There is a great piece by Christopher Clarey in today’s NYT, titled “Federer Struggles With His Altered World.”
Some sensitive types might want to avoid it, thinking that it’s just another obituary for Roger’s career. But it isn’t. It brings perspective to Roger’s current slump and includes some great quotes from Paul Annacone, Pete Sampras’s ex-coach.
Here are some choice excerpts, but please click here to read the whole article.
On tennis, the cruelest sport:
One of the best and cruelest aspects of tennis is that there is nowhere to hide. You might be an all-time great, even the all-time great, and yet you are only as effective as the forehands, backhands and decisions you are making on any given day.
On the racquet smashing:
It required great effort for Federer to cure himself of the on-court tantrums of his youth. To see him resume breaking rackets now, after all these years of self-control, was like watching the owner of a health food store start fumbling through his desk drawer for a long-lost pack of cigarettes.
Paul Annacone on the Sampras-Federer connection:
“There are definitely some parallels,” said Paul Annacone, Sampras’s longtime coach, in an interview this week. “Just as it was for Pete, it’s a particularly interesting, challenging time in Roger’s career. But I would look at it with Roger in the same way as for Pete. For guys like that, it is daunting but not that daunting. They are so skilled they can adjust, but a lot of the adjustment is mental.”
Paul Annacone for coach!
“He may choose to keep doing what he’s been doing and not tweaking, and that’s his choice as a champion,” Annacone said. “But for me it would be a shame. If you have a lot of weapons in your arsenal and choose not to use them, what’s the point in having them? It’s a matter of managing them a bit differently than he did a few years ago.”
Seriously, can Roger pick up the phone and get Annacone on the next flight to Monte Carlo?