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Tennis News • Max “The Beast” Mirnyi Joining Kei Nishikori’s Coaching Team In 2020

By Ricky Dimon

Kei Nishikori announced earlier this week that Max Mirnyi will be a part of his full-time coaching team in 2020, joining Michael Chang.

Nishikori posted the following on Instagram: “Excited to announce that Max Mirnyi will join the coaching team (with Michael Chang) full-time in 2020! Excited what the future holds.”

The immediate past was unkind to the Japanese 29-year-old, who endured another injury-plagued season. He started strong (title in Brisbane, quarterfinal at the Australian Open, semifinal in Rotterdam) but struggled thereafter aside from back-to-back quarterfinal performances at the French Open and Wimbledon. Nishikori has not played since the U.S. Open (lost in round three to Alex de Minaur) due to elbow surgery. He is currently 13th in the rankings and missed the Nitto ATP Finals for just the second time since 2013.

Mirnyi, affectionately known as “The Beast,” reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 18 and was No. 1 in the world in doubles. The 42-year-old from Belarus retired at the end of 2017, although he played one Davis Cup rubber for his country in 2018. He also won gold at the 2012 London Olympics in mixed doubles with Victoria Azarenka.

Photographer unknown

“I am excited about the opportunity to have a chance and help Kei,” Mirnyi said. “I have known Kei for a long time from the days of my active playing career–training and spending a lot of time at the IMG Academy in Bradenton. So, I hope that this progression will be natural for both of us personally and on a professional level.”

Nishikori will get his 2020 season at the inaugural ATP Cup next month in Perth.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editor’s Note • We spoke to Max recently. He is really excited to be joining Kei. Max was one of the players Sunset Consulting Managed. He was a great singles player but he had to devote his time to doubles at one point. It’s all about points and cut-offs and doubles finals taking place at the same time as quailes singles. Week after week it became easier to be number one in doubles. Max played with so many partners. Maybe 100? Sharko knows the list. We can’t remember but we remember when he played with Roger Federer.

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