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Serena Williams flashpoint: Kevin Anderson says on-court coaching is a reality

On-court coaching in tennis is a reality which the game’s stakeholders need to accept and embrace the change in the near future, advocates Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson, The historic US Open title win for Japan’s Naomi Osaka was overshadowed by the code-violation penalty handed to Serena Williams for receiving guidance from her coach Patrick Mouratoglou in the summit clash.

There were accusations of sexism even as Wimbledon Chairman Philip Brook said they were open to discussion on the issue.

The Grand Slams and the ATP do not allow on-court coaching even as WTA allows the coaches to converse with the players once per set. On an experimental basis, players were allowed to talk with their coaches, sitting in players’ box, during the ATP Next Gen finals, using headphones.

“There are two sides. Tennis is a one-on-one sport but at the same time, it is also teamwork. You travel with your team, you talk about matches a lot. It’s very difficult to draw a line between coaching and just the support,” Anderson said on the sidelines of the Tata Open Maharahtra.

“Everyone knows coaching does happen but it is difficult to say if a line has been crossed. In my opinion, it should be allowed in a structural sense. I don’t know what is the best way, we need to discuss that but I would be in favour of that (on-court coaching),” the South African star made it clear where he stood on the issue.