Melbourne - Two South African coaches, Neville Godwin and Jeff Coetzee, have done the country proud with their charges the Australian Open.
Godwin and Coetzee, who were recently named by Tennis South Africa (TSA) as high performance consultant coaches, can be proud of their players’ efforts at the year’s first Grand Slam.
Godwin, who at the end of last year ended his successful partnership with Kevin Anderson, is now working with Next Gen ATP sensation Hyeon Chung of South Korea. The two were paired up by Chung’s agent, Stuart Duguid, who also manages Anderson.
In their first major together, Godwin guided the 21-year-old South Korean to an historic first ever major semi-final, where he faced Swiss great Roger Federer on Friday.
Unfortunately, Chung was forced to retire due to foot blisters when trailing Federer 6-1, 5-2.
“It’s been a real pleasure to work with Hyeon. He is so talented and has great success and the exciting thing is - there is still so much he can improve on. Working with Hyeon has been a lot of fun,” said Godwin who was named the ATP coach of 2017.
Meanwhile, Coetzee coaches the Colombian duo of Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal. The Colombians are seeded 11th and on Thursday upset the American twin brothers Mike and Bob Bryan 7-6 (7/1), 7-5 to reach Saturday’s final.
Coetzee has been working with Farah and Cabal for the past four years and has assisted them to 10 titles and a career high team ranking of No 10. The Colombian duo’s previous best Grand Slam showing was reaching the semi-finals of last year's French Open
“This final was a long time coming. I am proud of my boys and the way they conducted themselves in the tournament so far. I feel like I am in the final myself, we work closely together and are a solid team. I personally reached the semi-finals here in 2003 (with Chris Haggard) and in 2008 (with Wesley Moodie) so I feel I have gone one step ahead and now like the boys, I want to win my first Grand slam title,” said Coetzee. Jeff Coetzee is flanked by Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal (left) and Robert Farah (right). (Photo supplied by Tennis SA)