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Frenchman David Moreau helps Wu Di stretch at courtside after his first-round match at the "Mercedes-Benz Cup" China Tennis Grand Prix on Thursday. Provided to China Daily
The man behind Wu Di's rise up the world rankings says there is no magic formula.
David Moreau, a French junior tennis coach, appears oblivious to the fact there is great media focus on him after guiding Wu to an Australian Open wild card last week.
He first drew attention at the China Open earlier this month when Wu's world ranking improved to a career-high No 176. Reporters started to google everything related to Moreau armed with little knowledge apart from the fact he was a friend of Zhang Ze's French coach, Guillaume Peyre.
"Really? I've no idea of that," Moreau told China Daily at courtside during the "Mercedes-Benz Cup" China Tennis Grand Prix on Thursday.
Introduced by Peyre, Moreau started to work with Wu in July when the 21-year-old served as a training partner for the Chinese women in London to prepare for the Olympics.
"When I had the opportunity, I checked out Wu and I saw big potential and thought I'd like to be part of that," said Moreau, who spent five years in Sweden and two in France mentoring juniors.
Moreau plays down any magic on his part and said he has just shown Wu "how to play the right way".
"I think he needs somebody who trusts him, he needs to be confident and relaxed about things off the court. He doesn't have to deal with booking hotels, taking care of the planes (with me).
"The main thing is that he starts to know what he has to do on the court, He has a good forehand and backhand. The shots are there, but it's just the way to put them together to be efficient on court."
Without the height and bulk of many opponents, the 1.73-meter Wu looks small on court and also lacks a powerful serve.
Moreau said Wu would have to improve his serve this winter and also hone his returns, but shrugged off his physical limitations.
"Physical issues are big in men's tennis, but Wu is fast and has very good coordination. There are a lot of good players like him and they find a certain way to play. If he plays the right way ... I am not worried."
Wu, who worked on his own for a year and a half after the 2010 Asian Games, said Moreau's arrival had provided him with new focus and direction.
"I used to be like a headless chicken - running without knowing where to go. And my ranking dropped sharply during that period," he said.
"Now I've regained momentum with his help. We talk about everything and have put together a tournament schedule. We are friends off court and that's a major difference when compared with Chinese coaches."
Moreau said Wu's investing in a coach was also a motivating factor.
"When you are on your own, if you find you are tired or you don't want to work, you can find many excuses not to continue.
"When you have somebody with you, you can't stop. When you have to pay for everything, you practice harder. It's your money. If you pay a coach or a fitness trainer, you want him to make you work."
(China Daily 10/27/2012 page16)