New York – Magnus Norman was always the quiet man of tennis even when he stormed to number two in the world and reached the 2000 French Open final.
Now his low-key, methodical approach is producing explosive results in his coaching career.
Norman, 37, coached Robin Soderling when his fellow Swede inflicted Rafael Nadal's only defeat at Roland Garros on his way to the 2009 final.
Now, he is working his magic with Stanislas Wawrinka, who has made his first Grand Slam semifinal at the US Open, where he will face world number one Novak Djokovic on Saturday.
The partnership, which began in April, is paying off with the 28-year-old Wawrinka boasting a 7-7 record against top 10 opponents in 2013. In the previous three years he was a combined 7-26.
“We are doing great job. He's a good coach. Apparently a really good coach,” said Wawrinka, who made the last four with a straight-sets win over defending champion Andy Murray.
“I'm really happy with that. We started in April. I think we already have some amazing results together. He's a great guy. He knows tennis really well.
“He was a good player, and was a good coach already. Everything is quite simple and perfect for me.”
Since their link-up in April, Wawrinka won the claycourt title at Oieras in Portugal, defeating world number four David Ferrer, and made the final in Madrid, losing to Nadal, plus reached the quarter-finals at the French Open and took a runners-up spot at 's-Hertogenbosch.
But any tweaks Norman may have made to the Wawrinka game-plan are not for public consumption.
“A few things have changed, but I cannot tell you how,” said the Swiss player.
Norman said his main job has been to develop a killer instinct in Wawrinka, a player so long overshadowed by compatriot Roger Federer.
“It's not easy but I knew that he has it,” Norman told the BBC.
“He's shown in the past, on and off, that he has it. It's a little bit a matter of self-belief and having a good team around him that he believes can take him to the next level.
“Then of course it's a lot of hard work. Day in and day out you have to speak about these things, because it still doesn't come naturally to Stan. He still doesn't really believe in himself 100% all the time.
“We are playing in an era with guys who are probably some of the best that ever played tennis. They are tough but they are not unbeatable.” – Sapa-AFP