Su wei Hsieh

Paul had the pleasure of working with Su wei for 10 years.

What he immediately recognised was the potential of a true weapon which, in her case, is a killer finishing volley on both sides. Su wei was bemused when he said it could become the best finishing volley in the world, which indeed it became. This is consistent with his philosophy of a player needing to develop a true weapon, prior to working on weaknesses.

Initially this assisted Su wei becoming a great doubles player, and ultimately No.1 in the world. Su wei then went on to become a highly regarded singles player, with wins over world No.1 (at the time) Simona Halep at Wimbledon, the reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza at the Australian Open and world No.1 Naomi Osaka in Miami, amongst others.

In 2021, Su wei became the oldest first time Grand Slam singles quarter finalist at the Australian Open.

The other key to Su wei’s success is her ability to play a different role depending on her partner. Paul’s philosophy is that role playing is a vital component of doubles success, and therefore needs to be reflected in the all important set up for the team.
Using this strategy, Su wei has won four Wimbledon doubles titles with three different partners, playing a different role in each case. She has also won two Roland Garros titles with two different partners and the WTA Championships.

Yanaki Milev

Paul and Elena have been working with Yanaki since 2021.

At a training camp in Plovdiv Bulgaria, where around 20 juniors were preparing, Paul noticed an ‘uncut diamond’ on a back court, a player who’s game and passion needed to be harnessed. His name was Yanaki Milev.

Paul saw the potential for weapons, beginning with his big forehand, and Yanaki’s coach and father, Milko, saw the advantages of reaching out to Elena for mental coaching.

Within a year, Yanaki was able to go from 800 in juniors to top 100, and No.1 junior in Bulgaria, ready to begin the transition to the pro game. In 2023, Yanaki has moved from 1100 to inside the top 600 on the ATP rankings.

Paul’s philosophy is that it is very important to take doubles seriously, as for many players this is the pathway to surviving financially and initially making it onto the Pro Tour, followed by breaking through in singles.

Still a teenager, Yanaki has won two Futures singles and one doubles title, as well as winning a round of doubles at an ATP 250 (Sofia Open) where Paul and Elena worked with Yanaki and his partner Pyotr Nesterov on the strategic and mental set up (see What is the secret of thriving teams? In Business and in Sports which was published in Forbes, Bulgaria).

Yanaki is on the journey.