Carlos Moya Roland Garros 2017

Carlos Moya ‘totally against’ the ATP’s decision to test off-court coaching

Former world number one and now the current coach of Rafael Nadal, Carlos Moya has criticized the ATP’s decision to test off-court coaching as he claimed that by by doing so “tennis loses what makes the sport special.” 

On Tuesday, the ATP announced that they are set to follow in the WTA’s footsteps and will trial off-court coaching from the week commencing the 11th July – the week after Wimbledon has finished.

Players will be allowed to receive instructions in qualifying and main draw matches in tournaments – such as the US Open, with the trail period finishing at the conclusion of the ATP Tour finals in November.

Verbal and non-verbal coaching will be allowed as long as it does not interrupt a player or hinder the opponent.

In addition, verbal coaching will only be allowed when the player is at the same end of the court as his coach.

Reacting to the announcement, the former Spanish number one said he disagreed with the rule change as he stressed the purpose of coaching is to prepare a player before he steps onto the court.

Moya told reporters in a recent interview, “I am not very much in favour of coaching. 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 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 coaching.”

Moya’s not the first person to speak out against the rule change with Nick Kyrgios slamming the decision as he argued that off-court coaching makes tennis lose it’s “unique traits.”

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