Coach Dmitry Tursunov tried to explain what changes Anett Kontaveit made to her game that helped her have a strong end to the 2021 season.
Tursunov started working with Kontaveit in August and since then the Estonian has played the best tennis of her career.
After hiring Tursunov, Kontaveit made five finals and captured four titles.
“She began to play more aggressively at the right moments. She also became more patient – she no longer strives to finish the rally as soon as possible. I improved my positional play – I began to understand better when it is better to attack, when to defend, where to take risks. Determination appeared,” Tursunov told Vedomosti Sport.
Tursunov explains where it gets hard for some players
“It is psychologically easier to play after winning three tournaments than after losing five in a row. This confidence can be lost, and then you need to show character. Many players fail to cope with this. Side effects appear – they begin to change their training, their team, and a complete leapfrog ensues,” Tursunov explained. “Most tennis players lack the ability to adapt to ups and downs, and the ability to analyze the source of success and failure. There is always a desire to shift responsibility somewhere far away from oneself.”
Kontaveit made five finals, debuted at the WTA Finals and broke into the top-10 for the first time in her career after hiring Tursunov.
Tursunov isn’t lacking confidence in his coaching abilities.
“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 in October. “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.”