The article confirms that Roger’s coaching situation has changed quite dramatically, and we’re going to need to start thinking about it in a very different way. Federer, reputed to be a coachless champion, now has one of those new-fangled coaching teams. Both Paul Annacone and Severin Luethi – his buddy and kinda coach (at least that’s how the media portrayed him) – will be joining him in London, and Roger, himself, is describing his coaching situation as a group effort.
Fed via The New York Times:
“We don’t particularly set up and say, ‘Let’s do a brainstorming session,’ like in business school or something,” Federer said of Luethi and Annacone. “But it’s somewhat more casual. We are in track suits and lounging around and all of the sudden it happens.”
So like Murray, Djokovic and Nadal have done, it appears Roger’s looking for something collaborative. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that Mirka, a long time companion and coach/confidante, won’t be joining him on the road as often as she used to. Though never officially credited as a coach, Roger often mentioned that he’d talk to her about strategy. So he’s probably used to hearing multiple viewpoints about his game.
One of the reasons Paul Annacone is touted as such a great addition to Fed’s team at this stage, is because of his past success coaching a late-career Pete Sampras (and Tim Henman, as well.) At twenty-nine, it seems safe to assume that Roger needs some special support and motivation to push through to a few more Major Titles.
But Roger Federer is no Pete Sampras, says Paul Annacone. Via The New York Times:
“At the end of Pete’s career, he rejuvenated himself for that great push at the U.S. Open, but the last couple years, for a multitude of reasons, were a bit emotionally draining for him,” Annacone said. “Roger is not anywhere near that state.”
You’re only as old as you feel, after all, and Annacone claims Roger feels fresh as a hungry new pro:
“When we first started talking, and I was starting to get to know him a little more in-depth, his level of excitement and desire to keep playing and to do it in a way that’s positive, optimistic, energetic and open-minded, really kind of floored me,” said Annacone, who has spoken little publicly since joining Federer’s team.
“I felt like I was with a 23-year-old or 22-year-old again,” he added. “He loves the life. He loves the tennis matches. He loves the travel. He has all the ingredients, including and most importantly good health in mind and body, to keep going for a number of years. I think in retrospect Pete at this age was a lot more tired — a lot more tired mostly emotionally, not physically.”
Whoo hoo! So Roger’s just catching his second wind? What’cha think? 16 more?