Federer parts ways with Annacone

A few weeks ago, Roger Federer, announced that he was splitting with Paul Annacone. His coach since 2010.

Roger+Federer+Paul+Annacone+Olympics+Previews+TkGsWMIq2YOlNow, you might think this would be due to Federer’s drop in the ranking or lack of strong performances in 2013. But Federer and Annacone both say that their partnership had run it’s course.

When they first joined forces. Federer, outlined a plan with Annacone, to get back the number one ranking and win another slam. Having achieved both of these goals. It was mutually decided, that they were ready to move on.

Personally, I think it’s for the best. It sounds like things may have stagnated between them.

Besides, Federer is going to need to make changes to his game. I don’t believe he’ll have to reinvent himself to get back into the top group but he needs to improve in a few areas. The return of serve (especially off the backhand side) and his running forehand.

His slice backhand is great. We all know that. It’s a consistent shot, which he uses offensively.

A good choice for opponents, who feed off pace.

Unfortunately, he has the tendency to float the ball back to the middle of the court. He does so, daring his opponent to go to his forehand. But this let’s them start off their service rally in the attacking position. Forcing Federer, to play defense.

Also, his opponents know that he’s going to float the ball back. They know the likelihood of getting hurt off his backhand is significantly less.

So it only makes sense for them to starve his forehand as much as possible.

That’s why I think he needs to come over the ball more often and hit deep with some pace. At least, force them to run to get the ball back.

He doesn’t need to get away from slicing the backhand completely. He just needs more variety. Make his opponents, respect that side more.

As for his running forehand. I feel this is more of a weapon that he’s going to need to use. He hits the inside out forehand beautifully. Better than almost any other player that I’ve seen. That’s his bread and butter.

His running forehand is good too. But he needs to improve this shot to keep up with the younger players. Fed, doesn’t hit with as much spin as Djokovic, Nadal, or Murray. He’s older and it’s unrealistic to expect him to have the same defensive skills that he had in his mid-20s.

But without a great defensive to offensive shot, it’s just about impossible to win. Murray, Djokovic, Nadal, and others cover the court far too well to be hit off routinely. With a great running forehand in his arsenal, Federer, would be that much more dangerous. Especially in the extended rallies, where he gets dragged wide and needs to finish the point.

Lastly. Roger, should hit more short angled returns. He’s great on this shot and it works well against the incredibly defensive Murray, Djokovic, Ferrer, and Nadal. Dragging them off the court and leaving an opening for a Federer winner.

Well, that wraps up my assessment for now. Please leave me a comment, if you agree or think I’m crazy.

Til next time.

2012 Wimbledon finals

Hey everyone, sorry for the extended delay of this post. My busy schedule sometimes keeps me away from my blog. But I’m back to talk about the Wimbledon final between Federer and Murray. Federer and Murray? Yeah, what an odd combination. For the last four slams it’s been Djokovic/Nadal but finally we have some new faces. Well maybe not new but atleast different. 

The match was very good. The kind of high quality you’d expect from a Wimbledon final. Andy Murray, has long been pursuing his first grand slam title. Just like Agassi was, twenty years earlier. The ironic thing is that both Andy and Andre had lost there previous slam finals before making the breakthrough at Wimbledon. Both were considered to be the underdog and neither player was considered a likely candidate to win this tournament. Andre, won his final against Goran Ivanisevic. Would history repeat itself for Murray? 

As the match unfolded Murray found himself quickly in control. He broke Roger at the start of the match, then a tug of war ensued between them. They exchanged breaks of serve but ultimately Murray closed out the first set 6-4. 

In set two, Murray had real opportunities to get a stranglehold but seemingly floundered his chances. He was making inroads on Roger’s serve and it looked like he might be able to take the second set in a tie-break. A few lucky points from Roger gave him the second set 7-5.

Set three went to Federer after an incredible battle at 3-2. Murray, threw everything he had at the Swiss but it wasn’t enough. After losing this game and conceding the break the momentum of the match was clearly with Federer. He blew through the third set with very few mistakes. Roger won the third set 6-3.

In the fourth set Roger, got an opportunity early on and pounced on it. From then on it was a forgone conclusion. Murray, had too much hill to climb, though he never stopped trying. Roger served out the match at 5-4 to win his seventh Wimbledon and seventeenth slam overall. 

After giving an emotional post match interview Andy Murray was cheered on by his home crowd. Roger, praised Murray’s performance, saying he was certain Murray would win a slam at some point in his career.

I agree with Roger. Murray, played great. It wasn’t like in the other slams where he stormed in playing brilliant tennis and then seemed to whither up and die in the finals. Murray, competed hard from start to finish. Were he able to win the second set, I think he would taken the match from Roger. In the future he will remain a viable contender to win slams. I believe he’s going to have a lot more opportunties.

Federer, winning his seventeenth slam at Wimbledon, just staggers me. No one has ever come close to that kind of number, I mean Pistol only had fourteen. Roger, is now in a class by himself. How many more. can he get? Could he reach twenty? At 30 years old I don’t think it’s likely but with a couple more Wimbledons and the US Open Federer could end up with twenty slams. Or more. Scary isn’t it?

Thanks to the win, Roger is ranked on top again and has broken Pete’s record of most weeks at number one. (Poor Pete, his records are just getting trashed this month.) I admit, that’s a record I didn’t think he’d be able to pull off when he lost the top rank to Nadal two years ago. I and a lot of others thought that Fed’s days at number one were over. Turns out we were wrong, Fed surprised all of us and now he’s number one again. 

With the US Open series starting next month, the players will be returning to the States to duel it out across North America. Expect the number one ranking to be up for grabs in the weeks to come.

The king is back

Roger the great, is back. Or so it seems. After dismantling his arch-nemesis Nadal, in the semi-finals. He moved in for the kill against the 11th seed John Isner. Scoring his 73rd singles title and first masters series at the Paribas Open, since 2006. Roger’s form was excellent this past week. Even though he’s 30, I’m liking his chances of shaking things up as the season transitions over to clay. I can’t say he’s a favorite to win against Djokovic or Nadal at this point, but a semi or even final run in Madrid or Monte Carlo isn’t out of the question. Roger, made the finals at the French last year and has done this or better for 5 of the past 6 years. It will be interesting to see if he can keep that streak alive.

Then there’s the age old question, “How many more slams will he win?” Well, I think he’s got a good chance at another US Open or Wimbledon but given the very high level of competition at the top of the mens game, nothing is certain. Roger, is going to have to come up with something special to beat Nadal or Djokovic in the finals of any slam. Even if it’s Wimbledon. It’s been quite a few years since he’s been able to do that. If he does make the finals, he’s still going to be the under-dog against them.

I think, his chances are much better at winning the Olympic gold. The Olympics, are going to be held in London, on grass, and at Wimbledon. On top of that, the matches are best of 3 sets. Which is perfect for Roger. In fact this is pretty much the best scenario that he could have hoped for. It comes right after Wimbledon, which means he’ll be all warmed up for more grass court matches. And while grass is similar in speed to hard courts, it’s still enough of a specialty surface that Roger, will have the advantage, against most other players.

So, in conclusion. A slam may or may not happen this year. An Olympic medal? Now that I can see happening.