“I believe in its growth potential”

Boutique of the Sand ScallopAFP photo

The collaboration will begin next week at the Masters in Rome, where Sven Groeneveld will be assisted by Botic van de Zandschulp. The 57-year-old Dutch coach has worked with the biggest names in the sport in the past, such as Roger Federer, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Ana Ivanovic, Mary Pearce, Maria Sharapova, Monica Seles, Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens and Michael Stich. and Tommy Haas and Greg Rusedski. Now he is embarking on an adventure with the current world number 29.

Van de Zandscholpe, still chasing his first title after two ATP finals, approached Groeneveld on his own initiative to give his coaching staff a nice boost. Since February, the 27-year-old from Wachingen has not had a regular manager since parting ways with Peter Lucassen after a mediocre start to the season.

“It is such an honor to have Botic contacted me personally to ask him if I would like to mentor him at this point in his career,” says Groeneveld. “I believe in Botic’s growth potential. See the exciting challenge of supporting Botic in maximizing his talents and realizing his goals and dreams. I look forward to a successful collaboration.”

Without Lucassen, Van de Zandschulp has had occasional help in recent months by coaches employed by the KNLTB tennis association, such as fitness coach Miguel Jansen and Dennis Spurrel. With Groeneveld’s arrival, the Netherlands’ best player found more continuity in his mentoring.

Dramatic finale

Van de Zandschulp recently lost his second ATP final in Munich in dramatic fashion after falling behind on match point. Last winter, van de Zandsholb himself indicated that he still had a lot to gain, especially on the mental side. “Sometimes I start to doubt myself, when there is no need for that. Maybe I should start training this mental part as well.”

With his game, his serve and his return, he is rubbing against the world leader, everyone can see that. For example, former pro and tennis analyst Mats Wilander said last year that top players pray that the Dutchman does not take over the mental side too quickly. It is now up to Groeneveld, with all his expertise, to make Van de Zandschulp mentally resilient.

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