Tuesday, July 27, 2010
With his ranking on the decline, Roger Federer is working with coach Paul Annacone on a trial basis.
Annacone, an American, is the former coach of Pete Sampras. He also coached Marat Safin and Tim Henman, and is now the head coach of men’s tennis for Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association.
“I’ve been looking to add someone to my team, and I’ve decided to spend some days with Paul Annacone,” Federer said on his website Monday. “As Paul winds down his responsibilities working for the Lawn Tennis Association, we will explore our relationship through this test period. Paul will work alongside my existing team, and I am excited to learn from his experiences.”
In the past two months Federer has slipped to No. 3 in the ATP rankings, the first time since November 2003 he’s been that low. He trails No. 1 Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic.
Federer has worked with coaches Darren Cahill, Jose Higueras and Tony Roche, but has also gone without a coach for extended stretches.
He’s scheduled to play his first tournament since Wimbledon beginning Aug. 9 in Toronto. He plans to play in Cincinnati the following week before heading to the U.S. Open, and may be accompanied by Annacone.
“They will take the necessary time to see if the relationship can work,” Federer’s agent, Tony Godsick, said in an e-mail. “I would assume that Paul, if he can work it in with his remaining responsibilities and schedule with the LTA, will join Roger for some of his upcoming summer hard court events in North America.”
Federer’s most recent title came in January at the Australian Open, his 16th Grand Slam championship. His record streak of reaching the semifinals at 23 consecutive major tournaments ended when he lost in the quarterfinals at the French Open.
At Wimbledon, he also lost in the quarterfinals following seven consecutive appearances in the final.
Federer topped the rankings earlier this year but was overtaken by Nadal after the French Open. That left Federer one week shy of tying Sampras’ career record of 286 total weeks at No. 1.