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Open Ed: Simona Halep and a Callous Team

Let’s make no mistake here, what Simona Halep’s coaching team has done is destroy her career over the best part of the past 18 months — perhaps momentarily but those 6+ Grand Slams are gone when Help was at one of her peaks and a genuine contender to claim additional Championships wins. I mean, it’s not like Halep is in prime condition to win Gold at the 2024 Paris Olympics but if she maintained her trajectory from prior to the well known anti-doping judgements, she may have very well have been positioned to claim a podium position for Romania. And yet, the irony here is that her team has suffered nil consequences.

Now that is overdue. Halep’s Head Coach at the time — who I’ve chosen not to name for the simple sake of limiting addition attention he has sought over this time, was widely recognised as the Coach responsible for Serena Williams’ almighty success. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Rather, I’ll argue he was in the right place at the right time and was able to build a superior relationship with Serena whose fundamentals had been built long prior to this establishment. For example, remember those earlier Grand Slam triumphs when her father and/or mother was at the helm? Or what about when they stepped away and Serena’s then hitting partner took the reins? Notably, Sacha went on to take Osaka to her maiden two Grand Slam titles. As for the Coach in question? I’m quite sure he had zero Grand Slams to his name at the time when he took the coaching reins and Serena had already stacked up quite a few. In other words, Serena knew what she was doing.

But this isn’t to discount his contribution as her Head Coach. By all accounts, this Coach helped steer Serena towards her additional Grand Slam triumphs. But, has he been able to replicate this? No. Capitalising on the notoriety, business deals have come flourishing. Interestingly, for Serena’s former hitting-partner-come Coach, Sacha, this wasn’t the case. But, I’m gauging both have a  similar number of Grand Slams to their name whereas the latter opted to shout this at the rooftops and take full credit for Serena’s ascension to become the G.O.A.T. And now is responsible for derailing the career of one of her biggest rivals with zero consequences.

If you run a few numbers, this ascension isn’t true and yet the derailment rings alarm bells.

So where does Halep come into play? Well, this was the ‘best’ opportunity that had come knocking at this said Coaches door and after a trial run, Halep opted to give him a real shot. Or, so the story goes. Already with multiple Grand Slams to her name, the question was really whether or not this Coach could really add to the tally. Brutally, this was cut short. Halep was accused of intentionally doping and has been sidelined ever since. The Coach in question has used this time to ramp up his business interests and endeavour to solidify his place as the ‘best coach in the world’. I call bulls*it. Well, if we’re talking the real deal, I definitely can’t say I’ve been all too happy with this ‘Coach’ trying to take my mantle that I’ve rightfully earned with the accolades to my name.

No, I haven’t been featured in a Netflix series. Unfortunately, business in a man’s world speaks volumes. But this isn’t about me. This is really for clarity for those who are unfamiliar with ‘the best of’ and to hopefully prevent you from being naive and succumbing to the same trap many have followed in believing Serena’s success was due to this one person. Nope, not true.

Darren Cahil was Halep’s former Coach and boy did they have success. Guess who else he has coached? Agassi and Hewitt are on his honour roll. And now? None other than Sinner with all Grand Slams to each of their names and not before his arrival for the latter two. This Coach? Nope, no other Grand Slam wins to his name. Although, he has tried to pluck them out of the Top 10 to make them his — just like Halep when she was comfortably positioned inside the best in the world. His latest culprit? Rune. But that has been on again, off again, and Rune has achieved a Top 10 ranking without him.

Me? Well, there’s an argument that says if you don’t “do” then that can’t be the case. Sure, I can see how you can argue that perspective. The counter? Whilst I have worked with players for 20 Years, a significant part of the last 12 Years has been 99.9% science focused. You see, some continue to do what they do — Coach, whilst others try to change the world. The latter is me. But really, it’s the tennis world. By using data and new analytics I’ve uncovered — as a data scientist to global researcher in this space, how to actually develop the best players in the world. As such, rather than keep this all to myself and “do” I opted to share — to make this available worldwide for each  and every player, parent to coach that aspires to achieve a Top 10 tennis ranking and to go on to achieve Grand Slam success.

Sure, give me a player and I’ll get them on track to Win Grand Slams. After all, that’s what I’ve spent the past 20 Years uncovering. But at the same time, countless others miss that shot. That’s why I built The Long GameThe Pathway, the 7 Keys and the subsequent publications — for each and every one of you to follow and access. Yes, that’s including each and every Top 10 tennis player.

And where does this leave Halep? Well, her Coach has zero consequences. None. And this is wrong. If the saying that there is no “I” in Team rings true, then they should have been dealt the same penalties in contrast to flourishing their business interests and taking on new talent through to signing additional contracts. Whilst the player has suffered and remains at a loss due to their negligence, their negligence has zero consequences for thier career. Now if that’s not f*cked up I don’t know what is.

The irony? So many players have shed dirt on Halep and distanced themselves from her since the initial accusation. Shame on them. You know who stood by her? The ethical ones — including her former Coach. What Halep has gone through is incredibly unfair and awfully wrong. So I must ask, why has the Coach not suffered the same feat if not worse given that they were responsible for the said recommendation for Halep to introduce a new supplement into her training plan?

Even worse? So many players have been left ill-informed by this Coach that you bet it makes me upset. Why? Because my work has centred around two primary pillars. One, how to quite literally become the best player in the world — Top 10 tennis ranking and multiple Grand Slams achieved. And I am proud to say that I have done both, uncovered both and left an incredibly legacy for the tennis world — but I’m not finished. Two, all of these achievements are done so whilst protecting the player and to ensure these technical parameters mitigate injuries in contrast to leading towards injuring the player. There’s a big difference.

But no, as much as the idea of travelling 40+ weeks per year on the WTA and/or ATP tour could be entertaining, I also value being able to help those who genuinely want to become the best in the world. And the best part? I can help more than one or two Top 10 players in the process. And for even more Top 100 players to progress closer towards the Top 10.

Just promise me this, if you dare. Don’t believe everything you read — I mean sure, even this. Although if you do your due diligence you’ll find the truth right before your eyes. But just because someone is on Netflix doesn’t mean they did the right thing. The same applies for success — just because they were Serena’s Head Coach, doesn’t mean they were responsible for her success. Like, come on. It’s Serena. You’ve got to be kidding me if you really think Serena didn’t know what she was doing. He was there for the ride and the publicity which has served him well, and a few choice words when in need. But those Grand Slams stem from her parents and her ability to be cemented as the G.O.A.T.

As for Halep, she deserves direct entry back into the Top 10 — so, let’s see it WTA. She deserves her ranking points restored. And yes, she deserves to be reimbursed for any losses caused. That said, I hope Halep opts for a different approach — maybe she’ll even pick up “How to Develop a Top 10 Tennis Ranking” or read through “What is Your Game Missing” before the much heavier “Science of Elite Performance” and keep me on speed dial. Either way, that’s what I’m here for. Maybe I’ll venture out for those Grand Slams to Olympic glory, but you won’t find me on tour — my dogs simply would not be okay with that and I’m pretty comfortable being able to share those additional updates on Beyond Top 10 Tennis, too.

Which means for now, speed dial is limited to a select few, but those Books are designed for all. And to be clear, no Coach should recommend a supplement whatsoever unless they’re a certified MD and it has gone through clearance with anti-doping. Which means, no — I have never nor will I encourage a player to ingest a supplement of any kind unless it has been cleared and validated. On that note, let’s remember that this Coach is a Coach — not with any formal postgraduate qualifications in this area to their name. And yet, here I am as a Woman with all of those qualifications — plus more, so I’ll just patiently wait for Netflix to give me a call unless they’re waiting for the controversy to mishaps because they won’t find them here. Maybe that’s why only a few continue to Win multiple Grand Slams and the rest continue to be left behind?

Kidding. I know why, I’ve already published and written about this with the data to pinpoint these differences which means knowledge is power and those who have been prepared to learn the 7 Keys and The Power of the 8th Key are the ones to truly watch.

To learn more about AM8 International check out our selections of Books to options to join Dr B’s Pack to gain exclusive access to the best in the world. Not quite ready? Head on over to Beyond Top 10 Tennis for free to access 70+ episodes directly from Dr Berge of what it really takes to win multiple Grand Slams to securing that Top 10 tennis ranking. More? Catch up on our Tips over on TikTokTwitterThreads or Instagram for quick snippets to apply in your game, today.