If I’m surprised about anything it’s that they didn’t end their working relationship earlier. It’s a wonder it lasted this long.
You wonder why Roger had a coach in the sense that he is such an instinctive, natural player. And how do you tell him what to do?
My view was that, if Roger is to have a technical coach, it needed to be someone who would challenge him, someone with the personality and gravitas to make big changes to his game.
Was Annacone, who is a personal friend of Roger’s, the right man to do that? I don’t think so. For me he was a sounding board.
Will Roger look for a new coach, one who will make wholesale changes to his game or mental approach? At this stage of his career, I doubt it.
Roger said that he’s looking forward to next year. He won’t have many ranking points to defend, the pressure is off and his new outlook on life can be matched by revised expectations.
Roger wants to enjoy his tennis, and I suppose – as much as his decline pains me as a fan – he may be able to do that once more.
Roger knows he will not be world number one again, or at least that it is highly unlikely; his chances of adding to that haul of Grand Slams are slimming, but there’s always Wimbledon.
But he can now pick and choose his tournaments, base his schedule around his family life, and play – and train – for the fun of it.
And why not. He has earned the right to ease off a bit. And you never know, it could rejuvenate him into an Indian Summer. He has proved us wrong before.
So, with all this in mind, I don’t see him taking on a proper coach now. He has a backroom staff and continues to work with Pierre Paganini on fitness, and the Swiss Davis Cup team.