Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
More questions, no answers; Roger Federer is alone.
Roger Federer is without a coach once more.
He and Paul Annacone have split after nearly four seasons together, according to the AP (via ESPN.com). The announcement was made on October 12.
For those who have criticized the progress the two have made together, Federer looked back upon their work with nothing but satisfaction. "Along with many other goals and great memories, these two main goals [winning a Grand Slam and a return to No. 1] were achieved," he posted on his website.
Clearly, many do not agree with his assessment.
Benjamin Purvis and Nancy Kercheval of Bloomberg.com link the split to Federer's failure to win Grand Slams. London's The Telegraph connects the firing with Federer trying to "stem the bleeding." John Wertheim, tennis writer for Sports Illustrated, observed in September that Annacone was "taking a beating" at tournaments.
Wertheim, however, also was quick to point out that Annacone was there for a Wimbledon win.
As for the coach himself? He remains positive about his former charge, per USA Today's Douglas Robson:
As much as Roger still loves to play, the exuberance he still shows in every practice, his desire to continue to enjoy the game, I can't imagine anything other than success coming his way. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Greatness doesn't stop. It doesn't just go away. He's not all of a sudden now not that good anymore.
It just might take a last-minute entry into the final eight at London to convince the critics.