Hopefuls and old hands alike will need the help and advice of their coaches at the Australian Open as they bid to keep their title hopes on track.
Here are some of the most notable coaches who will be keeping a close eye on their players in Melbourne:
Andy Murray’s decision to re-hire two-time Australian Open winner Ivan Lendl paid major dividends after the pair were reunited in June. Murray went on to win his second Wimbledon title within a month, claimed gold at the summer Olympics and finished the year as world number one for the first time in his career. Lendl and Murray had worked together for two years previously, during which the Scot won his first two Grand Slams.
Kei Nishikori had already become the first Japanese player for 80 years to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open when he began working with former world number two Michael Chang. But Nishikori’s relationship with Chang has seen the 27-year-old become a far greater force. Nishikori has reached the quarter-finals in Australia for the last two years and finished 2016 as world number five.
Richard Williams may have been the guiding influence over daughters Venus and Serena Williams in the early stages of their careers, but Frenchman Patrick Mouratoglou has been successfully working with the latter since 2012. Serena has added a sixth Australian Open title to her CV during that period – the 2015 tournament, albeit she suffered an upset against Angelique Kerber in last year’s final.
Defeat in the first round of the 2015 Australian Open prompted Angelique Kerber to re-hire her first professional coach Torben Beltz. In the space of a year, that decision reaped huge rewards. Kerber returned to the top 10 and won her first major with victory over Serena Williams, in Melbourne, 12-months-ago. A second Grand Slam followed at the US Open before Kerber was crowned world number one.
And one notable absentee: Boris Becker
Two of Novak Djokovic’s six Australian Open titles came with Boris Becker in his corner after the pair began working together at the start of 2014. Djokovic recorded a four-set victory over Andy Murray in 2015 and then again beat the British player 12 months later. But the duo split at the end of 2016 and Djokovic insists he will not replace the German.