2018 Wimbledon: Robert Landsdorp feels he can help Eugenie Bouchard improve

The veteran coach is trying to help the Canadian focus on her present and future while upgrading her game.

2018 Wimbledon: Robert Landsdorp feels he can help Eugenie Bouchard improve
2018 Wimbledon: Robert Landsdorp: "I feel I can help" Eugenie Bouchard get better

Eugenie Bouchard is ranked 188th in the world and as she continues to try and resurrect her career just four years after being in the top five, she has looked to 80-year old Robert Landsdorp to try and help her achieve that goal.

For his part, Landsdorp is not interested in the fact that the Canadian made the final at the All-England Club in 2014 and is more concentrating on the 24-year old's present and future.

Bouchard ended her 2018 Wimbledon with a second-round loss to 17th seed Ashleigh Barty.

 

"I don't dwell on the past", says Landsdorp

Having previously worked with Maria Sharapova, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras, Landsdorp began working with Bouchard three months ago.

When asked about her success in 2014 that saw her reach the semifinals of the Australian Open and French Open as well as that final in London, he simply said "I don't want to dwell on the past."

He went on to say: "I never go there [to the 2014 final]. I never even talk about that final with Genie, never bring that up in conversation, because I don't care.

"I don't look back - and I also don't say to her, 'What happened?'  He's more interested to "take her the way she is, improve what she has, and make that better." 

Veteran coach feels "I know what to do to get her to hit the ball better"

Landsdorp has told Bouchard how much he believes in her game: "I think that's why she liked me when she came to me about three months ago.

"She liked that I could see things in her that I could improve on. I know what to do to get her to hit the ball better and more consistently. She hadn't been able to do that before."

He further explained: "I was excited about it because I figured, 'Hey, I can really help this girl.' And that's the only reason I'm here. I don't do the traveling just for the glory.

"I feel that I can help her to get better. If I can't, then I'll stop this, and if she gets to be No.1, I'll stop this. Then my job will be done."  

"Everything is between the ears" according to 80-year old

For her part the Canadian said "He believes in me. I love having him around." From his perspective after 50 years in the sport, part of Landsdorp's philosophy is that "Everything is between the ears.

I say to Genie, 'Listen, if you do this, if you do that, your game will get better and better and better.'" 

He went on to say "after 50 years of developing players, I can tell you if you can develop their strokes to the point that they become automatic, it gets in their head.

"They're mentally tough, but once they feel as though they can play on instinct they can just hit the ball - and mentally it becomes better".

The other part of his teachings is being "very much into players hitting ball after ball after ball until they've hit thousands of balls.

"You want them to have that muscle memory so when the ball comes, they just hit. I think that will help her mentally." 

 

"I came here to keep her fine-tuned" says Landsdorp

Visiting the All-England Club for the first time in 20 years, Landsdorp felt it was important to show up because "It's Wimbledon, it's a bit of a zoo, and it's always difficult at tournaments to make progress because you can't really do that much.

He knows "it's about keeping it the way it is. The only reason I came was to keep her fine-tuned. You can't really put new stuff into her game, and that's the only thing that's really frustrating.:.

He's satisfied with her progress so far: "We started working together about three months ago, but she got injured. She went to Europe and served too hard on the clay just practising and pulled an ab. So she was out for two months.

"She played Birmingham last month, which was her first [completed] tournament in about two months. Every match she plays is better." He was especially pleased with her first-round victory over Gabriella Taylor.

"On Tuesday, she played really well, then she went south someplace - and then she came back and pulled it out. That was a very good sign - because before, she wouldn't have done that."