Two days left to get the tennis coaching and VIP experience of a lifetime, and it's for the best cause

The DAIMANI Journal is very happy to bring to your attention a wonderful programme with a great cause that brings together members of the ATP Coach Programme and the ATP who, together, have launched a series of exclusive fan experiences in support of coaches affected by coronavirus.

The initiative gives you the opportunity to bid online for once-in-a-lifetime experiences through auctions and prize draws.

Experiences include private coaching sessions with legendary ATP coaches including Paul Annacone [former coach of Roger Federer and Pete Sampras], Boris Becker [Novak Djokovic], Darren Cahill [Simona Halep, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt], Brad Gilbert [Andy Roddick, Kei Nishikori, also Agassi], Goran Ivanisevic [Martin Cilic, also Djokovic] Ivan Lendl and many others.

It’s important also to understand why the fundraising is necessary: ‘There is no security being a tennis coach,’ said Darren Cahill, the current coach of Halep and the former coach of Hewitt and Agassi. ‘Ninety-nine percent of the coaches at the moment are not getting paid. And it’s just like the players as well: unless you’re one of the top players and have contract money, they’re not getting paid either. So being a coach on the WTA or the ATP at the moment is incredibly difficult. For the moment, the coach is not protected at all.’

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep and her coach Darren Cahill discuss how their relationship is a mix of hard work, having fun and a friendship more like family.

Like all of us suffering in the Live Event lockdown, a business that relies on large groups of fans coming together to cheer on their sporting heroes will be one of the last to recover from coronavirus pandemic. Although governments are now easing restrictions and eager to start rebuilding their battered economies, a sport like tennis, based on international travel and large numbers of spectators, is some way from getting back to normal.

Tennis has been struck harder than other sports, where coaches are typically employed under contract. That’s not usually the case with tennis where contracts are sometimes by the week and often dependent on prize money.

The top-ranked bid at the moment is USD19,000 for coaching with Lendl and a package of rights that promises:

  • Spend two (2) hours on court with tennis legend Ivan Lendl at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, site of the 2021 US Open.
  • You and your guest will enjoy a private coaching session with one of the most decorated Grand Slam champions and former World No. 1. As a coach, Ivan has worked with current stars Andy Murray and Alexander Zverev.

In addition, this experience includes the following:

  • Two (2) courtside tickets for the men's singles final.
  • A behind-the-scenes tour for you and your guest with Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive, Professional Tennis, with the USTA.
  • Access to the player dining experience.
  • Merchandise gift bag.

For more information on all the experiences offered click here.  

Andy Murray and Ivan Lendl laughing during tennis practice
Ivan Lendl was Andy Murray’s coach when he won Wimbledon twice, two Olympic gold medals, one US Open and ATP Finals.

It’s important to note that the sessions will take place onsite at various ATP Tour and Grand Slam events next year. They all include a combination of match tickets, premium hospitality and unique behind-the-scenes access. Exclusive merchandise items are also available.

The initial three-week bidding window started on June 8  and will close on 29 June. Future rounds and experiences will be announced in due course. Funds raised will be allocated by the ATP Coaches Committee to support the members of the ATP Coach Programme in most need, whose ability to work has been impacted by the ongoing pandemic. In addition, a part of the proceeds will be donated to a global coronavirus relief fund.

Paul Annacone, former coach to Federer and Sampras, takes us behind the scenes at The Tennis Channel during last year’s US Open
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Charlie Charters is a former rugby union official and sports marketing executive turned thriller writer whose debut book Bolt Action was published by Hodder & Stoughton in 2010.
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