After ending her partnership with her coach following the conclusion of the season for the second consecutive year, breakthrough star and world No. 3 Simona Halep announced that she has hired fellow Romanian Victor Ionita as her main coach for the coming season.
However, the more interesting addition to Halep’s team is Thomas Hogstedt, former coach to Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki, who will serve as a coaching consultant for the early portion of the season.
Hogstedt, who began working with Sloane Stephens in July after parting ways with Caroline Wozniacki, will join Halep for the first three tournaments of year: the Shenzhen Open, Sydney International and Australian Open.
Sports Illustrated was first to announce the hires.
Halep took part in another breakthrough season in 2014, as she followed up on her gradual rise the previous year with several remarkable accomplishments. The Romanian reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open, reached the final of WTA Finals, and ended her season ranked below Serena Williams and Sharapova at world No. 3.
Her new coach, Ionita, worked with fellow Romanian Sorana Cirstea through a big season last year and will now transition to the top-ranked player in Romania. Given that Halep’s split with coach Wim Fissette was done to allow a transition to a Romanian coach, she has certainly lived up to her word.
Halep, who is already busy with off-season training, begins her season at the Shenzhen Open in January.