Johanna Konta hires Maria Sharapova's former coach Michael Joyce

Johanna Konta in action at Wimbledon

Johanna Konta in action at Wimbledon Credit HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

Johanna Konta has appointed Michael Joyce as her new coach ahead of the 2018 season.

The 44-year-old American already has been in the United Kingdom for a week and had already come to terms, although the official announcement came only Wednesday.

The British tennis star split with Fissette in late 2017.

Konta described Joyce as a fantastic coach with a great pedigree as she confirmed the American will travel with her full-time in 2018.

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The partnership's first test will come in Brisbane in the first week of January.

A failure to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals saw the Australian-born ace part company with Fissette and, after shutting her season down due to injury, she took her time to find a replacement. Her strong play in 2017 sets her up to be a top contender in the coming year.

Joyce spent six years as part of Maria Sharapova's team and for much of this year has been working with Victoria Azarenka, who remains involved in a custody dispute. Now, she aims to rebuild herself alongside Joyce. So the opportunity was a no-brainer. She also has strength and conditioning coach Gill Myburgh, physio Milly Mirkovic (longtime physio for the LTA) and mental coach Elena Sosa on her payroll.

Can you think of any player - female or male - for whom that's the case? She reached the semifinals at the 2016 major tournament.

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