With no Grand Slam titles in 2013, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer (Player Bio) has announced that he has parted ways with coach Paul Annacone. The American has been in the Federer camp for the past 3-and-a-half years and was a part of the Swiss’s resurgence in 2012.
“After a terrific 3 ½ years working together, Paul and I have decided to move on to the next chapter in our professional lives. When we started together we had a vision of a 3 year plan to win another Grand Slam title and get back to the number #1 ranking. Along with many other goals and great memories, these 2 main goals were achieved. After numerous conversations culminating at the end of our most recent training block, we felt like this was the best time and path for both of us. Paul remains a dear friend, and we both look forward to continuing our friendship. I want to thank Paul for his help and the value he has added to me and my team.”
The decision comes a mere two days after Federer’s shocking third round exit to Gael Monfils at the Shanghai Rolex Master. Annacone had previously worked with former World No. 1 Pete Sampras and Tim Henman prior to before starting with Federer in 2010. He had also helped Roger win a Grand Slam title in 2012, when he defeated Andy Murray in the Wimbledon final to earn a record-breaking 17th Grand Slam title.
Federer has had one of his poorest seasons in over a decade, winning his lone title in Halle and failing to one of the four Grand Slam quarter-finals for the first time since 2004, when he exited Wimbledon (2nd round) and the US Open (fourth round) in disappointing fashion. It is also the first time since 2002 that he does not reach a Grand Slam final. His poor performances have seen him drop from the top spot in July 2012, to a low of No. 7. He even surrendered the title as the top Swiss player to Stanislas Wawrinka, who overtook him in the ATP rankings this week.
The 32-year-old will likely continue to work with Swiss Davis Cup captain Severin Luethi, who has previously accompanied him during Grand Slam events, for the remainder of the season until a suitable replacement has been found.
Federer is currently vying for one of the remaining four spots for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals 2013. If he does not make the cut, it will be the first time since 2002 that he is absent from the year-end championships. Considering he has won a the prestigious event a record six times over the past decade, it would certainly be a disappointment to millions of fans around the world.
The former No. 1 is scheduled to partake in the Basel event next week. It is the second-to-last tournament of the season, with the Paris Masters tournament being the final major stop before the Tour Finals.