The Greatest Tennis Player in the World

How Serena Williams’ former coach brought Simona Halep back from the brink of tennis retirement in the 1990s

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Serena Williams’ former coach in New Jersey is taking on tennis at a high level.

It’s a remarkable story: one of tennis’ greatest female athletes came to New Jersey and started coaching her for years after she retired from professional tennis.

Serena Williams, left, with Monica Seles, right, at the 1999 U.S. Open. (AP Images)

Then, with his eyes glued to the tennis ball, he kept up her playing regimen with help from the strength and conditioning center she established in New Jersey.

“I was not part of the coaching world,” said Michael Stich.

He was coaching Williams’ daughter, Alexis, and the pair decided to do a project at the time in which they would bring tennis back to New Jersey. Williams asked to move back to the New Jersey town she grew up in in the early 1980s.

Williams was an accomplished athlete who won five Grand Slam tournaments — the Australian Open, the French Open, the Wimbledon Championships, the U.S. Open and the U.S. Open.

She was a formidable competitor and an accomplished coach, too.

When she was not on the tennis court, she was studying for her doctorate in biochemistry, and her research involved the effect of different foods on the immune system.

When she was in the New York City of her life, she played tennis, worked in the health food store that became her home away from home and continued to be involved in scientific research.

The world lost its greatest female tennis player — and a great tennis coach — this week.

Serena Williams announced last week that she was retiring on Aug. 15. But she is not alone in her decision.

Halep, the 23rd-ranked Greek-American tennis player, will replace Williams as

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