New coach for Serena Williams; who is Eric Hechtman?
American legend Serena Williams has been away from tennis for a year. However, the 23-time Grand Slam champion has received a wild-card entry (singles) from the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) to play at Wimbledon this year. It is understood that Serena has appointed Eric Hechtman as her new coach. The latter is believed to be the coach of her sister Venus.
Why does this story matter?
Earlier this year, Serena ended her partnership with former coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Reportedly, the latter is now training two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep. As per Gazeta Sporturilor, Mouratoglou recently informed that he has parted ways with Serena. Mouratoglou helped Serena win 10 Grand Slam victories and Olympic gold. It remains to be seen how the American fares under Hechtman.
Who is Eric Hechtman?
Hechtman, who will now coach Serena, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Miami. He rose through the ranks in college tennis. He has also been the hitting partner for legends Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Venus, and Serena, among others. Hechtman is presently the Director of the Royal Palm Tennis Club in Florida.
A look at Hechtman's achievements
As per WTA, Hechtman won the Florida high school state championships for three back-to-back years. He became the third-ranked recruited player for college tennis in USA. The American then signed with the University of Miami, where he led the Hurricanes for three years. At the UM, Hechtman became a two-time ACC champion and a two-time Big East champion.
Hechtman helped in development of several Division I college athletes
As of now, Hechtman has helped in the development of several Division I collegiate athletes. He also played some matches on the ATP Tour. His highest ATP singles ranking is 1,195, while his highest ATP doubles ranking is 1,058.
Serena plans to return at Wimbledon
Hechtman would now train Serena, who is planning to return at Wimbledon. Over the years, Serena has won seven Wimbledon titles (2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, and 2016), joint second-most with Germany's Steffi Graf in the Open Era. By winning one more, Serena only be behind fellow American Martina Navratilova (9). Among current players, Serena's sister Venus has five Wimbledon titles.
Serena eyes her 24th Grand Slam singles title
Serena has an opportunity to capture her 24th Grand Slam singles title. She is only behind former world number one Margaret Court on the tally (24). The former has played as many as 33 Grand Slam finals. By playing one more, she could match the record of Chris Evert (34). Notably, Serena would appear at a Slam for the 80th time in her career.