Tennis: Connors a stand-in genie for Bouchard at US Open

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada returns a shot to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center on August 19, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Eugenie Bouchard of Canada returns a shot to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during the Western & Southern Open at the Linder Family Tennis Center on August 19, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK • Eight-time Grand Slam champion Jimmy Connors has been working with 2014 Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard ahead of the US Open, prompting speculation that he could become a "super coach" yet again.

The pair were spotted at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York - the former home of the US Open - on Wednesday, just days before the start of the year's final Grand Slam event.

It is understood that they will work together at Flushing Meadows. But a statement issued by Bouchard's management company on Thursday said the Canadian and Connors have "no long-term plans at this time" for a coaching arrangement, reported ESPN.

Bouchard has been without a coach since her split from Sam Sumyk earlier this month, which followed a terrible run of form including first-round defeats at the French Open and Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old was tipped to be one of the sport's rising stars when she reached last year's Wimbledon final.

But she has since fallen to world No. 25. The 25th seed will face American world No. 56 Alison Riske in the first round of the US Open, which stars on Monday.

American Connors, 62, was one of the first Grand Slam champions to coach. From July 2006 to March 2008, he trained compatriot and former world No. 1 Andy Roddick.

Roddick reached the 2006 US Open final but did not win a Grand Slam with Connors' input.

Connors coached women's star Maria Sharapova in 2013, but their partnership lasted just one match.

Other "super coaches" who will be present at Flushing Meadows over the next fortnight include Stefan Edberg (coaching 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer), Goran Ivanisevic (US Open defending champion Marin Cilic) and Michael Chang (last year's US Open finalist Kei Nishikori).

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'Connors a stand-in genie for Bouchard at US Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe