SA kids can learn from Sharapova’s coach

2012-11-03 13:01

Women’s world tennis number 2 Maria Sharapova’s coach Thomas Högstedt says he can’t wait to return to South Africa to relish the memories of being the first Swedish player to compete on these shores.

Högstedt is expected to arrive on Tuesday at the invitation of Tennis South Africa (TSA) to conduct coaching clinics in Stellenbosch, Western Cape until Sunday.

Speaking to City Press from Stockholm this week, the 49-year-old said: “I’ve always wanted to come back to South Africa.

I remember being the only Swede invited to play at Ellis Park. I also played in a few countries in north Africa as well as at an exhibition in Kenya.”

Högstedt’s five-day visit was initiated by TSA CEO Ian Smith and Richard Sutton, a South African trainer renown for his expertise in physical conditioning. “I am looking forward to helping young

South African players (the Under-12 and Under-14 boys and girls at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport) and sharing my way of coaching with the local coaches.

“I learned a lot from Richard. He worked with me to bring Li Na and Tommy Haas to the top 10,” said Högstedt, who became Sharapova’s mentor at the start of last year and guided the 25-year-old Russian back into the second spot on the world rankings.

TSA-registered coaches are invited to observe the clinic and are also welcome to the “question and answer” session with Högstedt and Sutton.

» TSA said non-registered coaches can attend for R3 000 and should contact Leon Freimond on 012–072–0194 or 083-271-8990.

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