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In the global geography of the coaching ranks, we have seen:
•Australia's lefthanded veteran Tony Roche help Lendl overcome his southpaw nemesis, McEnroe.
•Spain's tiny (5'4") dancer, Angel Giminez, whip a once-too-lazy Sabatini into fighting trim sufficient to beat both Navratilova and Graf, twice.
•Holland's Betty Stove turn Hana Mandlikova from a No. 1 contender into a whining, early-round washout. The two have been together forever, arguing over the slightest detail, including who should sit in what chair at dinner.
•Florida's Nick Bollettieri get rescued from a horrible death in the cross hairs of his beloved baseline—where the Jimmy Ariases and Aaron Kricksteins had left him to suffer—by the laser forehand and the all-court savoir faire of his latest product, Agassi.
•Ski America's Andy Mill suddenly become Handy Andy Groundstroke in his daily monitoring of wife Chris Evert's practices. Recently, spying Mill's animated conversation with her father, Jimmy, Chris stopped play, went into her adorable scrunched-up nose routine and said, "Dad, is he talking about my game again?"
•America's Brett Connors, age 9, succeed his mother, Patti, his grandmother, Gloria, and his great-grandmother, Two Mom, as well as his father's ex-manager, Bill Riordan, ex-coach, Pancho Segura, ex-bodyguard, Doug Henderson, ex-Vegas-walk-around-guy, Lornie Kuhle, and the good folks at Paine Webber in helping his old man, Jimbo, to his first tournament victory in almost four years (Washington, July 25).
•Texas's Mike Estep earn MVCD (Most Valuable Coach of the Decade) honors for his contributions to Navratilova's 74-and 58-match winning streaks and her six straight Grand Slam titles. Navratilova hired Estep, another journeyman player who got by on guts and guile, after her shocking loss to Kathy Horvath in the '83 French Open. "Martina was already No. 1, and I thought, Right, where did that leave us to go?" says Estep. "Then she said her goal was to win the Grand Slam and be the greatest player who ever lived. That seemed like a sufficient, uh, challenge."
Estep changed Martina's service grip, and she learned a kick second serve in three days. On her forehand volley Navratilova held her racket too high; Estep brought it down. Renee Richards had convinced Martina that she was the best athlete on the tour (which she was) and that she could beat anybody from the baseline. "I changed that," says Estep. "Martina is the best woman volleyer ever. I had her come in on everything. We started from zero, and she was unbelievable in response. It was never 'I think' but 'You think and I'll do.' "
Navratilova lost only 10 matches in 3½ years, under Estep, but until very late in their association, he says, she didn't win any from 4-all in the third set. "It wasn't that Martina choked," Estep says. "She just got that far in a match and her mind-set was disappointment that she hadn't won already. That's how Helena Sukova halted the 74-match streak in Australia [7-5 in the third].