It doesn't take long for word to get around the cyber universe, after a random spotting in a pretty public location full of tennis players.
But when New Yorker Nick Fortunato took his daughter to the Little Mo tournament at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York – the former home of the US Open – Wednesday, he came upon quite a sight.
Struggling tennis star Genie Bouchard on one of courts practicing with American tennis legend Jimmy Connors.
Eh Game has learned that Connors is not, in fact, Bouchard's new, official, permanent coach. The two will collaborate at the US Open. Beyond that, who knows?
(Nothing official from the Bouchard camp on this until early evening, when the official statement through her agents indicated that Bouchard and Connors have "been friends for a few years" and that he was helping her out this week while he was in New York City.
And that there were no long-term plans "at this time.")
Connors and Bouchard coy so far."We're just friends," said Jimmy."I'm not sure, but he was on the court today," observed Genie.#USOpen— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 27, 2015
Bouchard appeared at the Billie Jean National Tennis Center Thursday afternoon ... and Connors, in a lilac-coloured trademark vest and jeans, was there.
If nothing else, it was an auspicious public debut from a fashion-coordination perspective.
Our US Open spy got some footage of the new duo.
It's the second time Bouchard has reportedly solicited Connors' help; the first time was two summers ago, in the summer of 2013, after a trial coaching period with Antonio Van Grichen (now coaching Bouchard's former junior rival and fellow québécoise Françoise Abanda), didn't work out.
His expertise reportedly came at a very high price. But someone else – a much higher-ranked player at the time – was also after him. And Maria Sharapova got him.
It's a choice that went against the grain for both even though Connors, who will be 63 next week, has a wealth of experience at the highest levels of the game.
But his coaching track record isn't much to brag about.
Connors' first gig was working with countryman Andy Roddick from July 2006 to March 2008.
He was an innovator in what is now a fairly big club, the "super coach" who "has been there" and can "take you to the next level."
Roddick reached the US Open final that year, in the early blush of their partnership, but not much happened after that. And it ended with little fanfare.
More than five years later, to much fanfare, Sharapova hired him after an early loss at Wimbledon in 2013.
Connors committed to a certain number of weeks – more than Sharapova had expected – although it wasn't a full-time situation. In the end, it was really only ... one week.
They first appeared at a tournament together at the Premier event in Cincinnati, about a month after the hiring was announced. Sharapova lost to Sloane Stephens in her first match since Wimbledon, ditched Connors, then shut down her season because of injury.
To be fair, there was no point in having him on staff if she wasn't playing. But when she did return, her new coach was the experienced Sven Groeneveld, who is still with her today.
The knock on the Connors hiring by Sharapova back in the day was that people wondered what, exactly, he brought to the table. He's not a product of the modern game – and, obviously, not of the women's game. His biggest asset was his relentless combativity and intensity; Sharapova already had that in spades. She certainly didn't need Connors to light a fire under her.
So what's the attraction for Bouchard, other than the fact that Connors is a former Sharapova team member, and anything related to Sharapova generally is prized in Team Bouchard?
Well, in the absence of a full-time permanent coach, it certainly can't hurt to have a wise old voice of experience around, as support. Bouchard didn't nominate hitting partner Dragic for on-court coaching during her previous appearances this summer.
There isn't anything Connors can actually DO, with the US Open beginning in just 72 hours. Bouchard faces American Alison Riske in her first-round singles match.
He can be the sage, the encouraging face in the players' box. But not much beyond that.
Hey, you never know. As unlikely as it seems, they might actually hit it off. But how unfortunate is it that there's no on-court coaching for the women at Grand Slams? We'd pay to see and hear that.