If you haven't already seen the news then Roger has decided to part ways with Paul Annacone after a successful 3 year stint together.
Federer revealed the news on his website yesterday evening saying:
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.
Does The Split Come as a Surprise?
I asked the question whether Annacone should stay or go on in this blog post so the topic wasn't alien to fans but I still think it's a little bit of a surprise.
I guess after a disappointing season something had to give and it looks like Roger has shaken things up in a bid to stop his ranking continuing to slide. I'd have thought he'd have waited till the year end but it looks like he's ringing the changes sooner rather than later.
I'm unsure as to what the tipping point will have been as no doubt this was on the cards before Shanghai as Annacone didn't travel with him so it looks like the decision was made before the tournament to me and nothing at all to do with the loss to Monfils.
I've always been a fan of Annacone after the work he did with Henman and Sampras and from the outside it looked like things were working well with Roger too, after all it's only a year since Roger won Wimbledon and returned to #1 in the rankings.
On the flip side a lot of fans thought the relationship had run its course and things had gone as far as they were going to. It looks like they were right.
Is It a Good Decision?
Only time will tell really, I was indifferent on the coaching thing as I think they can only do so much, once you get out on court it's up to the player to perform and the coach becomes somewhat irrelevant.
I do however like the fact Roger is willing to make changes to try and improve his game. Whether he think he needs someone with fresh ideas or goes it alone is up to him really.
Obviously we don't know the full story, perhaps it was amicable, perhaps they fell out or perhaps Annacone decided to leave on his own accord; either way it's a change to Roger's setup and does present the opportunity for something new to happen.
Will Roger Get a New Coach?
There are no names in the hat as of yet, at least in the public eye anyway and it seems to be a 50/50 split of opinion on whether Roger goes it alone or drafts in somebody new.
Names like Daren Cahill, John McEnroe and Roger Rasheed have all been mentioned on Twitter but that's all pure speculation.
I am definitely in favour of having a coach to bring some fresh ideas to the table and my preferred choice would be Larry Stefanki as I've always been a fan of how he operates.
He did a really god job with Roddick and how he played at Wimbledon 2009 was very much down to Stefanki's tactics especially after he beat Murray in the Semi Final.
You can see his interview here before that match about Murray – http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8131843.stm I just like the way he talks and it's obvious they had a plan in place to get Roddick, a player much less talented player than Murray, into the final. And they came pretty close to winning the title too, just Roger was too good as usual.
What do you think of Roger's decision to part way with Annacone and who would you like to replace him?