Coaches don’t only teach technique and tactics. Most of the time, coaches become life mentors, advisors, and friends to their players. Coaches don’t have office hours, and they are basically on-call to support, advice, help their chargers. They teach from the heart to make better athletes, also sharing the essential life skills of things like sportsmanship, team culture, work ethic, and gratitude, guiding students both on and off the tennis court. Simply put, they truly serve the sport they love.

Today at the WTCA Conference NYC, we announced the winner of the WTCA coach of the year. ‘The Spirit of Coaching Award’ Maxim Filippov from Kazakhstan. Maxim has been working on the WTA tour for several years now. He has been a member of WTCA since the very beginning and has an excellent reputation on the professional tour.

Among other nominees, we had outstanding coaches, including Sandra Zaniewska, Rick Macci, and Meg Peavy. The voting for our nominees took place on social media and was available for the period from July 27th to August 3rd.

“I am honored to receive this award named after a great tennis player and coach Andrew Florent. Coaching tennis is not only my job, but it is pretty much my life that I enjoy living. I have experienced ups and downs with my players when sometimes downs felt a lot greater than ups. Tennis is a lonely and challenging sport, and my role as a coach is not only to teach aspects of the game on a court but also to teach a more significant understanding of each particular match, the sport, and sometimes the life. I genuinely love the game of tennis, and I am happy to teach and guide the players, support them, help them improving and, most importantly, help them enjoy what they do regardless of the result. Thank you very much,” said Filippov.

The WTCA Spirit of Coaching award ‘The Florey Award’ award was named after An Australian professional tennis player and coach Andrew Florent, who has passed away due to bowel cancer at the age of 45. The award was established in 2017. Among winners and nominees in past years, we had famous tennis coaches such as Nicole Pratt, Jeremy Bates, James Jackson, Can Uner, Kevin O’Neil, Kathy Rinaldi, and David Witt.

“Max is not only a consummate professional, but he is also an incredible asset to our sport. I’ve had the great privilege of working alongside max for many years and know that he is one of the world’s best coaches. I couldn’t think of a more worthy recipient of our most prestigious award,” WTCA CEO Sarah Stone said.

Filippov is the first coach from Kazakstan to win the inaugural award.