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  • Annacone says Federer could reach 20 Grand Slam titles

    1/13/11 2:48 AM | Johan Lindahl
    Annacone says Federer could reach 20 Grand Slam titles The Californian coach of Roger Federer says the Swiss could crack the 20-Grand Slam barrier if the rest of his career pans out.

    Paul Annacone told a Melbourne coaching conference in the run-up to the Australian Open that the sky's the limit for a focused Federer if the Swiss maintains his fitness in coming seasons.

    "He can win every tournament he plays," said Annacone, who came aboard Team Federer last summer and has been working quietly in the background as the Swiss has won four of his last five tournaments and 22 of his last 23 ATP matches.

    "He's probably not going to, but he can win every match he plays and there's not a lot of guys you can say that about," said Annacone, former mentor to Pete Sampras and Tim Henman. "If he can stay healthy and happy and eager I don't know what the end number would be, but is 20 realistic, sure, why not?"

    Federer has retained his longtime coach and Swiss friend (and Davis Cup captain) Severin Luthi on the team along with Annacone, with the pair splitting travel duties. Annacone said he knew he was not hired "to teach the guy how to slice bread" but to help polish a nearly perfect game.

    "He's not all of a sudden going to have a two-handed backhand. It's about combining the head, heart and talent components of a player, and understanding how they interact, the best way to match up against other players, and ultimately, the best way for them to keep having fun doing it, and the best way to try to get better."

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Comments

I think getting Annacone in his camp was a smart move. AO2011 will be an important test, especially if he meets Nadal in the final again. Can't wait!

cable , 1/13/11 3:40 AM


'he can win every match he plays'. Well he may not win every match he plays, especially against Rafa on clay. I've seen him lost to Nole at USO, Murray at Shanghai and Monfils at Paris, so while Annacone can say what he wants, truth is Fed WILL NOT win every match he plays, simple as that. Annacone has to wait for the slams to be contested to have a better idea of where Fed stands. It's easy to say Fed can win 20 slams, cos now he already has 16, even if he wins say two more, he's pretty close to 20.

luckystar , 1/13/11 5:45 AM


@luckystar, I don't think there is anything wrong with Annacone's statement... Infact it is not wise to comment from taking part of a phrase.. when read in full.. it makes sense... Also coming to Fed (for that matter any player) can win every match he plays as long as he has game, mind & focus in it...

Still I would wait for Grand Slams to see Fed's possibility of reaching 20...

RMadhu , 1/13/11 5:54 AM


There's a difference between 'can win' and 'will win'. Fed can win any match, I can say the same for Rafa, Nole and Murray too! It's 'will win' that matters the most, so what Annacone says is something most people already know, and it's not something only peculiar to Fed. He mentioned the 20 slam count, though seems a lot but it's achieveable when you take into account that Fed already has 16. If you say that about Rafa, then there's a bigger question mark as currently Rafa has only 9. So, what I'm implying is what Annacone said about Fed is nothing new as most of us already know.

luckystar , 1/13/11 7:02 AM


Thanks... maybe I mis-intrepreted it...

RMadhu , 1/13/11 7:41 AM


God, if that man gets any more praise his ego will grow so huge, he won't be able to get on aeroplanes....on the other hand...;)

deuce , 1/13/11 8:26 AM


I would love to see Uncle Toni chatting to Paul. A about their players, U. Toni will be saying how much room Rafa has to improve to get to Roger's level, and heaping praise at Roger at the same time, and Annacone will be topping that up with his dollop of expectations for Roger.

The reality is that when those two meet on the court, tennis will take over, and Rafa will most likely beat The Fed.

nadline , 1/13/11 9:33 AM


Honestly, if the FED continues with form, even Rafa is going to lose. As for "can win every match he plays". This message from Annacone seems clear to me. What Annacone is saying is that he feels Roger Federer is the best tennis player out there, (therefore) each match is on his racket. We all know of course that on clay... However you cut it, it is a grand compliment (and acknowledgment) to a GREAT Tennis MASTER, by one of the worlds best known coach.

sky , 1/13/11 12:17 PM


Regardless of what he said in the 1st half of the article, PA seems to me one of the best coaches I've seen in the game. Look at how he analyzed Fed's game and added his touch. And that lead to the Fed we are watching now.
Going back to the 1st half, let's analyze it sentence by sentence.
"He's probably not going to, but he can win every match he plays and there's not a lot of guys you can say that about"
As luckystar said that this is sth not peculiar only for Fed, PA agrees also as he said not a lot of guys not that there is noone who can do it except Fed, and I think he meant Rafa, Djoko & Murray.
About the number, we all know that it's not that far IF Fed maintains his form and fitness in slams, and that's what PA said in the beginning.
"Paul Annacone told a Melbourne coaching conference in the run-up to the Australian Open that the sky's the limit for a focused Federer if the Swiss maintains his fitness in coming seasons."

bolbol , 1/13/11 2:02 PM


Yes the big question is IF, just like when they are talking about Rafa, the question is IF. If Fed maintains his fitness, if Rafa in not injured, aren't they basically saying the same thing about Fed and Rafa? For Fed its his back problem, for Rafa its his knee problems, only when they do not have those problems, then most likely they can maintain their fitness. Aren't all these so called experts and coaches talking about the same thing and something we all already know??

Each match is on Fed's racket? Can't say that when meeting Rafa on clay. To me on clay, the match is on Rafa's racket, whether his opponent is Fed or Sod or Nole or whoever. In fact I'm tempted to say that on grass, the match is not solely on Fed's racket, if his opponent is Rafa. We can see that in that 2007 Wimbledon Final, Rafa had his chances to beat Fed and Fed had to rely on his serves to win two of the sets in tie-breaks. Wasn't Fed at his best during that 2007 Final? Wasn't he still in his TMF mode then? Had he played better tennis at Wimbledon, say during 2005 or 2006? Which version of Fed was better at Wimbledon? 2005, 2006 or 2007? From what I observed, the Rafa at Wimbledon 2008 had surpassed the Rafa of Wimbledon 2007 and I've no question that the 2008 version can beat the 2007 version of Fed at Wimbledon. So to me even on grass, I can't agree that the match is on Fed's racket if he is to play Rafa.

On hard courts, well I do agree that Fed is the best on hard courts, whether he has a negative H2H against Murray or not. The fact that he has the most hard court slam titles, more than any one else playing or had played the game, says a lot about Fed's prowess on the hard courts. His game is especially suited for the hard courts, so I'm not surprised that in the past two three months, he's being doing well despite playing many matches and many tournaments.

Whether Fed will beat Rafa or Rafa will beat Fed on the hard courts nowadays depend very much on the draw that they have during a tournament. Given Fed's age, he may require a longer recovery time than Rafa. A draw of Murray in the QF, Nole in the semi and then meeting Rafa in the final, I think will definitely affect Fed's chance of beating Rafa, unless Rafa was also stretched by his QF and SF opponents too. Of course we are talking about a Murray and a Nole in tip top conditions.

The conditions of the hard courts also play a part, whether it is slow or quick surface, low bouncing or high bouncing surface, or whether its indoor or outdoor. Fed/Rafa H2H on the hard courts is 4:3; 3-0 on indoor, 1-3 outdoor; 3-1 on quick to medium slow surface and 1-2 on slow surface; five of those matches being played during Fed's TMF days from 2004-2007 with Fed winning three and Rafa two matches. Not much separates them. Of course we can argue that if Rafa made it to the final to meet Fed at the quicker hard courts, say Cincy or USO, most likely he would be beaten by Fed back then. However, we can also argue that if Rafa made it to the finals on the slower hard courts, say IW, Miami and AO more often, he might be able to beat Fed there too.

To me, Rafa is the only one now who can match Fed on the hard courts at the slams. Delpo has his problems, if not I've no doubt he is certainly a force to be reckoned with at the hard court slams and may be the one who can trouble both Fed and Rafa. Murray can give Rafa problems at the hard court slams but not able to trouble Fed. Nole on the other hand, can beat Fed at the hard court slams but surprisingly has problem with Rafa.

luckystar , 1/13/11 5:06 PM


bolbol: Annacone worked with Henman, the LTA and the UK Davis Cup Team....hmm not that good a coach then.....

deuce , 1/13/11 6:22 PM


Deuce.........but he also worked with Sampras...no?

Monalysa , 1/13/11 7:05 PM


Sky - I agree for the most part, though I would say that Rafa has proven pretty conclusively that the match is NOT on Federer's racket on clay and perhaps not on grass. On hards, I would agree that it probably is.

cherylmurray , 1/13/11 7:28 PM



Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
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