The first episode of The Managers discoveres tennis coach Sven Groeneveld's story.
There was a moment when Sven Groeneveld realised he wasn’t going to be a great tennis player, he knew he wasn’t going to be able to emulate the great players of the day like Borg, Connors and McEnroe, or that he wasn’t going to be able to compete with the best players and make his living playing the game. But what Sven also realised was that he could see things in the other players, read a match, second guess what the game plan would be, what a certain player was doing wrong, and crucially how he could put it right.
Since that moment Sven Groeneveld has become one of the most sought after coaches in world tennis, he has helped players such as Monica Seles, Mary Pierce, Michael Stich, Esther Vergeer, Greg Rusedski, Caroline Wosniacki and currently Maria Sharapova win dozens of grand slams and other tour titles.
In the first part of our series The Managers, Ed Harry travelled to Sven’s tennis academy in Amsterdam to meet him and to explore the role of the coach to the tennis elite. How do you spot, and then address the weaknesses in the best players in the world which could transform them from also-rans into champions at Roland Garros or Wimbledon?
The Managers on BBC World Service
You can listen to The Managers on BBC World Service on Saturday 10th May 2014 at 18:06 GMT, and on Sunday 11th May 2014 at 11:06 GMT. For further details of broadcasts of this programme on BBC World Service, please visit bbc.co.uk.