Gilbert steps up call for coaching on court
By Simon Cambers
SAN JOSE, California, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Brad Gilbert, one of the world's foremost coaches, has reiterated his desire for on-court coaching in the men's game.
The women's game is testing a system which allows a player to consult her coach at the end of each set.
"I think we can do it too," Gilbert told reporters after watching his British pupil Andy Murray beat American Kevin Kim in the San Jose Open first round. "We tried it twice in 1998...but that was it.
"Why not give it a try? From a television point of view, there are five minutes of air time that could be spent discussing what they might be saying."
With the exception of the Davis Cup, where the team coach sits courtside throughout, men's tennis is one of the few sports where the player is alone.
"That's the greatest injustice on the tour but we've always had this rule," said Gilbert last month. "The purists will say it's always been this way but then why do they have it in Davis Cup?
"HawkEye (the electronic line-calling system) has been the best change to the game since I've been a pro and I'd like to see coaching come next," added the American, who helped Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick reach the top of the world rankings.
The biggest obstacle could be opposition from the players with several big names against the idea.
"It's a joke," said world number one Roger Federer. "Why change it? We don't need it.
"We're the only sport that doesn't have it and that's good. The fans don't care."