WTA confirms: Simona Halep hires Thierry Van Cleemput as new head coach
Former World No.1 Simona Halep has hired Belgian Thierry Van Cleemput as her new coach. Halep’s PR manager confirmed the news to WTA Insider. The pair, who were spotted working together last month at the Australian Open, will formally begin their partnership next week at the Qatar Total Open in Doha, which begins on February 11th, wtatennis.com informs on Tuesday.
The reigning Roland Garros champion split with her former coach Darren Cahill during the off-season, with Cahill citing the need to spend more time with his family in Australia as the basis for the mutual and amicable decision.
Halep began her 2019 campaign with the intention of flying solo through the spring hardcourt season and, by her own admission, played far better than she might have expected at the Australian Open. With a shortened pre-season, no coach, and just one match before the first Slam of the season, Halep earned two tough wins over Kaia Kanepi, Sofia Kenin, and Venus Williams, before pushing Serena Williams to three tough sets in the Round of 16.
Halep confirmed in Melbourne that she began speaking to Van Cleemput for the first time after he split with ATP World No.21 David Goffin mid-tournament. Van Cleemput was on court watching over Halep’s practice ahead of her third round against Serena.
Halep is currently headed to Ostrava, Czech Republic to represent Romania in their Fed Cup tie against the defending champions this coming weekend. From there, she is entered in both Doha and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, the same source informs.
L’Avenir: Thierry van Cleemput has convinced Simona Halep with his methods
The press in Belgium reported on Monday that tennis coach Thierry van Cleemput has convinced Simona Halep, 3rd WTA, with his methods, although the previously agreed trial period was of one month.
L’Avenir reads that the Belgian coach has convinced the Romanian tennis player last week and will be soon appointed as coach.
The publication quoted Simona Halep as saying that “we have trained very well. We’ve started the collaboration and we work together. I hope it will be all right. It’s something new, something different and it won’t be easy, but I have confidence it’s going to be all right. The coaching methods are somehow different, his personality is different, but it is a new challenge for me and I’ll see how I can cope with it.”
Thierry van Cleemput arrived in Romania a week ago to start coaching Simona Halep in view of the Doha and Dubai tournaments.
Halep has left on Monday together with Romania’s Fed Cup team to the Czech Republic for the match to take place on February 9-10.