“It’s time for this” Pam Shriver backs ATP’s decision to allow off-court coaching, Jim Courier disagrees calling it ‘non-essential’

Pam Shriver and Jim Courier find themselves on opposite ends of the debate around whether the decision of ATP to allow off-court coaching is right or not.

Pam Shriver and Jim Courier
Pam Shriver and Jim Courier

The decision of ATP to permit off-court coaching during matches has brought Pam Shriver and Jim Courier to opposite ends with the Doubles legend believing it to be a long-due decision whereas Courier was not in favour of the decision. ATP announced the decision on 21st June 2022 with the rule to be brought into effect after the conclusion of the 2022 Wimbledon Championships and the rule will be trialled for the entire season including the 2022 US Open and the 2022 ATP Finals.

The decision has met with mixed reviews due to many believing that tennis as an individual sport has the distinction of players finding their way out of difficult situations without any help from their coaches. On the other hand, opinions have come that despite the rule in place that doesn’t allow off-court coaching, players and coaches still find a way and often escape punishments so to maintain uniformity, why not allow it.

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“I consider myself a progressive but do not support this initiative”: Jim Courier to Pam Shriver

Jim Courier and Pam Shriver
Jim Courier and Pam Shriver

While the WTA Tour has allowed off-court coaching in events other than the Grand Slams, the ATP Tour had hitherto not allowed this. But as they now are set to trial it for the remainder of the season, it has got the tennis community divided into different camps.

“It’s time for this. Seeing how they were having a hard time enforcing the no-coaching rule, why not? Hiring a coach used to be prohibitively expensive. But now pretty much everybody has one,” said Shriver speaking on Tennis Channel but Courier was not of the same opinion and had a good opinion of himself.

“I consider myself a progressive but do not support this initiative. How many tennis fans have been saying for years how much more they enjoy WTA tour matches compared to the Slams where coaching is not allowed? It is not essential to the game and is one of the things that differentiates tennis…[you] figure it out yourself,” said the 4-time Grand Slam champion Courier.

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