BREAKING: How fast do you think I can cut and paste?


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Dear Fans

I’ve been looking to add someone to my team and I’ve decided to spend some days with Paul Annacone. As Paul winds down his responsibilities working for the Lawn Tennis Association, we will explore our relationship through this test period. Paul will work alongside my existing team and I am excited to learn from his experiences.

See you soon,


Initial thoughts:

Paul Annacone: long time coach of Sampras (and I mean LONG TIME). Also coached Tim Henman casually for a while back in 2004 before becoming the Head Coach of the LTA in 2006.

Annacone recently announced his departure from the LTA from November 2010. That ought to have been a sign. With only 3 British men inside the world’s top 300, clearly the position does nothing to enhance Annacone’s illustrious resume.

Prophetically, in an interview with the NYT last year, Paul Annacone discussed the “decline” of Federer from a coach perspective.

“There are definitely some parallels [between Sampras and Federer],” said Paul Annacone. “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.”

Annacone thinks Roger grew accustomed to overwhelming opponents from the back court: to being the better athlete and hitting a more, consistent and heavier ball.

“We are all creatures of habits,” Annacone said. “Roger has won a lot a certain way, and when you’ve done that for four or five years and then in year six or seven, that shot that used to be a winner isn’t a winner anymore, the tendency in human nature is to overplay a little bit. And that’s what’s happening. His couple of patterns that used to be very dominant are still successful against 95 percent of the guys — just not against that last five percent.”

Annacone understandably leans toward Federer’s hiring a full-time coach. “I always feel in an individual sport, it’s up to the guy on court, but as you watch the evolution of careers, it’s good to have someone you trust and who understands you and what you’re trying to do and also your game and the history of what’s gone on,” he said.

“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.”

Source: NYT

It happens every time Federer loses more often than usual – people wonder (unreasonably? naturally? without cause or justification?): will this man, 16 slams and counting, 28 years young and going on 29, be on the verge of retirement?

There you have the best evidence that he’s in this for the long haul. More than anything, the announcement comes with symbolic significance.

It’s back to business for the Fed.

And it’s back to business for me as well, having recently returned (several shades darker) from Switzerlandia. As much as I loved the wanderlust and my exile from tennis over the past month, as much as I want to stay by the shores of Swiss lakes and stuff my face with cheese, Lindt and Movenpick every day, it’s good to be back. I’ve missed the players, I’ve missed the creative outlet of this blog, and I’ve missed all of you too.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank fellow Federer and tennis fans PJ and Whynotme. The former for doing such a fabulous job populating this site while I was away with her beautiful Haikus and images, the latter for being a charming host to me while I was in Paris and feeding me goat cheese.

I met several Federer fans on this journey, and it’s amazing how close I immediately felt to all of them. Partly because they were all easy-going and kind. Partly, I dare say, because of our mutual admiration for one fine tennis player. Are some of you coming down for the Aussie Open next year? Do let me know, because there shall be Fedophiliac Drinks. Non-Fedophiles invited!


xx doots


25 responses to “BREAKING: How fast do you think I can cut and paste?”

  1. FortuneCookie says :

    How exciting!Although I hope Annacone doesn’t do a Cahill and decide that he’s actually just not that into him…
    It’s a good idea though,and shows that he’s entirely serious and committed to improving his game (contrary to what some seem to think!) and getting some form back,hopefully! 🙂

    • dootsiez says :

      I doubt Annacone will do a Cahill now that Fed has announced it. Esp since he’s going to be jobless by November!

      (Also, his interview with the NYT a year ago basically sounded like he was pitching for the job. Sneaky!)

      • FortuneCookie says :

        Yeah,it seems pretty official,wonder how poor Severus Snape* is going to feel?

        *Nickname from a non-tennis fan friend,made the second she heard the name ‘Severin’ during Wimbly commentary this year 😛

        • dootsiez says :

          Severus Snape? PERFECT.

          I think he’ll be fine. Fed worked with both him and Higueras back in 08 anyway. 😀

        • marcoiac says :

          i agree with dootsiez, luthi won’t go anywhere. annaccone is a lovely guy, fed and him should work well together. but: the real issue is whether fed is really willing to listen and change. he can be stubborn, that’s probably one of his major weaknesses. but if he’s open minded and listen to paul, he should be a lot of fun to watch.

        • Philip says :

          Yea, I found it a little odd that Fed actually announced it before anything became final. IIRC, he didn’t make announcements about Higueras or Cahill until things were final.

          And I think the fact that Fed is willing to seek out another coach / set of eyes / advisor, and someone as esteemed as Annacone, essentially means he is willing to listen and make changes if necessary. Especially this time around. Same thing with Higueras and Cahill. Otherwise, what’s the point right?

  2. TennisAce says :

    You know sometimes I think I am psychic. I was in bed last night and thinking all sorts of tennis thoughts and one of those tennis thoughts was how Federer came back to the Tour and just obliterated everyone. He was very happy in his press conferences and he told all the journalists that he was feeling fine and refreshed and ready for the hard court season. Now that I am up I see that my dream was really not that as now he has a coach, maybe a part time consulting one, but a coach nonetheless and one that is respected.

    I like Annacone’s comments. Federer’s patterns of play had become known to everyone. He needed to change it up a little. He has an arsenal of shots and more than anything he needs to get his foot speed and movement back. He is one of the most adept players around the court and no way should he be beaten by the likes of Soderling and Berdych. These guys only hit the ball hard and when that does not work, they hit it even harder. Roger needs to neutralise that power and I hope that Annacone will be able to teach him how to do that.

    Fantastic news for a Fed fan.

  3. BS says :

    I’m really happy with this news. He obviously thinks that he needs some new perspective and why shouldn’t he, considering how the last few months have turned out. You can’t really get much better than a former longtime coach of Sampras, but still, I’m not going to jump to conclusions.

    Welcome back Doots 🙂

    • jandemom says :

      I agree, this sounds like good news. A new adviser, with a new approach to parts of Roger’s game, could be just what’s needed to help Roger work out of this difficult time he’s having in matches (by his standards, anyway). I think I’ve heard Cliff Drysdale (or maybe Cahill) say on more than one occasion: Always change what isn’t working, never change what is. Seems like Roger could use a little change here & there. It will be interesting to watch what happens.

      Welcome back, doots. And thanks to PJ for her excellent job filling in for you!

  4. Joanna says :

    I remember reading that same article about Annacone and thinking he would be a really good coach for Roger!! I read some comments about it and they were echoing the same sentiment. Can’t wait to see what this new partnership brings about.

    Welcome back, hope you enjoyed yourself:)

  5. elisha says :

    Nice to hear(rather, read? lol) from you, doots! Happy to see that you’ve had a great time in Europe! I’m even happier to hear this news because it just goes to show that Roger is serious about his tennis and just because he’s had some lackluster results(yeah, a grand slam trophy and 2 quarterfinals are so lackluster…) people are jumping on the bandwagon of “Roger’s a goner” like it’s their last lifeline or something… <_<

    I'm not going to be phased by the resume until I see what actually happens on court. I sincerely hope for good things to come out of this!

  6. breadstix says :

    Exciting stuff. I’m not going to expect too much from this arrangement at the moment, but it certainly seems to bode well, and an indication that Feddykins is working on his game… and that he still cares. Stuff that gives me a lot of hope.

    Anyhoo, welcome back Doots! Heh, no AO for me, maybe one of these years… 😛

  7. Mia says :

    Change is good. Go, Fed.

  8. judy says :

    welcome back doots! congrats to those who held down the fort admirably. what a great post to get things going!

  9. Jack says :

    It should be exciting to see what comes out of this partnership!

    Judging by that interview, Annacone seems to be more interested in tactics so maybe we’ll see Roger experimenting different things out on the court in the next few weeks.

    Plus its nice that Fed is willing to recieve new input and listen to new ideas as we all know he can be a little bit stubborn at times. 😀

    Oh, and welcome back doots!! 🙂

  10. jfK says :

    When I read the news I was so happy I could do cartwheels for hours!
    I’m just so thrilled, and I hope it really really works out b/c when the Cahill trial didn’t work out I was gutted!
    Really hope Rog and Paul hit it off. Would love to see him in the Team Federer box!!

    Welcome back Doots! And PJ did it a great job, she was awesome!

  11. Allie says :

    i agree, this is great news- but i don’t think it will pay major dividends until the following season… I’ve heard annacone do commentary as a guest a few times with PMac and he’s very insightful. Much as I love Cahill, I do think he’d be a better fit for Federer

  12. LongLiveKingRog says :

    Hi Dootz welcome back to cyberworld and it was great to meet you briefly in Wimby! I had the dubious honour of watching our man vs Berdych 2 days after I saw you… I am just glad Rog is making this move and telling us he still means business.

    I am seriously considering AO 2011 – I am already going to USO this September – then i will have my LLKR slam – to go to all 4 slam consecutively! yah!

    • judy says :

      that would be an amazing feat! good luck! i am completely jealous. 🙂

      • LongLiveKingRog says :

        hehe that would be my DREAM scenario! only problem is it doesn’t help the bank account!!!! but for our man, our great man, it is worthwhile…

  13. PJ says :

    I am going to take nothing but positives out of this news, oh yessiree, Sir Rogie Shank-A-Lot still wants it, BAD. Goodie. I still plan to go broke at AO2011 after all.

    Hurrah for the return of the fierce Head Bitch! I have had tremendous fun on The Fence though. Thanks for entrusting me with the care of your blog while you’re away! 🙂

    Federporny drinks Thursday, YER LOCKED IN.

  14. pban says :

    at least it proves one thing,he still cares .For someone like roger that is generally enough, but does annacone start work before the us open or what?? pj…loved your work welcome back into our fold

  15. sita says :

    Happy, relieved, excited, hopeful all at the same time !!!
    Welcome back Doots, and thanks again PJ for your awesome posts…

    Like TennisAce , I have been wondering if I am a psychic because over the weekend I was wondering what would make Roger get a new coach when the whole world and its mother agree that he could only benefit with an extra pair of eyes at this stage of his career – and voila – there comes the announcement 🙂

    Hoping the Federcone partnership works out and surpasses all expectations !!!

  16. kaitepai says :

    Welcome back!
    I too am happy he has hired Annacone, but a lot of that happiness stems from the fact that it shows he still wants it bad.

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