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Mark Knowles hired as coach of Raonic

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Mark Knowles

By RENALDO DORSETT

Tribune Sports Reporter

rdorsett@tribunemedia.net

BAHAMIAN tennis icon Mark Knowles continues to have an impact on the ATP Tour and on Wimbledon, these days from the sidelines as a coach.

The four-time Grand Slam doubles champion was hired as the coach of Milos Raonic, the No.7 ranked player in the world.

Raonic, the 26-year-old Canadian native, is the most successful singles player in his country's history. He was awarded the 2011 ATP Newcomer of the Year and has been ranked continuously inside the top 20 since August 2012.

He is the first Canadian male in the Open Era to reach the Australian Open semi-finals, the French Open quarter-finals, and the Wimbledon final.

His memorable run toward the 2016 Wimbledon final included a win over Roger Federer in the semi-finals, marking Federer's first defeat in 11 Wimbledon semi-finals.

Raonic opened Wimbledon 2017 yesterday with a win over Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany 7-6, 6-2, 7-6. He will face Mikhail Youzhny of Russia on Thursday, July 6.

Knowles said he is excited to have been chosen to coach such a highly ranked young professional and feels confident that he can assist Milos in his quest to get to the very top echelons of the game.

"It's such a specific surface, for all players, after that match practice on grass but we have had training week, after Queen's he's been practising well not only on the court but off the court. Physically he's very strong; mentally he's strong, now it's just a matter of getting fired up and ready to start at Wimbledon," he told ATP.com.

"I think his level is very high, it's just been unique because he hasn't been able to play as much as he would like but right now he is healthy, and he's feeling strong and somewhat going under the radar right now with the resurgence of Rafa [Nadal] and Roger [Federer] it's been an incredible year but I think Milos is set up pretty well. His practice has been going extremely well and most importantly strong physically and mentally."

During his playing days, Knowles had his own successes at Wimbledon when highlighted by an appearance in the 2002 Doubles final alongside Canadian Daniel Nestor.

He announced his retirement from the ATP Tour in 2012, however, competed in both the Men's and Mixed Doubles at Wimbledon 2013. With that appearance, he briefly shared the all-time record for males with 22 appearances alongside Jamie Delgado. Delgado would surpass the mark the following year.

Knowles coaching career began in 2013 when he coached former doubles partner Mardy Fish of the United States. He has also appeared as an on-air talent for the Tennis Channel.

Comments

Well_mudda_take_sic 6 years, 11 months ago

The involvement of Knowles should go a long way towards bringing a speedy end to Raonic's downward spiraling career! Desperate people do indeed do desperate things!!

DaGoobs 6 years, 11 months ago

Interesting story and good to know that Mark is involved in tennis coaching. Probably inherited that from his mother. On another note, what is Roger Smith doing these days? Wasn't he involved in coaching in California or something such?

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