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Gael Monfils hires Dominic Thiem's former coach Gunter Bresnik

Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils
Dominic Thiem and Gael Monfils
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 24 Jan 2021
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French tennis star Gael Monifls has hired Gunter Bresnik, the former coach of US Open champion Dominic Thiem. Monfils has also brought on Richard Ruckelshausen as part of his new coaching team.

Gael Monfils, a former World No. 6, is currently ranked No. 11 in the world. While there has been no official comment from the Frenchman about the new appointments, the ATP website has listed both Bresnik and Ruckelshausen as his coaches.

Bresnik was seen with Monfils on the practice courts of Dubai earlier this month. In a recent interview Bresnik mentioned that Monfils had trained with him during the off-season, but didn't confirm whether it was a formal or long-term arrangement.

While Bresnik has not travelled to Melbourne, Monfils has been accompanied by Ruckelshausen for the upcoming Australian summer. Ruckelshausen, a former pro himself, will also take on the role of captain of the French team for the ATP Cup - where Monfils is the top-ranked player.

After starting the 2020 season by winning titles in Montpellier and Rotterdam and also reaching the semifinals in Dubai, Gael Monfils struggled for the rest of the pandemic-interrupted year. He went on a torrid streak of four successive first-round exits after the US Open, and called time on his season at Vienna.

The Frenchman will be hoping that the new coaching set-up will help him move back into the top 10 and revive his winning form.

Gunter Bresnik and Dominic Thiem had an acrimonious split

Dominic Thiem with then coach Gunter Bresnik at the 2016 ATP Finals
Dominic Thiem with then coach Gunter Bresnik at the 2016 ATP Finals
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Gunter Bresnik, who studied medicine during his youth, has had a prolific coaching career. He has worked with several top players, including Boris Becker, Henri Leconte, Patrick McEnroe and Ernests Gulbis.

Bresnik's longest and most successful coaching relationship has been with current World No. 3 Dominic Thiem. Bresnik coached Thiem right from the time he was eight years old until the pair went their separate ways in 2019.

The split has since turned acrimonious, and the two parties are currently engaged in a court battle. Gunter Bresnik has, in fact, sued Dominic Thiem for 450,000 euros.

Bresnik acted as both coach and manager of the Austrian during their partnership. He now believes he is entitled to a share of Thiem's income that has arisen from contracts that were signed when he acted as his manager.

Recent reports suggest the two parties might be headed for an an out-of-court settlement. The dispute resolutaion will reportedly be led by a judicial mediator in the last week of February, without the presence of lawyers on either side.

Published 24 Jan 2021, 15:39 IST
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