The fading Roger Federer puts coach Paul Annacone out to grass

Former world No 1 splits with coach of three and a half years

Paul Annacone, Roger Federer’s coach for the last three years, has paid the price for the former world No 1’s fading form.

Two days after being knocked out of the Shanghai Rolex Masters by Gaël Monfils, Federer announced on Saturday night that he was parting company from Annacone with immediate effect.

“After a terrific three and a half years working together, Paul and I have decided to move on to the next chapter in our professional lives,” Federer said on his website. “When we started together we had a vision of a three-year plan to win another Grand Slam title and get back to the No 1 ranking. Along with many other goals and great memories, these two 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.”

Federer has worked without a coach in the past and may decide not to replace Annacone, especially as Severin Luthi, Switzerland’s Davis Cup captain, is part of the world No 7’s coaching team at most tournaments.

Annacone, 50, who used to work with Pete Sampras and Tim Henman, left his position as head coach at the Lawn Tennis Association to team up with Federer in 2010. The American helped guide him to his seventh Wimbledon title last year, but that is the only Grand Slam tournament the 32-year-old Swiss has won since the 2010 Australian Open.

Federer has failed to reach a Grand Slam final this year for the first time since 2002 and has won only one title, this year’s grass-court tournament in Halle, in the last 14 months. He is in danger of failing to qualify for the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London for the first time in 12 years.

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