Roger Federer may have split with coach Paul Annacone—reports the Associated Press (h/t ESPN.com)—but that doesn't mean he needs to hurry up and find a new coach before the Australian Open begins in mid-January. In fact, he doesn't need to find a coach at all to keep winning tournaments.
Annacone had been Federer's coach since 2010 and had previously worked with greats like Pete Sampras. Now, he is jobless.
He has no hard feelings towards Federer, though, and believes that there are more good days ahead for him (via Douglas Robson of USA Today): "Greatness doesn't stop," he said.
Federer isn't exactly close to the top of the world rankings at this point, and he likely never will be again. He trails Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, David Ferrer, Andy Murray, Juan Martin Del Potro and Tomas Berdych in the current rankings, though he barely trails Berdych and is within 2,500 points of everyone but the top two.
It won't be an easy climb back to the top of the rankings, but Federer is talented enough to make it happen. The chances are ridiculously slim, but hey, stranger things have happened. Regardless, having a coach won't help or hurt his chances of regaining his top form.
Federer is at a point in his career where he knows his game. He knows exactly what he does well and what he does poorly and, while a little help from a coach could be nice, he is perfectly capable of putting the work in on his own.
Because Federer is such a gifted and natural tennis player, having a coach that didn't challenge him to make big changes in his game wasn't the right move for him. Annacone is a friend of Federer's and never would challenge arguably one of the most talented tennis players in the world to make drastic changes.
Quite honestly, not many coaches would have the audacity to propose big changes to Federer. After all, he's been around long enough and won a few matches along the way. Adding a coach into the fold that wants to make big changes in his career would signal a new beginning for Federer—a new beginning that would be coming entirely too late.
Learning new techniques and making big changes would imply that Federer is ready to make a run at the top spot in the rankings. Sure, it's a title he would most certainly welcome. That being said, the commitment necessary to earn that title might be beyond what Federer is willing to give at this stage in his career.
Federer is at a time when he can pick and choose his tournaments and only play in the ones that best fit his schedule. Winning Grand Slams won't be an easy task anymore for the aging star, but he'll always have his dominance at Wimbledon to turn back to.
Without Annacone—or any coach, for that matter—Federer can focus on simply playing tennis, getting back to basics and playing the game that he has dominated for so very long.
Federer is perfectly capable of handling himself on the court without a watchful eye in the stands. Having played so many matches during his career, Federer is perfectly aware of even the tiniest of mistakes that he makes.
I mean, he did so in 2004. Even though that's a long time ago, 2004 was when Federer took the tennis world by storm by capturing three Grand Slams. All of that was done without a coach.
Simply focusing on playing his game is enough for Federer to pick up some wins over the next few seasons. Federer is one of the few players in the world that doesn't need a coach to be better. He can get better on his own.
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