Dec. 7, 2012 — After being without a coach since September, world No. 38 Viktor Troicki has hired Australian Jack Reader.
Reader worked with Alexandr Dolgopolov until October, helping the Ukrainian rise 300 spots and attain world No. 34 during their time together. Troicki had previously worked with Jan de Witt for seven years but the two split this fall after Troicki’s troublesome season.
Speaking to Serbian paper “Novosti,” Reader joked that his trip to Serbia for Troicki’s off-season better have been worth it to leave his sunny Australia for the cold: “I am very happy that I have started working with Viktor … I told (him) that I hope he will be good and listen to me during training!”
Even though the two have known each other for some time, the partnership began on recommendation from Troicki’s manager. And Troicki couldn’t be happier with having someone of Reader’s expertise on his team:
“Jack is interesting, entertaining, knows all the players and coaches on tour, does his job well and has been around for a few years, and from my own views, people respect and love him. He’s different from the coach I had up until recently, because Jan was very direct and everything was based on some strict rules. Reader is more relaxed and I believe that can help me at this time.”
The pair has already been working on some critical aspects of Troicki’s game, and they will continue to train together in Serbia until December 20th. A short break for the holidays, and then they will meet up again for the year’s first Slam next month in Australia.
“We have already begun making adjustments and working on little things that need to be fixed. There will be plenty more of that, as I have a lot that I can and must improve on. I hope that I’ll find my rhythm in the beginning and return to the top 20 — that’s my goal.”
And perhaps most telling of all is just how quickly he wants to forget about his 2012 season, which was the first since 2008 where he didn’t reach an ATP Tour-level final.
“It’s important for me to forget about this past season as quickly as possible, as it’s one of the worst I’ve had. I didn’t record consistently good results due to a drop in my game. Additionally, I lost confidence, and when you put that all together, things didn’t go well. I am trying to get out of this crisis as soon as possible. I had a similar experience three or four years ago when I was also around No. 20 in the world and fell to around 40. Then I again started with good results and reached a ranking of No. 12. I hope that another good wave and good games will come for me, and that I can go for an even better ranking.”
Troicki has always been a very “hot-and-cold” player, on fire one match and crumpling in the next. Hell, he will even indulge you with both versions in a single match! Case in point, after losing a first set 6-0 to Andy Roddick in Washington, D.C. a few years ago, Troicki came back and played lights out tennis, winning the last two sets 6-2, 6-4, en route quieting an entire stadium.
Continued results like these are what make him an entertaining yet puzzling player to watch. His seemingly turbulent on court mindset yelling at his racquet and talking back at loud fans, may seem off-putting to a spectator but it’s also what gives breath to his game. When it doubt, the louder he yells, the more he pounds his chest and the more self-deprecating he is, the better his results. Lately though, as his wins have dwindled, so to have his wit and savage charm on court. But perhaps the introduction of a relaxed coach in Reader will make all right with the world again and the fire will be restored.