This is perhaps the most surprising. Johanna Konta has throughout this year credited Spain’s Esteban Carril with helping her get over the performance anxiety that maybe held her back in the early part of her career. After having her funding cut by the LTA, she teamed up with the Spaniard and his team in 2015, and her rise through the rankings was rewarded this year as she became the first British woman since Jo Durie to be in the World Top 10.
2016 was a break-through year for the Brit, as she started the year with a run to the Australian Open semi-final, won her first WTA title in Stamford and reached the final of Beijing. She was pipped at the post for a spot in the WTA Finals line-up but made the semi-final of the WTA Elite Trophy.
As reported in the Daily Mail, neither Carril or Konta have offered any comment with Carril confirming to them by email he was no longer working with Konta but would rather allow her to comment first. The Brit, via her agent, has declined to comment although it has been reported she has been training with Andrew Fitzpatrick at Roehampton – he had been working with Naomi Broady this year, who also achieved a career high, breaking into the Top 100 this year for the first time.
Madison Keys has long been seen as the next rising star of US Tennis and this year saw her reach a career high of World No. 8 and Hogstedt joined the team in April of this year, helping propel the American to the Rome final, and a second grass court title, this time in Birmingham.
Keys made the final in Montreal and the Rio 2016 Olympic Tennis semi-final and advanced to the second week of the US Open.
Teaming up in 204, again the results spoke for themselves with Karolina Pliskova reaching career highs twice in a row. She broke into the Top 10 las year, and the US Open finalist finished the season ranked No. 6 in the world, but after being part of the successful Czech Fed Cup team to win their fifth title in six years, Pliskova announced her split from Jiri Vanek.
Radio Prague has just reported that Vanek will be working with Petra Kvitova and Pliskova looks to be hooking up with Kvitova’s former coach David Kotyza.
Elina Svitolina reached a career high of World No. 14 this year with Hughes at the help for the last two and a half years, and the addition of Justine Henin as a coaching consultant this year. However she and Iain Hughes have also announced the end of their arrangement.
It is not clear though whether Henin will be continuing her role as a consultant into 2017.
Add this one to the ‘surprise’ list as well. After a season’s best finish for Milos Raonic, which saw him reach his first Slam final, and come within a whisker of defeating World No. 1 Andy Murray for a spot in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Raonic parted ways with former World No. 1 Carlos Moya.
He also briefly had John McEnroe in his coaching team this year, helping him along the way to reach both the Queen’s and Wimbledon finals. His partnership with Ivan Ljubicic ended as the Croatian joined Roger Federer’s team, and Raonic was able to move on from that defeating Federer in the Brisbane final at the start of the year.
While injuries have continued to blight the Canadian, he came back from a grade 1 quad tear to give a good account of himself at the season ending finale.
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