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Maria Sharapova reportedly had dad fire Jimmy Connors

Maria SharapovaMaria Sharapova’s partnership with Jimmy Connors lasted about as long as a lead when Brandon League’s in a ballgame.

Less than five days after raving about Connors, Sharapova fired her new coach. She lost to Sloane Stephens in the second round of the Western & Southern Open last week after blowing a one set lead. By Friday, reports had said Sharapova fired Connors, who was hired in July. According to Tennis.com’s Matt Cronin, Sharapova had her father make the termination call to Connors.

Cronin says it was Sharapova’s father, Yuri, who initiated the hiring of Connors, which might be why Maria asked him to make the call to chop the head.

Sharapova is without a coach entering the US Open, which begins next week. Cronin says some observers at Cincinnati believe Sharapova’s problematic shoulder was affecting her again. No matter how you look at it, Sharapova’s in a bad spot leading up to the major.

Racquet clap to Beyond the Baseline

Maria Sharapova likes work ethic Jimmy Connors is preaching

Maria SharapovaMaria Sharapova seems happy with Jimmy Connors in her first month working with her new coach.

Sharapova announced her hiring of Connors in July, three weeks after she lost to qualifier Michelle Larcher in straight sets in the second round at Wimbledon. She is playing in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati this week, marking her first tournament under the tutelage of the eight-time major winner. In an interview with the Cincinnati Enquirer, Sharapova said some of what Connors can offer is “priceless.”

“His philosophy is there’s no substitute for hard work,” Sharapova said Monday. “He certainly emphasizes that in every single practice.

“At this stage of my career, no one’s going to come in and change something drastically. But his experience and work ethic are priceless. It’s been nice.”

Sharapova worked together with Connors briefly before the 2008 Australian Open, back when Michael Joyce was her coach. She has won four majors and been ranked No. 1 in the world, so she’s not exactly looking to reshape her game. She recognizes that and hopes Connors will make a difference with smaller things.

“Certainly I know what it takes to accomplish something. I’ve been there. It was more about the work ethic that I knew he was going to put in, and the experience. He’s been there, done that.”

The biggest obstacle Sharapova will look to overcome is her struggles against Serena Williams, against whom she has lost 13 straight matches. It’s extremely early in their coach-player relationship, but maybe Connors will be the difference for Sharapova, just like Ivan Lendl has proven to be with Andy Murray.

Chris Evert disappointed Jimmy Connors went public with story

Jimmy Connors Chris EvertChris Evert responded to Jimmy Connors revealing personal details about their past relationship, saying that she is “disappointed” he went public with their story.

Connors and Evert were at the top of the tennis world when they dated in the ’70s. He was 22 and she was 19 when they were planning to get married in 1974 before something got in the way.

In his new memoir, “The Outsider,” Connors implies that he impregnated Evert and that she had an abortion. He says the incident led to them calling off their wedding plans.

Evert seems bothered that Connors revealed the story without consulting her.

“In his book, Jimmy Connors has written about a time in our relationship that was very personal and emotionally painful. I am extremely disappointed that he used the book to misrepresent a private matter that took place 40 years ago and made it public, without my knowledge. I hope everyone can understand that I have no further comment,” Evert said in a statement issued through her agent.

It’s quite understandable why Evert would be upset with Connors over the matter. As she said, this all took place over 40 years ago and had been buried in the past. Why would anyone want a secret like that coming up?

Connors is trying to sell his book and knows that a juicy gossip item like that would help him get attention. It was pretty inconsiderate for him to make the revelation without notifying Evert first.

Connors, 60, won eight grand slam singles titles during his playing career. Evert won 18 grand slam singles titles during her career.

Jimmy Connors implies he got Chris Evert pregnant and she had an abortion

Jimmy-Connors-Chris-EvertJimmy Connors and Chris Evert were one of the most popular couples in sports in the 1970s. The two tennis stars were at the top of the food chain in their sport, which in many ways made them the ideal power couple. Connors and Evert were engaged to be married in 1974, but they split just weeks before their scheduled wedding date. The reason why may surprise you.

In his new memoir, “The Outsider,” Connors implied that he and Evert called off their wedding because of a complication that arose in their relationship when Evert became pregnant.

“An issue had arisen as a result of youthful passion, and a decision had to be made as a couple,” Connors wrote in the book, via the NY Post. “Chrissie called to say she was coming out to LA to take care of the ‘issue.’ I was perfectly happy to let nature take its course and accept responsibility for what was to come.”

Connors was 22 at the time and Evert was 19. Having come from a strict Catholic home, Evert reportedly felt that the timing of the pregnancy was bad and that she had no other choice. Connors said she asked him to handle the “details” and had already made up her mind.

“Well, thanks for letting me know,” he said he told her. “Since I don’t have any say in the matter, then I guess I am just here to help.”

Connors said he later told Evert that it would be best if they “take a step back” in their relationship, which did not sit well with her and ultimately led to the split. He said they fought hard to work out their issues but that it became difficult because of their rising status as sports stars.

“Can two No. 1’s exist in the same family?” he wrote.

It seems to be working out fine for Jay-Z and Beyonce.