Last Updated on May 15, 2023
Alexei Popyrin is an Australian rising star and the current number 3 in the country. He has shown great potential in previous years, although some huge inconsistencies have hindered him from getting full credit for his dedication over the year.
The Aussie was born in Sydney, Australia, on the 5th of August, 1999, to Russian parents Alex and Elena. He began playing tennis at the age of 5 at the Kim Warwick Tennis Academy in Australia before relocating to Dubai with his family due to his father’s work at 8. He lived in Dubai for two years and trained after school while competing in some grassroots tournaments. When he was 10, he relocated with his family to Spain.
In Spain, he continued his development and competed in several tournaments around Europe, thanks to the full support of his family. During this period, he also trained in Nice, France and Dubai, UAE. He started training at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in Spain when he became a pro in 2017.
Who Is The Current Coach Of Alexei Popyrin?
The current coach of Alexei Popyrin is Spanish Fernando Bogajo, who works alongside Craig O’Shannessy to train the Aussie. Alexei started working with Fernando and Craig after parting way with his former coach at the Mouratoglou Academy around 2020.
Fernando Bogajo is an ex-Spanish professional tennis player and achieved a career highest ranking of 901 and 1370 in the Singles and Doubles categories, respectively, before he was banned for a year and ten months in May 2022 for a match-fixing offence committed in 2018. The player has been suspended since December before he started working as the on-court mindset of Alexei.
On the other hand, Craig is a renowned tennis strategy analyst and the director of the Brain Game Tennis platform (online). He has been in the coaching industry for over 20 years and is well-known for his time (2017-2019) with former world number 1, Novak Djokovic. He has also worked with Matteo Berrettini and other top players to improve their games and rankings.
In the early stages of Alexei’s partnership with these two coaches, some improvements were noticed in his game. Unfortunately, he has suffered from a great loss of form since the beginning of this year (2022), although he is gradually returning to shape.
He recently won a Challenger title at the 2022 BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux, defeating Quentin Halys in the final to regain his confidence. He has also achieved his highest Singles career ranking of 59 in 2021 under their guidance and currently sits at 84 due to the setbacks he has faced recently.
Throughout his junior career, Alexei trained at divergent tennis academies and competed at tennis tournaments with his family, especially his father acting as a coach. He got his first proper coach when he became a professional and started training at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy.
At the Mouratoglou Academy, Alexei worked full-time with German Coach Philip Wagner. Philip Wagner is a GPTCA-level coach and trained the likes of Jeremy Charly and Anastasija Sevastova while working with Alexei.
He guided him to several titles as a junior player between 2017 and 2018, including the 2017 French Open Junior Singles title and an F4 Challenger title at Mragowo, Poland. Alexei decided to part way with his coach after the 2020 Cincinnati Open and remained without a coach for a short while before moving in with Craig and Fernando.
The Aussie has also hinted at his close relationship with the Mouratoglou owner, Patrick Mouratoglo, who is a big-time achiever as a tennis player and coach and was the long-time coach of Serena Williams. Patrick also praised Alexei’s talent when he was recorded:
I like Alexei’s game. He’s similar to Stefanos Tsitsipas (who has been practising at the Mouratoglou Academy since he was 16) in that he’s an all-court player who often comes to the net to finish points. He’s a strong hitter from the baseline but not afraid to come to the net and volleys well. I think that’s important. If you don’t push yourself to come forward and finish points when you’re young, you won’t develop your game at the net and will get scared about coming in. The net can be scary when you’re not used to going there.
Alexei is a bit different physically in that he’s very thin, though he’s also tall. Because of his shape, you might think he would not have that much power, but he’s very explosive and has a particularly big serve and forehand. He has so much easy power.
He needs to trust and believe in himself more, but I think that is slowly coming. He made a very good start this year by reaching the third round of the Australian Open, where he knew he had a lot of ranking points to defend. Playing big matches in big stadiums in front of his home crowd will have helped his self-belief. It will have made him realise that he can handle situations like that.
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Alexei Popyrin’s achievements with different coaches
We have collected in the table the data about the trophies won by Alexei Popyrin under the guidance of various coaches.
|Coaches||Years of Completion||Titles|
|Philip Wagner||2017-2020||2017 French Open Junior Singles title F4 Challenger title at Mragowo, Poland|
|–||–||2021 Singapore Open|
|Fernando Bogajo and Craig O’Shannessy||2021- till date||2022 BNP Paribas Primrose Bordeaux (Challenger)|