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Federer ‘attempts’ to hire a coach – again. Is that good or bad?

Posted by tennisplanet on July 26, 2010

For starters, the timing of the two stabs so far point to a position of weakness Federer appears to be descending from. Last experiment with Darren Cahill was right after he lost to Nadal at the AO final in 2009. That ‘backfire’ could very well have played a significant part in Federer hesitating to pull the trigger again lot earlier this time. (like after losing at the AO this year?).

Translation: The desperation has reached breaking point allowing the pain to exceed the shame in going for it again after that snub from Cahill.

Additionally it seems Federer feels he has tried everything within his control now and this is his LAST straw. If that really is the case, ANY coach is looking at an uphill mountain from the get go with an occasional flash intermittently. That scenario leaves very little for ANYONE to work with. You can bet Annaconda will be there sniffing for that vibe during this test period. If not he may just call Cahill to learn it straight from the horse’s mouth.

For rock people, Anaconda was Sampras’s coach and unless Sampras is solidly behind this move, Anaconda on his own may just suddenly feel the need to ‘be with his family’ too. Clearly, there’s something that goes amiss after the coach spends that test period around Federer as they don’t back out at the initial invitation. If this was clearly the case first time around, shouldn’t Federer have demanded skipping the test period and taken the plunge right away?

After all, the guy has credentials but more importantly with the current southward journey you are on, you don’t have very many options. Just Cahill’s withdrawal was considered a kiss of death for Federer as far as attracting another credible body was concerned. If this fails it may just ‘bump’ up to a passionate intercourse.

Bottom line: Smart thing was to lock in without any option or mention of a test period. Unless of course if it was asked for by Anaconda himself. If it was, then this could be even more fluid than the first one – with an even stronger hit to the ego already teetering on brink of collapse.

But Anaconda may also consider the fact that after Cahill dumped Federer, Federer went on to win the FO, No. 15 and 16. However the circumstances surrounding those milestones may take away some or all of the thunder from that argument.

Either way, there’s no doubt that from Federer’s point of view this decision cannot hurt. It may not however be the same for Anaconda as he is just coming on the open market after being close to being released from Lawn Tennis Association. There may be far more lucrative offers he may be overlooking if he locks himself with Federer for a few years.

I feel Federer wanted to clear the last frontier before seeking outside help and in a way admitting to being ‘defeated’. That last frontier was grass AND the five set format. He is very close to being that ‘hat in the hand’ player now – a position not very comfortable for a person of his stature and ego.

Bottom line: This is Federer’s last shot at redemption. He cannot miss this. All the more reason that Federer shouldn’t have left it open unless Anaconda absolutely demanded it.


23 Responses to “Federer ‘attempts’ to hire a coach – again. Is that good or bad?”

  1. Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi said

    This man has handled Sampras. Federer should be ok with him and vice-versa. I think he will ace the Mirka stress test too. besides, the sound of Annacone-Federer has more rythm and harmony than any other permutation-combination of player-coach that I know of except Nadal-Nadal.

    • Jenny said

      Seconded on all counts, Sir V!

      • M said

        Jenny, aren’t you one of the first ones here on the Planet who suggested Roger hire Annaconda in the first place?

        (I’m becoming more and more convinced he reads your suggestions … 😀 )

      • Jenny said

        I was always pro Annacone, he was tied up with the LTA at the time, but I think it was Gracie who suggested it here.

  2. Vr said

    Guess you are trying to ‘motivate’ Fed! His going to PA is a sign he isn’t ready to watch the grass grow. Since I have my head in the sand, I didn’t know DC dumped RF. PA and RF will do it this time and lead to more GS for RF.

    • Jenny said

      I don’t think the proposed set up with Cahill ever got off the ground. His set-up with Addidas and commentary probably suits him more than being tied down to Fed. Cahill is doing some work with Gonzo, but then he’s with Addidas.

  3. mircea said

    Federer recently came out out as talented, stubborn, and incapable of backing out when needed. Since 2004, it was clear other players never could play at his level. Nadal was the first who learned how to win ugly and then some against Federer. Eventually, he had gotten into Federer’s head so deeply, all he had to do was let Federer self-destruct. But Nadal could never and will never play at Federer’s level. Now that other’s have learned to win ugly and let Federer self-destruct, Federer realizes the time has come for a complete overhaul. Here’s the deal. He’s too smart, too talented, and too fluid not to be able to overhaul his game, even at his age. He’s playing against a generation of physically overpowering, boring, and one-dimensional players, who lack creativity, imagination, and grace. I mean seriously, would anyone want to see Berdych, Soderling, Djokovic, or Murray become # 1. As someone once said, you’re too good for this shit. Federer is too good to be shown up by a group of mediocre ball-bashers. He has tried to compete on their terms and has been succesful for over 4 1/2 years. Time to show them he can out-maneuver and out-play them. In Annacone, he has hired brains. I think the results will be telling. And even Uncle Toni will be surprised. By the end of the year, I see Fed winning another Major, 3 Masters series, and the Barclays event. Pride is something most everyone lacks on the tour. And Annacone will help restore that pride.

    • Bento said


    • Bonnie said

      Well said Mircea! Bravo!

    • Sol said

      You’ve always been realistic in your assessment of the Fed situation, Mircea. You say it like it is. You’ve criticized him when needed, sometimes harshly, but you’re usually spot on.
      I agree with everything you say in that comment above. Except maybe the number of titles you expect him to win. I think Fed needs to sort out his back injury first, which I have no doubt in my mind is a real injury and not just an excuse for losing in Wimby. If that’s done, then he’ll also need some time before the result of his coaching start showing. It won’t happen so fast, imo.

  4. Dee said

    He should hire Sampras.

  5. Ash said

    Look forward to seeing the new double handed backhand!?

    • Sir Vibhudi Aatmapudi said

      Me too. It’s time he used that along with his single handers.

    • UM17 said

      I guess an ugly win is still a win. At this point it’s worth the sacrifice…

      • M said

        I remember being excited the last time Roger had made some adaptations to his game at some of his new — and very elegant, and surprising to many of the early players who were their victims — half-court shots.
        I have full confidence that he’ll be able to tweak his game further without any of the adaptations having to be “ugly”.

        And — possibly beside the point — I happen to think some of our tenistas (I’ll spare you all the list) have two-handed backhands that are rather beautiful.

      • UM17 said

        Oh, no offense meant to two-handers! Aesthetically speaking, there are plenty out there who look great with a two-handed backhand, but I feel like it depends how rest of their game looks. I can’t visualize how it will fit into the ballet, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

        Ultimately, it don’t mattah. If he wins, it’s worth it, and I will welcome the new era.

      • M said

        I guess what I meant is that as ingenious as he is, if Roger doesn’t think a 2HBH will fit his game, I’m sure he and PA will come up with some other things. One of the things that’s always fascinated me about Roger is that he seems to come up with things no one has ever seen before.

        (Also, they may work on adjustments that are more subtle and harder for us to see right away, like positioning and angles to counter the big servers.)

      • Jenny said

        I’m sorry, guys, but I would be very surprised to see Roger attempting to use the double backhander at this stage in his career, it isn’t part of his natural game which has won him 16 slams. I think the new coaching role is more than drastically changing his style, but more subtle changes [including his mindset] which M alludes to. Also he needs to remain physically fit.

  6. Sol said

    “I feel Federer wanted to clear the last frontier before seeking outside help and in a way admitting to being ‘defeated’. That last frontier was grass AND the five set format. He is very close to being that ‘hat in the hand’ player now – a position not very comfortable for a person of his stature and ego.”

    Fed hiring Annacone proves his ego is just the right size. He knows he’s good but he also knows he needs to adapt and isn’t afraid to say it.

    • UM17 said

      Exactly. It means he DOES still care, that he DOES want to improve, and isn’t happy resting on his laurels, and wants to achieve more. Great news for tennis, we’re not ready for him to fall off the map.

  7. good news for tennis, and strikes me as a mature move, and generous-spirited of all parties involved.

    • M said

      Well said, imaginaryband, especially “good news for tennis”.

      To paraphrase UM17, it shows that Roger is serious when he says he wants to continue to play (and play well) for a long time. We get the treasured benefit of continuing to enjoy that.

  8. O said

    This is why he won a record of 16 slams already, he makes the right moves. Previous coaches were all great ones, Rochy, Uphill, Jose, trying to win that elusive french open. Now, he no longer need that, just need to concentrate on what he is good at, like Pete. Pete should be OK with Fed’s move, as long as it’s just coach. After all, Fed is a great fiend of Pete.

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