Roger Federer recently posted the following message on his website:
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
This news makes me very happy. I think that at this point in Federer's career, the choice to bring in someone new makes perfect sense, and I don't even think it matters so much which coach he brings in. As long as the coach has decent experience and Federer respects and is willing to listen to them, I think we might see some positive results.
Paul Annacone has coached some great players, most notably Pete Sampras who he worked with from 1995-2002. After this, Annacone was the Managing Director of the United States Tennis Association High Performance Program, and later the Head Coach of the Lawn Tennis Association—a position that he will be finished with as of November 2010.
I certainly don't think that Federer is on the decline that many other people seem to think he's on, but the fact is that he's getting older (29 next month), and trying some new things and getting someone else's perspective on his game can't hurt. As he said in his message, they will try this out on a trial basis, and if things don't work out then that's fine, they can both go their separate ways—no harm done.
Perhaps all Roger needs is a fresh pair of eyes to take a look at his game and offer him some new ideas. Annacone helped Pete Sampras win a large number of majors—let's hope he can do the same for Roger.