Perhaps the announcement came a day too early and in hindsight the Lawn Tennis Association could be accused to wishful thinking but Paul Annacone has quit his role as head of British men's tennis early to exclusively coach Roger Federer and avoid a possible conflict of interest with Andy Murray’s Grand Slam aspirations.
As reported in Tennis News, Annacone initially intended to honor his commitments with the LTA until the end of the year while at the same time taking on coaching commitments with world no.2 Federer who wants to take his collection of major titles beyond the 20-mark.
Internal discussions at the LTA stressed a growing concern that Murray could well face Federer in next Sunday’s Men’s Singles Final at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. However Stanislas Wawrinka put paid to those hopes with his four sets win in the third round.
Annacone, 47, took up his LTA role in 2006 and announced in May that he would step down when his contract expired. LTA player director Steven Martens said: "Paul was always going to be moving on in November. But we were aware we would need to keep it under constant review to avoid any potential conflict of interest.
"I would like once again to thank Paul for all he has done for British tennis. He leaves insisted: "Sure, it [the roles with Federer and the LTA] looks like a conflict of interest. But if you look at what my agreement says and what the situation is with my employment and my role at the LTA, it isn't."
Britain’s newly appointed Davis Cup captain Leon Smith who also fills the role of Head of Men’s Tennis at the LTA was Murray’s coach during the Scot’s formative years. He said: “Even if we had finished everything (with Paul), he's still going to have the advice to give Federer against Andy in the final, it makes no difference whether he's working for us or not at this moment in time. I don't see a problem with it at all.”
Annacone, has previously worked with Pete Sampras and Britain’s former leading player Tim Henman, previously.
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