Federer takes new coach for test drive at Toronto Masters

Roger Federer celebrated his 29th birthday last week, but the cagey Swiss said he was not too old to learn a few new tricks as he launched his North American hard-court campaign with coach Paul Annacone at his side.

The 16-time Grand Slam winner came to the Toronto Masters with his wife, twin girls and Annacone — the newest member of his compact entourage — eager to finish an up-and-down year on a high note with a victory at the US Open in September.

Federer has spent much of his prime years working alone, but a crushing quarterfinal exit at the All England Club, some stagnating play and a lower ranking convinced him it was time for some fresh thinking.

“I’ve always questioned myself in the best of times and in the worst of times, even though there were not many bad moments the last seven years or so,” Federer told reporters on Monday.

“But I always look at new ways I can improve. Paul, I think, with his experience can bring something to our team and that’s what we’re exploring right now.”

Federer would not elaborate on the status of his working relationship with Annacone, who also coached Pete Sampras and Tim Henman, but said he would likely wait until after the US Open before deciding whether to keep him on a full-time basis.

The well-rested Swiss is spending plenty of time with Annacone on the Toronto hard courts, opting not to play doubles in order to focus on working with the American.

“I’ve always gotten along very well with Paul, him being obviously the coach of Sampras and Henman who were sort of friends to me,” said Federer. “So I thought it was a good time to do a test and this is our first test tournament.”

Federer insists he is not a control freak, but from the outside the Swiss seems in complete control of every aspect of his life on the court and off.

Since parting ways with Peter Lundgren in 2003, Federer has not employed a full-time coach, opting instead to work with a string of high-profile part-timers, including Australians Tony Roche, Darren Cahill and Spaniard Jose Higueras.

Annacone will be courtside when Federer, Toronto champion in 2004 and 2006, begins play on Tuesday with a second-round match against Argentina’s Juan Ignacio Chela.

“I know I can handle a lot by myself but obviously at this stage now I do need help from all sorts of sides because my family has grown and the business is much bigger,” said Federer. — Reuters

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Noxy Goyi’s story of survival is one of a woman’s...

The breadwinner lost her job and, desperate not to sit at home, she started selling food on the street on a table made of bread crates. Now she employs two people

Three ‘gringos’ brave heat, mosquitos, illegal gold miners and pirates...

A Wits University accounting professor has returned from his Amazon expedition he undertook to fight climate change

Fintech firms ramp up investments in Kenya’s microfinance space

Kenya’s microfinance banks are the target of fintech firms from abroad seeking to sidestep stringent regulatory perimeters for digital lenders

Harbour views at 9th Avenue Waterside

The award-winning eatery, which offers fine wines and food, is on stilts at Durban’s harbour

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…