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U.S. Open 2010: Roger Federer and Andy Murray Aiming for Change

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 31:  Roger Federer of Switzerland and Andy Murray of Great Britain talk during the trophy presentation after the men's final match during day fourteen of the 2010 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 31, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Gregory LanzenbergCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2010

The top two stories hitting the tennis world in July refer to top players changing their coaching set-ups.

Roger Federer announced that he has hired Paul Annacone on a part-time basis, while Andy Murray officially split with coach Miles Maclagan.

While the Scot is still on the hunt for a new coach, the man from Switzerland already made the choice to hire one of the best ones. The same one who managed to drive Pete Sampras to win 14 majors.

It is very interesting to notice that Federer and Murray already post significant results by playing the final of the first Masters 1000 event of the US Open series in Toronto last weekend, with the current World number 4 player defeating the former World number one player 7-5, 7-5.

Let's take a closer look at what forced both players to make such drastic decisions.
July is the best time for players to assess their situation as the French Open and Wimbledon are over and top players take a well-deserved break.

Before important tournaments get underway in Toronto and Cincinnati, leading up to the US Open, many of the top players tend to recharge their batteries so it's the perfect moment to evaluate their ups and downs.

Federer had a rich year in 2009 but he's in trouble in 2010. It's unusual to see Roger playing in tournaments without winning them, which has been a recurring theme for almost a year. Of course he won the Australian Open but the Swiss player has won nothing else between last year's Cincinnati Masters and now, which was unheard of until this year. At the same time, it is interesting to note the way this down period has manifested following one of the best moments in his career - winning the 2009 French Open and Wimbledon back-to-back. With Nadal out injured he also regained the world number one ranking, when many people suggested he was close to retiring.

Maybe he needs to slow down. It would be understandable after the birth of his twin daughters last summer.

Roger seemed unbeatable last year after the double success of the French Open and Wimbledon titles and was the favourite to win the US Open.

After the US Open, where he lost in the final to Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro, he suffered numerous defeats and many were upset with his attitude. He didn't seem motivated anymore, or to care about the result of his matches. He would lose matches despite leading in the scoreline, which was the case in Indian Wells against Cyprus's Marcos Baghdatis, and Miami against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Roger's lack of motivation is even more apparent now that it's been there for almost a year. But Annacone already managed to re-introduce the elements he needs to regain that motivation.

Just announcing he was hiring Annacone gives Roger the boost he needs, with a sweet revenge over Berdych in Canada last week. He broke from his usual routine and built another one. Sometimes only small changes are required to regain your motivation - events don't really matter. What does matter is the way the player feels and the way they express themselves.

The Andy Murray case is also worse mentioning . He already managed to reach the US Open final and the Australian Open final, but desperately needs to go one step further.

The Scot needs an X-factor, which should make all the difference, and the Scot believes that he needs a competent person to help him find it.

Therefore, after splitting with coach Maclagan, he needs to ask himself the following questions: Who can help me find that X-factor? Who can make me win majors?

Not many.  Andy needs a coach with extra skills. He has great potential as proved his recent success in Canada, where he beat both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.  But he is the only one who knows who would be best for him. Understanding this is a major factor if he is to achieve greater success.

We will find out after the US Open whether he has this understanding or not, as that's when he will officially announce his next coach.

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