Annacone: Federer not finished yet
Originally published on: 18/10/13 00:00
Federer announced he had parted ways with Paul Annacone following his defeat to Gael Monfils at last week’s Shanghai Masters.
The 32-year-old has endured the toughest season of his career, suffering a string of defeats to lower ranked players, most memorably his second-round defeat to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon where he was defending champion.
With just one title – the ATP World Tour 250 event in Halle – this year, Federer has slipped to No.7 in the world rankings and is in danger of missing out on the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London, where he is a six-time champion.
Annacone, who started working with Federer in 2010, helped the Swiss return to the top of the world rankings last summer after winning his 17th major at Wimbledon, but the American paid the price for a disappointing season.
Many believe Federer’s dip in form could be the start of a slide down the rankings, but Annacone is convinced a new coach could be the catalyst for another resurgence.
“It could be an opportune time for him to hear a new voice; it really could be,” Annacone said. “What will be the catalyst? Will it be a new voice? Will it be a streamlined team without me? Will it be a change of his life? I don’t know, but when I look at the skill sets and the talent level and the way he goes about things, I find it really hard to believe he’s not going to be contending for major titles.”
He added: “Three weeks ago, we were in Dubai and it’s 125 degrees on the court, and I’m sweating through shirts standing there,” Annacone said. “And I’m watching this guy laughing and having fun, doing drills, doing his physical fitness, and I’m sitting there going, ‘Wow, how does this guy still love to do this this much?’
“So the challenge is to make sure that love translates to a process that is really, really pointed towards a focus and not just playing, and I think after he won Wimbledon last year, I think a lot of things happened in terms of refocusing himself.”