Former world No. 20 Dmitry Tursunov says he didn’t want to change Anett Kontaveit’s game but rather change the way she’s using her game.
Tursunov and Konteveit kicked off their collaboration two months ago at the Cincinnati Masters.
Their partnership started with a loss as Kontaveit lost her Cincinnati opener to go on a five-match losing streak.
Since then, Kontaveit has been performing much better, winning it all in Cleveland and Ostrava.
“She’s a bit more aggressive, and I think that’s a kind of built-in trait. I felt she has this internal aggression in her game, suppressed in some way and that’s what I felt she should tap into,” Tursunov told Tennis.com at Indian Wells. “So, I wanted to bring that aggressive Anett on court more, and just work on the things that can give her the confidence to be aggressive.
“If you try to be aggressive but don’t have anything that supports it, you just get erratic and hit balls into the back fence.”
Tursunov thinks he is doing a good job
“I’d like to think this is a big part of why I’m here, but it’s not up to me to decide,” Tursunov said. “I feel like I’m doing a good job. I used to be afraid of saying that. I act like an idiot and sometimes I enjoy acting like an idiot, but I really know what I’m talking about and I’m passionate about it.
“I feel like there’s a lot of players who could improve and they’re not improving.”
Tursunov wants to put Kontaveit in position to compete for the biggest titles.
“If she’s telling me she wants to be Top 10, I’m not going to be focusing on winning another of these 250 tournaments, which are not the ones which really help your ranking,” Tursunov said. “I’m not going to focus just winning this match today at all costs. I’m going to focus on building the game to allow her to compete at that level.”