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Why female tennis coaches are not popular

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Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King with Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka. Photo/Eurosport
  • Little or nothing is heard about female tennis coaches in history
  • What’s surprising is that female coaches are not common in this sport
  • Nevertheless, there are a few legendary female tennis coaches

Little or nothing is heard about female tennis coaches in history. They are a big intrigue to one of the most intriguing sport in the world.

What’s surprising is that female coach are not common in this sport. Nevertheless, there are a few legendary female tennis coaches such as Billie Jean King. She coached the US Fed Cup team in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Martina Navratilova also coached players such as Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova who were great stars of their era. Others include:

  1. Lindsay Davenport – she coached Madison Keys
  2. Amelie Mauresmo – she coached Andy Murray
  3. Conchita Martinez – coached Garbine Muguruza

These are just a few examples of the many successful female tennis coaches in history.


Female tennis coaches in history

Lele Forood, a female tennis coach. Photo/USTA

There are several reasons why there are fewer female coaches in tennis compared to men. One reason is that fewer female players are at the sport’s highest levels. Thus, fewer women have the experience and qualifications to become coaches.

Additionally, there is a lack of role models for young female players to look up to and aspire to become, making it more difficult for women to enter coaching. Societal bias and discrimination also play a role in limiting the number of female coaches in the sport.

Judy Murray, Andy Murray’s mother says there is a financial component hurdling women from coaching. She claims that many female athletes recruit males as coaches to double as hitting partners because women couldn’t hit as hard as men could.

She told WTA Tennis that the job market doesn’t favour female coaches because it’s a business you have to start from scratch. This is not always easy for most women because the aspect of job security isn’t always there.

“For women, there are no jobs in coaching; you have to start your own business, so there’s no security. So we actually have to do a better job of promoting coaching to women as an industry and that means not just showing them how to teach tennis but also how to run a business, she says.

However, the WTA has established a programme to encourage some female players heading towards retirement to give them the tools to get into coaching.


As of 2022, the top 10 female tennis players according to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings are:

  1. Iga Swiatek
  2. Ons Jabeur
  3. Caroline Garcia
  4. Elena Rybakina
  5. Jessica Pegula
  6. Coco Gauff
  7. Maria Sakkari
  8. Aryna Sabalenka
  9. Veronika Kudermetova
  10. Simona Halep


Female tennis coach

Female tennis coach. Photo/Thiel college

Coaching is allowed in women’s professional tennis. However, the rules and regulations for coaching during a match may vary depending on the tournament or organization. So, female tennis coaches in history are not a pipe dream.

Coaches are not allowed to communicate with players during a match. But tennis rules allows them to advise on breaks in play or between sets. Some tournaments allow on-court coaching during a match, where a coach can advise the stands or from the side of the court.

The rules and regulations around coaching are determined by the organizing body of the tournament, such as the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) or the International Tennis Federation (ITF).


There is no general consensus on whether female athletes prefer male or female coaches. Some female athletes prefer to work with a male coach because they feel that they can relate better. The general feeling is that they understand the sport at a high level and have had positive experiences with male coaches.

Similarly, some female athletes might prefer to work with female coaches because they can understand the specific challenges of being a female athlete. For example, cultural, societal and familial pressure and others.

Female tennis coaches in history have a reputation for relating better with women players. It is a fact that some female players have a perception of learning more from them.

Ultimately, the choice of coach is personal, and each athlete’s preferences, personality, and goals will be different.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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