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Olympic champion, Monica Puig adds Sloane Stephens former coach, Kamau Murray to her coaching team

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 31 Jan 2019
  • Monica Puig has added Kamau Murray to her coaching team
  • Puig won the Olympic Gold medal in Rio 2016, and has a career-high ranking of 27th
Monica Puig has added Kamau Murray to her coaching team

Reigning Olympic champion, Monica Puig has added Kamau Murray to her coaching team.

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Puig confirmed the partnership in a post on Social Media, where she also stated that she will be working with new fitness coach, CJ Moore, coach Othmane Garma, and hitting partner, Austin Russel.



Murray famously coached Sloane Stephens to a stunning US Open title in 2017, and the French Open final in 2018, but the pair suspended that relationship late last year, with Murray absent from Stephens' box during the WTA Finals in Singapore.

Stephens explained that Murray couldn't attend because he had already committed to an event at his academy in Chicago, but no definite timeframe was given for the 'break'. The 39-year-old coach was also missing from Stephens' team during the Australian summer, but the world No. 4 was non-committal about the exact state of the relationship, suggesting during that the pair were still in communication, despite needing a break from each other.

“Everyone is still around,” Stephens said after her first round victory over Taylor Townsend in Melbourne. “Like I said, Kamau and I needed a break, we are in a great space. I surrounded myself with people here that I have known for a long time that I'm comfortable with. I wanted to be happy and hopefully that would allow me to play better. So, yeah, the coaching situation is exactly the same as it was before. You just don't see Kamau physically here".

In Murray's absence, Stephens has been working with Sylvester Black, who guided the American to a runner-up finish at the WTA Finals last season, and the fourth round of the Australian Open, where she was beaten by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.

Murray will hope to recreate the job he did with Stephens with 25-year-old Puig, who won Olympic Gold in Rio in 2016, after beating Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber along the way. The Puerto Rican reached a career-high ranking of 27th soon after that Olympic triumph, but she has not quite built on it in the subsequent seasons, as she finished each of last two years outside the world's top 50. Her best result last season was a semi-final in New Haven, while she made quarter finals in Wuhan, Quebec City and Monterrey, as well as a fourth-round run in Miami, where she beat Caroline Wozniacki in the second round. 

The world No. 59, who has been training at Murray's academy in Chicago, is an ordinary 1-3 in tour-level matches for the season, after falling to Su-Wei Hsieh in the second round in Auckland, and losing opening matches in Sydney and the Australian Open.


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Olympic champion, Monica Puig adds Sloane Stephens former coach, Kamau Murray to her coaching team

Reigning Olympic champion, Monica Puig has added Kamau Murray to her coaching team

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