Esteemed Australian tennis coach Darren Cahill is plotting the downfall of Australia’s last remaining French Open hope.
Samantha Stosur is the sole Australian representative in the second week at Roland Garros following the third round exit of Nick Kyrgios, but believes a deep run is a possibility after hailing her form “as good” as when she reached the 2010 final.
However a fourth-round clash on Sunday with sixth seed Simona Halep, currently under the tutelage of Cahill, looms as a major hurdle as Stosur looks to add another Paris quarter-final appearance to her resume.
Halep has enjoyed her time under Cahill and says she’s approaching her tennis with more confidence as a result.
“It’s a good relation – we understand each other very well. I understand what he tells me to put into my game,” Halep said of the partnership.
“I do everything he says. We discuss about my game. We are on the same line.
“So we speak same language, even if I’m not good with English. But in tennis we speak the same language.
“It’s nice. He’s a good person, and I feel good with him. I feel confident.”
Cahill, one of the most respected coaches in tennis, guided Lleyton Hewitt to world No.1 and has also worked with the likes of grand slam champions Andre Agassi, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic and Fernando Verdasco.
Halep has worked with the Adelaide-born coach since late last year.
“I actually think she’s got a little bit of Aussie in her,” Cahill told Roland Garros Radio.
“And that’s why it’s easy for me (to interact with her). She likes my humour and I’m a bit of an idiot when it comes to Aussie humour.
“Her English has improved a lot the last 12 months so she’s starting to get my humour a little bit more now.”