Tribe Talk Interview with Jeff Coetzee: #1 ATP Doubles Coach

Below is an interview with Jeff Coetzee.

Pro doubles coach Jeff Coetzee

Jeff is the coach of the #1 men’s doubles team in the world, Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal. Jeff is a former ATP player who won multiple doubles titles. He has coached on the pro tour since 2013 and helped Farah and Cabal win the 2019 Wimbledon and US Open.

The interview with Jeff below dives deep into what it takes to develop a great doubles team. Tennis players and coaches at all levels should listen and absorb all the information Jeff offers from his experience.

In this conversation, we talk about:

  • 1:16 – How he took Farah & Cabal from outside the top 60 to #1 in the world.
  • 7:36 – Why Farah & Cabal stuck with Jeff for 7+ years when so many players keep jumping from coach to coach.
  • 12:44 – The story around winning the 2019 Wimbledon men’s doubles final.
  • 18:37 – How focusing on different areas of doubles and being balanced helped them reach #1 in the modern game.
  • 21:30 – Doubles strategy: How to think about staying back vs moving forward in the modern doubles game.
  • 24:37 – How to adjust strategies during the match.
  • 25:38 – The importance of taking strategies to the practice court.
  • 26:55 – Jeff’s story: How he got started in tennis, made it on the pro tour, and ended up coaching doubles.
  • 33:28 – Doubles strategy: How to improve your volleys if you’re not sure what to do at the net.
  • 36:53 – How to read the return & send messages to the other team from the net as the server’s partner.
  • 39:21 – Routines on match day including how they practice during tournaments.
  • 43:54 – How they scout and prepare for the next opponent.
  • 46:36 – Why you shouldn’t abandon a strategy just because it doesn’t work.
  • 49:33 – The one thing Farah & Cabal do better than other doubles teams.
  • 52:01 – “Doubles is a game of mistakes. How do you force that person to make the mistake?”
  • 52:40 – Different games & drills he has Farah & Cabal practice.
  • 55:46 – Jeff’s favorites.
    • Favorite place to be on the doubles court.
    • Favorite ball to hit a winner from.
    • Tennis & non-tennis book.
    • Favorite tournament.
    • A tennis story he’s never told anyone.

The Interview with Jeff Coetzee

Here is the 62 minute conversation with Jeff.


Interview Notes

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Below are links to things mentioned during our conversation.

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About the Author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played tennis for over two decades, including in college. Will has worked with ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He currently lives in Austin TX where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments, writes about tennis, and teaches doubles workshops.