‘I hate it’ – Taylor Fritz blasts ‘dumb’ coaching rule, Daniil Medvedev unbothered
Taylor Fritz has condemned the ATP move to allow on court coaching, while world number one does not mind it ahead of their quarter-final clash at the Cincinnati Masters.
Indian Wells champion Fritz came back against Andrey Rublev to win 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 7-5, while Medvedev turned on his ATP-leading form to dismiss Denis Shapovalov 7-5, 7-5.
ATP players are now allowed to receive verbal coaching when at their coach’s end, and non-verbal coaching from anywhere on the court, a shift that has become a controversial talking point on tour.
“I haven’t talked to Mike [Russell, my coach] and he hasn’t talked to me one time since the coaching has become a thing,” Fritz revealed to reporters. “It’s a dumb rule. Tennis is an individual sport.
“Why are we making it not an individual sport? A huge part of tennis is, in my mind, like as tennis is as much mental as it is physical, and a big part of it is you need to be figuring it out on the court for yourself. You need to be the one figuring it out.
“I think it’s ridiculous that you can be mentally not there, not good analytically, not good at kind of working through things and coming up with strategies, and you can have someone tell you what to do. I hate it.”
Medvedev feels the rule change will have far less impact than Fritz suggests, even if players have never faced each other before, as is the case in their upcoming battle.
“During the match, I don’t really see how a coach can help like in some other sports, where tactics are important,” Medvedev said in his post-match press conference. “When a tennis match is there, I guess it can be one match out of five where suddenly he’s going to be like, ‘change your position on return’, or, ‘go more to his backhand’, if he sees it from the outside.
“So it can be a game-changer sometimes. At the same time, many matches, let’s say [when] I play Fritz tomorrow, it’s our first encounter, still I know how he plays and he knows how I play. I don’t think on-court coaching tomorrow is going to make a huge difference. But in general, I’m okay with it, like I was never against it.”
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