Darren Cahill to coach Roger Federer? If I could make that question mark any bigger, I would. I got all excited when I first read the headline at the popular blog, tennis-x, and then I realized that it was mostly wishful thinking. Here’s the story:
ESPN broadcaster Darren Cahill, the former coach of Lleyton Hewitt, has long been tagged as the next best fit for Federer since the Swiss broke off his part-time coaching arrangement with Tony Roche. Now it has been announced that Cahill has stepped down from his coaching position for Australia’s Davis Cup team, citing “business and personal reasons.”
If his business is to be Roger Federer, then that is good luck for the Swiss.
I found a slightly more promising story about the Federer/Cahill connection in a French language publication called 7 sur 7, which stated that Federer is hoping to finalize Cahill’s contract soon (click here).
But! And this is a BIG BUT! There is nothing I could find to substantiate these stories. All we know for sure is that Cahill is leaving his post as Australia’s Davis Cup coach – which is too bad for team Australia but makes sense given Cahill’s known stateside commitments with ESPN and his ties to Las Vegas.
Here’s the scoop from Adelaide Now:
BUSINESS and personal issues have led Darren Cahill, one of the world’s leading tennis mentors, to step down as Australia’s Davis Cup coach.
Based in Las Vegas where he continues a close association with former charge Andre Agassi, Cahill has been replaced by Wally Masur.
He will stay on in his role as co-director of the Adelaide tournament, World Tennis Challenge.
The January event at Memorial Drive will be led next year by Cahill, Mark Woodforde, Roger Rasheed and Tennis SA chief executive Alistair MacDonald. Cahill, who took Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt to the world No. 1 ranking, hopes to return to the key Davis Cup role in the future.
The South Australian has bowed out as his children are now attending school in the U.S. and his business commitments are growing.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the role,” Cahill said after team captain John Fitzgerald yesterday revealed the team for next month’s tie against Thailand in Bangkok.
I’m sorry Roger Federer fans, but the Cahill-Federer relationship remains a Fedophile fantasy – for now. Darren Cahill does seem like a great match, being a low key Aussie like Roger’s formative coach, Peter Carter, and having helped an aging Andre Agassi secure legendary status. It’s either him or Brad Gilbert, and no one can quite picture that happening. (Although I think it might work in an odd-couple kind of way. Roger likes loudmouthed Americans – just look at how he dotes on Andy Roddick.) And with Roger taking an unexpected break due to back injury before the Indian Wells/Miami swing, the timing seems about right for some quality time with a new guru. I’d love to see Roger take on a coach, if only to help shoulder some of the mental burden that he’s obviously starting to feel in the late-middle part of his career. GOATness is so close, but Rafael Nadal is so hard to beat! (I say: BG! BG!)
Oh, and while we’re on the topic, you MUST read this great article that Darren Cahill wrote about Roger Federer as a young player, his relationship with Peter Carter, his first tempestuous juniors match against Lleyton Hewitt, and a controversial pre-match scuffle that changed Andre Agassi’s respect for Roger. Darren can write as well as coach! Click here to read.
Roger Photo: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images