More Than Just a Trainer
Angelique Kerber, the number one female tennis player in the world, owes a great deal to her trainer, Torben Beltz.
But that doesn’t mean they always see eye to eye. Sometimes, after he crouches down on the sidelines, communicating with her without saying a word, she lets out a stern hiss in reply.
Her stubbornness is well known to Mr. Beltz, who will celebrate his 40th birthday next month. He and Ms. Kerber have known each other for more than ten years. When he was active in Hamburg at the TC Alsterquelle, she played as the German champion of the U18 at the same club, and he supervised her in 2003 and 2004 on her first trips into the great world of tennis.
Later, he took a job as a club coach in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein. In the middle of 2011 he went on the tour again with her – no longer with the juniors.
He was the nice, always cheerful, uncomplicated buddy in the background, and with his help she fought her way into the top ten. Angelique admits that it is not always easy for her, that she has whims, and doesn’t always agree with her coach.
But that all gave way at the U.S. Open this summer, when Ms. Kerber’s win put her in the number one slot. Mr. Beltz was as ecstatic over her title as she was, saying, "She never gives up... she's the fighter she was before, but right now she believes more in herself."