agreed to part ways during this time, I have been incredibly fortunate to have a team leader like him in my corner for the past four years."

Groeneveld added: "Maria has been one of the most hardworking and professional players I have ever worked with. Her strength and fighting spirit will continue to be a force to reckon with and I have the deepest respect for her as a player and person."

Sharapova holds a 5-4 win-loss record this year, which includes a run to the third round of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park in January.


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