Saturday, 23 June 2012
Exclusive interview with Paul Annacone, Roger Federerís coach.
Annacone has told The Tennis Space that it does not worry him that Federer has not played in a Wimbledon final for three years: ďThatís not a concern for me. Rogerís won Wimbledon six times Ė itís not like he doesnít have the experience of being in the big moment.Ē Annacone also spoke of his excitement that Federer could leave Wimbledon as the world No 1: ďBut thatís not a primary motivating factor for Roger.Ē
Are you at all concerned that Roger has not played in a Wimbledon final for three years, and has lost in the quarter-finals the last two summers?
ďThatís not a concern for me. Itís great to have more experience of being there, and winning it six times, itís not like he hasnít done it before. Heís been in so many slam finals, semi-finals and quarter-finals. Itís not like heís lacking the experience of being in the big moment. Heís been there so many times. It would worry me if he hadnít had good performances in the slams recently. He hasnít won one for a couple of years now, but heís been in the semi-finals pretty regularly. Heís been right there knocking on the door, so itís not exactly unfamiliar territory. I donít think about that much.Ē
How are Rogerís preparations going?
ďTheyíre going well. Itís always nice to get some grass-court matches in before you get over here to Wimbledon. Obviously Halle was helpful, getting some matches in and reaching the final, and getting comfortable on the grass. Itís not nice to not win tournaments, especially for Roger, but to get to the final was a terrific way to lead into here. Heís feeling good in body and mind. Now itís just a matter of waiting for the tournament to start. These last four or five days before Wimbledon starts, thereís not a huge amount of work to be done. If there is, then youíre in trouble. There are just a few little things that weíre working on. Itís mostly just getting comfortable with the courts and the surroundings again.Ē
Do you notice an Immediate change in Rogerís mood when he walks into the All England Club?
ďI used to feel that more when I was working with Pete and Tim. With Tim especially, as heís from here. But Roger seems to be so embracing of all the environments heís in. Heís just a very comfortable human being in general. I think that helps. He just accepts the environments that heís in. He accepts that there are some things he canít control, and thinks, Ďletís go playí. That makes life very manageable for me coaching him as just accepts situations and doesnít waste a lot of emotional energy about things he has no control over.Ē
Roger could leave Wimbledon as the world No 1?
"Thatís exciting. Itís not a primary motivating factor for him. Roger thinks more about the bigger pictures. Thatís why great players are great players. They donít sit there thinking about these things. Iím sure last year Novak didnít just sit there thinking, Ďokay, okay, I havenít lost, Iím getting closer to No 1′. They look at the big picture. Roger wants to do well in every tournament he plays in, and thereís a continual process of evaluation. He wants to do well in all the majors. Wimbledon is Wimbledon. There are no two ways around that. This is the absolutely the pinnacle of tennis, and he wants to do really well here. He would love to win, and leave as the No 1, but itís a long year, and thereís a lot of tennis, but heís not going to be adding any unneeded pressure. Great players have perspective, and they know it what it is. They just do the best they can with what they have on the day.Ē