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BJK: "No Brainer" to Allow Coaching from Stands


Billie Jean King has seen the future of pro tennis.

And coaching consultations are a big part of the picture.

More: Naomi Osaka Netflix Documentary

The WTA will permit coaches to coach from the player box starting next week in Dubai and Hungary.

Hall of Famer King calls the move "a no-brainer" and envisions a future when tactical adjustments between coach and player will be a bigger part of the match story.

King, who coached several Hall of Famer players during her tenure as captain of the U.S. Fed Cup and Olympic squads, says tennis needs only to look at other sports to understand fans are fascinated by coaching consultations.

"They should be able to signal from the stands," King told Reuters in a phone interview. "Look at baseball. They have a first base coach and a third base coach, the coaches are giving all these signals, squeezing their nose or whatever and making all these signals. It's fascinating for people.

"They make documentaries on these coaches. It's just a story to promote our sport and anything we can do to promote it is a good thing, it's a no brainer."



The trial rule goes into effect at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and Hungarian Ladies Open starting on Monday, February 17th.

The rule will remain in place at all WTA Premier and International events throughout the season.

Starting next week, coaches will be able to use hand signals from the box, coaches will be allowed to verbally provide "quick coaching tips consistent with the manner they currently engage a player” from the box.

However any “coaching conversation” must still occur via on-court coaching with the player requesting the coach to come out on court.

Photo credit: US Open Facebook

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