Johanna Konta has hired coach Michael Joyce to guide her closer to winning a first Grand Slam title.
Joyce, who is known for coaching five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, was confirmed as the British No 1’s new coach last week. He is taking over from Wim Fissette who split from Konta in October after her season ended with four consecutive defeats.
Konta, who is the defending Miami Open champion, said that part of Joyce’s job will be to help her manage her schedule so that she can peak in the four Grand Slam tournaments.
#TBT to last Friday when UK no. 1 @JoKonta91 followed in the footsteps of the brilliant @BillieJeanKing to beat @TheRealPatCash in the @NatureValleyUK #BattleOfTheSexes Crunch match! We make that 2-0… pic.twitter.com/mMEANgRdmY
— Fox Searchlight UK (@SearchlightUK) November 23, 2017
Speaking this week Konta said, “I think I definitely lost my way a bit with that in the second half of the season. I think I’m at my strongest when I’m clear on the direction I want to go in and the improvement I want to see happening. I like to think with each step I take and experience I go through I become better equipped to play for major titles. Working with Michael is a step in that direction. He fits well into what I need and I’m looking forward to building a long-lasting working relationship with him. He definitely has a lot of things I can bring to my game.”
Joyce will be with Konta for the opening tournament of the new season in Brisbane on December 31st. She said that he seems like “a great guy” and that his experience as a coach and player is “very valuable and important”.
Her hitting partner, Andrew Fitzpatrick, also left her team to join the US Open champion Sloane Stephens’ coaching group.
Konta said, “Andrew [Fitzpatrick] and I had a good relationship and still do. It was a natural expiration of that relationship as well. It was just time to have a different set-up.”