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Right, I would have mentioned this earlier except their stories have been so inconsistent I don't want to get too excited, but Marat said in his Kooyong press conference that Sasha Volkov will be with him for the slams and Masters Series, which I'm pretty happy about. He seems to be what Marat needs right now, in that he has a lot of the qualities other coaches have lacked at least one of:

1. Being a friend, since that's almost a prereq for even getting Marat to listen to you; additionally he wants a lot of emotional support. Wilander, blah blah blah, and I'm almost certain it's the reason it took so long for Lundgren to get results: they were still getting to know each other and making friends.

2. Having played on the tour, so that Marat feels like you understand what he's going through, and therefore will listen. This was Mensua's problem, when he became too much of a father figure and not enough of a coach.

3. Being in a mentor relationship and/or being someone Marat can look up to. He gave it a try with Golovanov, and without obviously knowing amy of the details, I don't think he ever really felt that Denis knew any better than he did. I think when he listened to him it was really only as far as his self-drive went, and in general it's a lot easier to have someone else pushing you and telling you when to stop.

Similar to why I take classes in languages that I could teach myself, because I would never actually do it without the imposed discipline. Which is why I'm taking German in the spring :sobbing: when I really should just do it on my own and take phonetics instead. Alas.

4. Being a qualified tennis coach--I don't know how necessary it actually is, but it certainly helps, and Marat's in good hands.

5. Optionally he also likes having his hitting partner traveling with him at least some of the time, and I think it ties in with number 2 as well.
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