CAPE TOWN – Neville Godwin, himself a former world-ranked singles and doubles player, has been named as the Coach of the Year at the ATP World Tour Awards in London.
Godwin was the coach of South African No 1 Kevin Anderson until Tuesday this week, when the duo decided to go their separate ways after an excellent four years together.
Former SA Davis Cup player Godwin was up against some of the coaches of top players such as Roger Federer (coached by Ivan Ljubicic), Rafael Nadal (Toni Nadal and Carlos Moya) and the Zverev brothers, Alexander and Mischa (Alexander Zverev Senior).
Anderson rocketed up the rankings over the last few years under Godwin’s watch, eventually reaching the top 10.
The high point of their partnership came at the US Open a few months ago, when Anderson went all the way to the final at Flushing Meadows, where he went down to Nadal.
“I’m honoured to have won this award, especially that it was decided by my fellow coaches,” the 42-year-old Godwin said in a statement on Friday.
“This year holds so many incredible stories on the tour, and I’m entirely delighted to have been part of it.
“To gain the respect from the player you’re coaching is critically important to the success of the partnership, and having played pro before, I was able to understand Kevin, and our communication was solid throughout my four years working with him.”
Anderson, in announcing the split this week, ironically said that he hoped that Godwin would win the ATP award.
“After 4 years, my coach Neville Godwin and I have decided to part ways. We remain great friends, and it was simply a case of both of us looking for fresh challenges,” Anderson said on Twitter.
Lady Kady’s first trip to 🇿🇦! Happy to be back 👍 pic.twitter.com/DJBZTBxbPU
“We have hit great heights together, such as a top-10 ranking and a Grand Slam final, and I will be forever grateful.
“I wish Neville the best of luck and hope he wins ATP coach of the year as it would be much deserved.”