Maria Sakkari fired her second coach in less than a year

Sakkari praised David Witt days before the firing
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Maria Sakkari just fired her second coach of the year. Sakkari experienced her greatest tennis successes with longtime coach and friend Tom Hill, who she fired earlier in the year. (Hill is now coaching American Peyton Stearns.) Now, Sakkari has fired the coach she replaced Hill with, David Witt, hired in March 2024. Witt was the longtime coach of Venus Williams and more recently Jessica Pegula.

Why is Maria Sakkari struggling to find the winning combination on her team? Tennis fans want to see her breakthrough and make significant runs in Grand Slams. Her career-best results at Grand Slams happened in 2021 at the French Open and US Open. She won two career ATP titles.

Her break with Hill was unsurprising, and she indicated that she felt he taught her everything he could. The two were also great friends (Hill, 29, is five months older than Sakkari), and Sakkari sought a more traditional player/coach arrangement. Players look for a "new voice" in their ears when they change coaches, and that was Sakkari's expectation for Witt.

Maria Sakkari just praised David Witt shortly before firing him

The oddest part of Sakkari's dismissal of Witt is that days before firing him, she was praising him. His maturity and laid-back attitude were qualities that Sakkari felt complemented her personality which tends to be stressed and anxious when things go wrong on the court. Losing apparently trumps the right personality because after losing to Victoria Azarenka in the Round of 16 in Berlin, news of Sakkari's break with Witt became public.

One thing is clear, Sakkari is trying to make the leap to the next level, something that has eluded her in the past two years. She has not yet found the right coach to help her get there, but she continues to try.

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With all of the talk about tennis players bowing out of the Olympics, Maria Sakkari has been all-in from the beginning. She will be playing singles and mixed doubles with Stefanos Tsitsipas for Greece when the Olympic tennis competition opens in late July.

David Witt will not be unemployed for long. He is a great coach who spent 11 years with Venus Williams from 2007-2018 and five years with Jessica Pegula from 2019-2024. He will be snapped up by a rising player any day now.

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