Jimmy Connors to coach Maria Sharapova

Last Updated: 13/07/13 7:24pm

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Maria Sharapova alongside her new coach Jimmy Connors back in 2006

Maria Sharapova alongside her new coach Jimmy Connors back in 2006

Sky Bet

Maria Sharapova has announced that Jimmy Connors is to become her new coach.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion replaces Swede Thomas Hogstedt who split with the Russian earlier in the week, with "personal issues" cited for him not wanting to travel to upcoming tournaments.

World No 2 Sharapova wrote on her official website: "I am happy to announce that Jimmy Connors will be my new coach.

"I have known Jimmy for many years and we briefly worked together in 2008 just before the Australian Open (which she won).

"I am really excited about our new partnership and looking forward to the upcoming tournaments."

Sharapova is expected to play in the American hardcourt events at Stanford, Toronto and Cincinnati ahead of next month's US Open which she won in 2006.

The 26-year-old Russian recently lost in the second round of Wimbledon to qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito.

American Connors, 60, previously coached Andy Roddick from 2006 to 2008 but will be regarded by many as a surprise choice of coach by Sharapova.

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