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Breaking News: Cahill Out 03/11/2009 - 2:34 PM

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by Pete Bodo

Well, it seems like it's official - Chris Clarey is reporting that the coaching relationship between Roger Federer and Darren Cahill is dead in the water. Apparently, Cahill had second thoughts about the degree-of-commitment involved, especially in terms of international travel for at least 20 weeks of the year. This is a fairly strange development and I have to wonder if there isn't more to this story than meets the eye.

For one thing, I have to assume the Cahill had a pretty good idea of where Roger Federer lived and trained long before Roger agreed to work with him (in Dubai) on a trial basis. Wouldn't this have been discussed in the first stages of this potential partnership, and certainly before Cahill actually went to an audition in Dubai?

I suppose there's an outside chance that Cahill found life in Dubai a flat-out nightmare. This wouldn't surprise me, although the immediate reaction to this observation might be:  You'd think a guy living in Las Vegas would have no problem with that kind of environment.

Sure, but. . . When i last visited Andre Agassi in Vegas(about a year ago), he went out of his way to impress on my the degree to which Vegas, as a city, has totally outgrown but still must live with the "Sin City" stereotype. Many consider it a great place to raise a family, and I'm not sure comparisons with Dubai are in any substantial way accurate.

Still, how much time would Cahill have been required to spend in Dubai?

There's also the possibility that Federer and Cahill just didn't get comfortable with each other, on court. Perhaps they didn't see eye-to-eye when it comes to strategic issues, especially Cahill's notions about what The Mighty Fed might need to do about turning around his record against Nadal. That's not necessarily the kind of discussion either man wants to get into.

And here's another thing, and one I touched on in my Gilded Cage post of yesterday: Federer is thought by many to be a control-freak. Perhaps Cahill decided that he would have to sacrifice too much of his independence and autonomy in order to be taken into the Federer cabal - said by some to be  clutch of "yes" men.  And let's face it - the omni-present Mirka, valuable as she may be to TMF, could be a formidable hurdle. Perhaps it was a mistake to have the audition in Dubai, and a part of me things Federer and Cahill should have gone off to a different location to get a feeling for each other.  A caveat: I don't know how many of Federer's inner circle were around in Dubai during the tryout.

Beyond that, I don't care how many amazing meals Cahill enjoyed in Dubai, or how great the valet-service was at the hotel. Cahill never struck me as a particularly impressionable guy (in terms of aspirations to the high life), and what opulence he experienced (and with which he found himself surrounded) might have been more off-putting than attractive. I can imagine a pretty uncomplicated Aussie dude waking up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night, 700-thread count cotton sheets sopping wet, and feeling as if I were being absorbed into some alternate reality that threatened to suck away my very identity.

When you're a guy with as much going on as Cahill, you have to ask yourself: Do I really want to sacrifice so many of my options (including my ability and desire to speak to whoever the hail I want, any time I want, about anything I want) just to be associated with some other guy's quest to become the GOAT?

This, I think, is a very serious and legitimate concern. Legions of people couldn't imagine anything better than carrying Federer's water, but Cahill probably isn't one of them. He has a life of his own. The degree to which that life would be compromised by working with Federer may have gnawed at him - regardless of how he feels about Federer as a person or player. But why that wouldn't have occurred to Cahill much sooner in the process is mystifying - unless he embarked on the tryout thinking, What the hail, it's an experiment. Maybe Roger will be so impressed with my skills that he's bend a little on the requirements. Or I'll be so impressed by him that I'll bend on mine.  At any rate, this visit could be valuable to me in terms of my reputation and my work as a commentator. . .

One thing is for sure: coach-player relationships have to succeed on a number of practical levels in order to be sustainable and effective. When Paul Annacone hired on with Pete Sampras, he was a married dad who had to think about his financial future. But Pete was a fellow American (living, as Annacone did, on the east coast) and, significantly, something of a lone wolf. There were none of the kinds of complications cited above. Plus, the two men had been friends through Pete's previous coach, Tim Gullikson (whom Annacone replaced when Gullikson was diagnosed with brain cancer). Bob Brett coached Boris Becker under similar terms, and the same is true for the Brad Gilbert-Andre Agassi relationship. Those partnerships made sense in a variety of ways, and didn't pull either party far out of his comfort zone.

To some degree, the decisions Federer made about where to live and train may present more formidable obstacles than we might expect, and demand of a potential coach the kinds of sacrifices and adjustments that candidates who have known significant success, and have options, may not be disposed to make. When you think about it, Federer's coaches have been either obscure (and perhaps right-guy, right-place( types, or grizzled war dogs who had done a lot of their career heavy lifting (Tony Roche and Jose Higueras). Cahill doesn't fall into either category.

Now I have another theory here, and I'm advancing it as just that:

Perhaps Roger Federer was not entirely content with either what Cahill brought to the table, or the terms under which he wanted to work (the reasons might have been anything from those cited above to a disagreement over salary, or Cahill's insistence that he not have to go through Mirka to get to Roger). Federer's inner sanctum then recognized that while being the one to pull the plug would make Federer appear to be in one in control, it would also raise potentially uncomfortable questions: Why is Federer being so stubborn? Is the guy too picky? Is he afraid to change his game, or give the highly-regarded Cahill enough control to make a difference?

Wouldn't it make far more sense to let Cahill be the one to scotch the deal?  In so doing, it takes significant pressure - and attention - off Federer's shoulders. The story now becomes, Poor Roger, Cahill turned him down! The theme generates more sympathy and no second-guessing of Federer's motives or state of mind. Spin it this way and you also save Cahill potential embarrassment, and protect him from insinuations that he somehow didn't make the grade.

In other words, everybody wins.

That narrative might not be honest, but it's painless. I'm curious to hear what Roger has to say about all this at Indian Wells.


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Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 06:21 PM

Oh so happy my post followed that of that Deep Throater

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 06:22 PM

and so happy that was the first post of a page.
lol

Posted by Rosangel 03/11/2009 at 06:23 PM

By the way (before I retreat to a post that isn't dedicated to the F-word) I have never doubted that Mirka has a huge influence on the life and career of her beloved, so I'm sort of bemused by some of the discussions that are going on here.....

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 06:24 PM

wow have i killed off the thread?... Sherlock should turn up about now if recent form is to be believed

Posted by Syd 03/11/2009 at 06:24 PM

I am the "deep throater" now Naughty?

Posted by neil in toronto ( i tunes librarian) 03/11/2009 at 06:30 PM

All i can add, is that i love that Mirka can dish out the snark when she needs to. Fed himself has described himself as being dependent on her, so it doesn't surprise me that she has some influence on his professional as well as personal life.

Besides Cash strikes me as a bit of a donkey at the best of times.

Posted by Syd 03/11/2009 at 06:30 PM

ummm, maybe you meant the "headless poster" to be deep throat. Okay. whatever.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 06:30 PM

I'll turn up and kill the silence. :)

Have to catch up...but it is strange. Is Feddy still looking, does anyone know? Or has he decided 'no coach'?

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 06:31 PM

Gern

Exactly why should journalists be given the benefit of the doubt? It's healthy to question both the integrity and veracity of what journalists have to say. In case you did'nt know, there is an incredible amount of inaccuracy and pure falsehood in much of the journalism out there. This is especially true in sports journalism where sloppiness has fewer serious consequences than in less trivial business and political affairs. No journalist is above question or criticism. It may not so much be a case of fabrication always, as a little license or just gossip and false assumption based on tenuous information. Often there is smoke and no fire.

Posted by 03/11/2009 at 06:32 PM

I cannot understand Bodo's speculation logic stating "Perhaps they didn't see eye-to-eye when it comes to strategic issues, especially Cahill's notions about what The Mighty Fed might need to do about turning around his record against Nadal. That's not necessarily the kind of discussion either man wants to get into" Are you kidding me? this would be the exact discussion they would and should have - and if Cahill didn't have the right answer, then we can understand why the BS excuse of too much travel was floated. Fed would be an idiot not to have this at the top of his interview Q&A script.

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 03/11/2009 at 06:33 PM

Neil I totally agree with you on Pat Cash I for one never liked him or could warm to him full stop.

he in the past has come out with some inzane comments regarding other tennis players etc.

Mr Cash go clean up your own backyard first ok?

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 06:33 PM

Hee - or create silence. ;)

Posted by Corrie 03/11/2009 at 06:33 PM

I agree strongly with FoT: "If I didn't follow him closely I surely couldn't stand the guy based on your story. " I'd add, several recent stories, especially the stuff about being a control freak. At least Fed doesn't seem to worry too much about where his water bottles are sitting.

When Fed's success started to put huge demands on his time he saked Mirka years ago if she'd do the organising of travel and media bookings, but that if she didn't like it, to stop straight away. He's a very decisive guy, who, as he said, ponders a long time over decisions, but once made he sticks to them. I see no evidence whatsoever that Mirka tells him what decisions to make, or that she should be dragged in to anything. Of course she'll rile plenty of those whose requests she has to refuse, that comes with the territory.

Nor do I think that being decisive, positive, and increasingly disappointed with the way the media has treated him in the last year, and opening up only to those he's loyal to and likes, is the same as being a control freak.

Cahill said some time back that his base and ties were in Las Vegas where his kids went to school so I couldn't ever see how this coaching thing could get off the ground. End of story.

Specualtion is fun, but only when it's not showing someone's motives and character in an unpleasant, and unfounded light. Mirkagate and Darrengate, even Rogerback/DCgate, should now come to an end.

Posted by Jenn 03/11/2009 at 06:33 PM

Naughty - I completely agree that Cahill could have simply changed his mind. I don't even necessarily doubt that is the explanation. But given the way this went down, the point of my post is that it was legitimate to raise a question about whether there may have been something else motivating Cahill from pulling out of the potential relationship besides just a realization that he would be away from home/family, etc. Maybe there was more to it, maybe there wasn't. But I disagreed with bashing Pete for even raising the issue, because I believe the question itself was legitimate.

Posted by koalakoala 03/11/2009 at 06:34 PM

Hello crazyone and crazy-for-rog. Hello everyone

It is not a good way to start a day. I am a little depressed. Too much drama...

However, I am glad that it seems Federer wants to engage a full-time coach rather than a part time consultant. I like this idea. Hope he can get one very soon.

As for Mirka, I believe she has Federer's benefit in her mind and her heart.

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 06:35 PM

yes the anonymous poster Syd.
but can i just take issue with
"actually Ozzie culture isn't that much different from American." errr them there is fighting words.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 06:35 PM

Pat Cash just likes the attention. It's the only explanation for some of his statements.

Posted by ladyjulia 03/11/2009 at 06:38 PM

Thanks Jhurwi for taking the time!

Posted by aussiemarg [Madame President in Comma Rehab for 2009] 03/11/2009 at 06:39 PM

NT You tell em' lol!

Posted by Or 03/11/2009 at 06:40 PM

Rosangel-

Not sure what surprises you/beamuse you.

Pete suggested that this bond/influence (no one questions it exist) between R&M could possibly have a negetive affect on Roger's career AND he suggested that there are more stuff he can't talk about.

I can only assume those stuff he can't talk about doesn't involve those people Pete talked to saying Mirka is the best thing that could have happened to Roger's career :)

BTW, I don't have issues with Pete saying those, but I can't understand why you'd find people's reactions to it in any way bizzare.

Pete suggested a certain degree of negetive influence of Mirka on Roger, at least when it relates to his coaching choices, and seemed to imply the things he did say are only scratching the surface.

That's hardly what you can call an obvious or unsurprisingly assumption.

Influence - yeah, that's obvious as the sun. Negetive influence? That requires more explanation.

Posted by Syd 03/11/2009 at 06:40 PM

Naughty, lol. Yes, re Ozzie culture. *hangs head*

Posted by lollipop 03/11/2009 at 06:40 PM

I think it is fair to say that every player has someone that they depend on a lot for support. For Fed it is Mirka, for Nadal, it's prolly Uncle Toni, and for Nole it's prolly his parents. Whether this means that they let these people control the path of their careers is a different story altogether. Personally, i believe that Mirka prolly does have a part to do w/ this decision, but there's no proof so i dont think i should jump to conclusions. But i'm pretty sure Fed knows what he wants for his own career. Because if he didn't, he wouldn't be as great as he is today.

Posted by Syd 03/11/2009 at 06:43 PM

Always thought Mirka is an éminence grise... oh, to be a fly on the wall and speak proper Swiss German, or any Swiss German at all.

Posted by 03/11/2009 at 06:46 PM

"Specualtion is fun, but only when it's not showing someone's motives and character in an unpleasant, and unfounded light."

um you do realize that you're on . . . an internet message board?

Posted by MH 03/11/2009 at 06:47 PM

I'm impressed with the comments of Amit (3:46). You should, with revisions to direct the message specifically to Roger, let him see your words of wisdom. It was right on. I personally thought Cahill was the best prospect around, so I'm really disappointed. All I want is for Roger to continue his career in a way that will add to his unbelievable resume instead of deteriorating very slowly away and diminish his already legendary accomplishments.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 06:49 PM

Aargh, too much bashing on the first page already.

Can't we disagree without questioning someone's integrity as well?

*is cross and in need of more tea*

Posted by ladyjulia 03/11/2009 at 06:51 PM

Well, at the end of all this...Federer is back to square one.

Looks like he will go into the French Open without a coach and maybe into Wimbledon too.

Posted by parkp67 03/11/2009 at 06:52 PM

Hello,

I know we are all somewhat in the dark, but would anyone know if Roger's Press Conference in IW has taken place?

I've checked the site but I don't see PC's on any of the players.

I already bugged/tracked Stella down earlier today over at FortyDeuce and asked... :-)...just still haven't located anything on my own :-)

Thanks

Posted by ladyjulia 03/11/2009 at 06:53 PM

Some excerpts from Federer's side:

"Federer, second seed at the Indian Wells Masters, whose ATP play begins Thursday, revealed that Cahill had withdrawn from the potential all-star arrangement due to the tyranny of travel on the tour.

'We decided not to do it,' said the Swiss player Wednesday after a hitting session. Federer said he will continue to work with Swiss Davis Cup skipper Severin Luethi.

'He worked with me 35 weeks last year,' said three-time Indian Wells winner Federer. 'The final answer is that we're moving on.'

Federer flew Las Vegas-based Cahill, former mentor to Lleyton Hewitt
and Andre Agassi out to his base in Dubai for a trial run.

Federer said the tennis side went fine. 'It was a good time for a test. Darren rang me after the Australian Open. We'd been in contact for the past five years. I had decided to rest my back and not play Dubai and Davis Cup, so it was the perfect time to try.

'We had a good time, it was nice to have someone around. We spoke a lot.

'But Darren said it would be tough for him to do all the travelling due to his kids. It was a test to see how things would go.'

Federer, still looking for his first title of 2009, said that he had to make a choice by resting his back instead of playing Davis Cup in Alabama, where Switzerland lost 4-1 to the US at the weekend.

'It was a tough decision,' said the 13-time Grand Slam champion. 'It had felt bad last last year and maybe I played too much then when I wasn't feeling great.

'It was a choice of playing now with some pain or resting it and being ready for the next six months.

'I always look long-term, so that's what I decided. I may have disappointed some people by not playing Davis Cup, but I knew I needed to treat my back problem.'"


Posted by Andrew 03/11/2009 at 06:54 PM

F: OK, great session again, Darren. Wow, you're right. Taking my racquet back early and bending my knees really does help! OK, I've asked Tony to join us for this conversation.

TG: Good session guys.

C: Is Mirka joining us?

F: No, she was checking out some purses downtown. OK, here's what I think I need from you. I think you'll like it. Three weeks at each major, a week and a half at the Masters - you can pick seven, we'll get Severin to handle the other two. We'll round up, call it eleven weeks. Two weeks in Shanghai. The 500s and 250s, no problem. Six weeks in Dubai. Nice hotel, eh? Total time, er Tony?

TG: 31 weeks. I called Andre and asked about your rates - livin' large, Big D! Hey, Roger's taken a bit of a hit in the asset backed commercial paper market last year, but luckily the Swiss franc's held up pretty good. So the daily rate isn't a problem. Probably throw in some Castlemaine XXXX in your mini-bar. How does that look?

C: Sounds great, guys. Just going to get the final go ahead from my sheila. [Takes out cellphone]

Hi, luscious. Pretty good. No, no probs. Yeah. 31 weeks, eh! Er... let me check...no, that's the middle of Wimbledon. Field trip? Um, that'll be Madrid. No, of course I want to be there to help with the science project...

[Fade to Black]

Posted by Or 03/11/2009 at 06:54 PM

From Roger's presser:

Federer-Cahill collaboration over before start due to travel issues
Tennis News

Mar 11, 2009, 22:04 GMT

Indian Wells, California - Roger Federer and Darren Cahill have gone their separate ways after a trial coaching run in Dubai was scuppered by a potentially killing travel schedule for the Australian.

Federer, second seed at the Indian Wells Masters, whose ATP play begins Thursday, revealed that Cahill had withdrawn from the potential all-star arrangement due to the tyranny of travel on the tour.

'We decided not to do it,' said the Swiss player Wednesday after a hitting session. Federer said he will continue to work with Swiss Davis Cup skipper Severin Luethi.

'He worked with me 35 weeks last year,' said three-time Indian Wells winner Federer. 'The final answer is that we're moving on.'

Federer flew Las Vegas-based Cahill, former mentor to Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi out to his base in Dubai for a trial run.

Federer said the tennis side went fine. 'It was a good time for a test. Darren rang me after the Australian Open. We'd been in contact for the past five years. I had decided to rest my back and not play Dubai and Davis Cup, so it was the perfect time to try.

'We had a good time, it was nice to have someone around. We spoke a lot.

'But Darren said it would be tough for him to do all the travelling due to his kids. It was a test to see how things would go.'

Federer, still looking for his first title of 2009, said that he had to make a choice by resting his back instead of playing Davis Cup in Alabama, where Switzerland lost 4-1 to the US at the weekend.

'It was a tough decision,' said the 13-time Grand Slam champion. 'It had felt bad last last year and maybe I played too much then when I wasn't feeling great.

'It was a choice of playing now with some pain or resting it and being ready for the next six months.

'I always look long-term, so that's what I decided. I may have disappointed some people by not playing Davis Cup, but I knew I needed to treat my back problem.'

http://www.monstersandcritics.com/sport/tennis/article_1464133.php/Federer-Cahill_collaboration_over_before_start_due_to_travel_issues_

Posted by Or 03/11/2009 at 06:55 PM

More, from the Swiss German part (thank the mothership for those)

Some more quotes from an article in German with a rough translation:

"Darren called me after the Australian Open. I had decided to rest my back and not play Dubai and Davis Cup, so it was the perfect time to try. After the test we thought the whole thing over once again and decided that we won't do it."

"It was too much for Cahill. He took the decision. His refusal came so early that I didn't have to think about "if" and "how" anymore."

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 06:57 PM

embug

I've been to Dubai and had a great time. It's a very relaxed country and I have never heard of anyone having any issues with it. It's a very popular holiday and business destination for many. My sister is there as we speak. Dubai also, incidentally, has laws against harressing women. I doubt Cahill had any issues with Dubai whatsoever. Most of his time would have been spent on the road anyway. Federer probably spends no more than 2 months there a year, if that.

Posted by Gern 03/11/2009 at 06:58 PM

Tennis Player

I'm not talking about every journalist, obviously. So yes, of course I know that there is inaccuracy and falsehood in journalism out there (condescending much?), tabloids and careless bloggers among others. I was defending Pete because I believe he has the credentials (senior editor of a major sports magazine, occasional columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES-the paper of record in this country, etc.) and because I don't think he would make things up without /just/ cause. By all means, question him, but who realistically thinks he is making it up without valid reason? IMHO, this smoke came from a fire. Would he really jeopardize his credibility by using tenuous information as a basis to write this? I sincerely doubt it.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 06:58 PM

and yes please to speculative posts. We'll all be doing it endlessly in the comments anyway. :)

Posted by Ade 03/11/2009 at 07:05 PM

Pete,

I wouldn't do it. Cahill seems very down to earth, nice, and why would he even want to deal with somebody who portrays an attitude of "not needing anybody." Why waste time in far away Dubai with somebody who may or may not even take your coaching seriously?

I am a long time Federer fan but Roger makes it quite clear in spoken and unspoken terms that he basically doesn't need anyone. When he does hire on coaches, he makes it clear they are part time, just there for fine tuning, not a big deal, yadda yadda yadda.
I wonder if this little arrogant streak is going to turn it's ugly head and bite him where it may hurt.

I have said it time and time that Roger needs to humble himself. Really,...really..... humble himself and accept his weaknesses which lately are greater than before.

I don't even want to get into the Mirka issue.

This mixing of business and pleasure is questionable. I wish them both forever luck in the romance department, but what has she really done for his career aside from being his best friend? I don't know.

I wish Roger the best of luck, but he still needs to humble up more in my humble opinion.

Posted by parkp67 03/11/2009 at 07:06 PM

Ladyjulia and Or, Thank you for the Press Conf...I just asked about it at 6:52pm :-) just as you two were posting it seems...

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 07:07 PM

Well as usual, people try to pretend they are psychic and come up with some reason OTHER than what is written and directly stated for why this coach/player relationship is not going to happen. Supposedly there was some OTHER reason Roger didn't play Davis cup etc except his back, even though he has a history of back problems, now supposedly there is some reason OTHER than the fact that Cahill won't go full time that this relationship hasn't worked out. If it had been anybody but Roger Federer involved, would Pete, or anybody else started coming up with their own imaginings on why this didn't come to fruition other than the stated reason? That Cahill was not ready for the full time committment once he really thought about it, which seams very likely to be the main reason.. of course, it's just another avenue for people to try and take shots at Roger (control freak, egomaniac, penny pinching, too picky, too stubborn, blah blah blah) that he isn't going to work with this coach. If people had longer memories, the part time coaching problem was one of the main reasons Federer broke with Tony Roche as well, he doesn't really WANT just a part time coach, and possibly Cahill thought he was ready for full time but changed his mind, it happens, people change their minds! And Federer has boatloads of money, so I quite doubt that money would be an object for him if he thought he had an ideal full time coach on the line! I tell ya, if only writers and posters were subjected to so much negative over analysis of their every move and attempts to dig dirt on even the most basic and normal career decisions that they made... most would then just be quiet from now on. Talk about psychic, as soon as I heard the announcement, without reading one line yet of this article, I already "predicted" exactly what kind of musings presented subtly and assumed to be "inside knowlege" would be contained in it, bottom line, the writer pretty much accuses Roger of LYING about why this didn't work out...seems like Roger is often accused of lying over every litte thing, framed in the context of just theorizing of what really happened, why is that?.. and suggests that anything that doesn't work out or come to the fore with him, participation in an event, coaching relationship, is somehow due to some character flaw in Federer. So transparent, and getting so old.
I guess we all love a little gossip, let's remember that most of what we read is just that..unsubstantiated gossip, and when it comes to Federer, some just looooooooooooooove to gossip. I'm curious as to why Pete is looking forward to what Roger says in his press conference, since so often, Pete doesn't seem to take what Roger says as the truth, and always looks for some other reason or motivation for what moves he makes, why would this press conference even matter to him.. he's just going to dismiss it or "theorize" that whatever Roger says is not the whole story anyway.lol

Posted by naughty T, Storming the Bastl with the wookie and Sherlock 03/11/2009 at 07:08 PM

ummmm Pat Cash is a journalist too.

Posted by Annie - In DC withdrawal- Vamos Armada and USA 03/11/2009 at 07:08 PM

Gern: thank you for your post at 5:59. well said.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:08 PM

ok...so maybe Cahill just realised it wasn't for him - that he and Fed weren't going to mesh.

I could see being tempted by the chance to coach Roger, and smoothing away all the difficulties in your mind, and then the reality being different and you realise that you just can't do it. Makes sense to me.

Maybe there were lots of little reasons and that's why they tried to make a catch-all one.

Maybe maybe maybe...

Posted by Syd 03/11/2009 at 07:11 PM

Jewell: right. Funny that Agassi was there too. Maybe Agassi was whispering in Darren's ear. *don't do it man. *

Posted by Or 03/11/2009 at 07:12 PM

**This mixing of business and pleasure is questionable. I wish them both forever luck in the romance department, but what has she really done for his career aside from being his best friend? I don't know.**

It's hard to know, because essentially, Roger's entire career (or shall we say, the successful part of his career) started after she came into his life.

The fact that he had one stable relationship with a person he could trust above all else had to do great things for his state of mind.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:14 PM

I quite like Pat Cash, but sometimes...*rolls eyes* I tend to think of him more as a columnist than a journalist, really.

Posted by Or 03/11/2009 at 07:15 PM

Just to change the tone of this thread into something a little more funny and kinky...

(Yo, Jackie, that's for you)

http://img166.imageshack.us/img166/9151/83561039.jpg

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:16 PM

Why does this thread hate me? I have to post so I can read previous comments, nothing else seems to work. :(

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 07:16 PM

With Roger being European and all those away weeks and the kids entrenched in school here in Las Vegas, the reality really hit in Dubai, Cahill said in a telephone interview. It was 100 percent that. We couldnt get past that practical hurdle."

From a New york Times article.. Now.. this comes from the horses mouth, Cahill, it's o bvious that he just had second thoughts once he got there and saw that Roger indeed expected a full time committment, I hope now all the theorizing is put to bed. Perhaps some people can't ever accept anything from Roger Federer as truthful, but maybe they can accept it when it comes from Cahill himself. No agendas toward Cahill and subtly undermining Cahill isn't going to stir up any controversy, so I guess that's the end of that.

Posted by gauloises 03/11/2009 at 07:18 PM

Every time I see that picture I get Bad Touch by the Bloodhound Gang stuck in my head.

Thanks, Or.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:22 PM

thanks guys for the press conferences.

Posted by gauloises 03/11/2009 at 07:23 PM

I posted. I swear to god I posted. Something stupid, but I posted.

Posted by ABCs 03/11/2009 at 07:24 PM

Well, at least Federer doesn't have to talk about the AO trophy ceremony.

Posted by gauloises 03/11/2009 at 07:24 PM

Damn you typepad.

*subsides into disgruntled silence*

Posted by Andrew 03/11/2009 at 07:26 PM

Interesting. Per the tennisreporters.net site, there's the impression that Higueras was only asked to do 10 weeks a year in 2009, so he left for the USTA. After AO 2009, Federer rethought, and decided 20 weeks per year was what he needed, and Cahill couldn't sign up for that. Oh, well.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 07:26 PM

Gern

As I said, no one is above criticism. Even the most reputable can get it wrong and a good reputation often has little bearing on whether one is a good journalist. There is also little risk in the innuendo and speculative method of journalism because you are not stating anything categorically. In sports journalism especially, the issues are rarely imporatnt enough that anyone would call you out or sue you, even if you did state things as fact. IMHO, this article had a lot of smoke and little fire. As I said, bad journalism need not only involve fabrication, rampant speculation will often suffice.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:27 PM

I wish Mirka would do an interview. I'd love to know more about her, and what makes her tick. And not just with the focus on her role in Fed's life.

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 07:29 PM

By all means, question him, but who realistically thinks he is making it up without valid reason? IMHO, this smoke came from a fire. Would he really jeopardize his credibility by using tenuous information as a basis to write this? I sincerely doubt it."

LOL! at one time I do believe Peter wrote a column that made people furious becuase he included some lines in it that intimated a "Rafa is juicing" line of thought, just a scant few years ago, dang I wish I could find that posting, before Nadal became his Dirty Boy hero by beating Federer... how quickly the worm turns. The truth is, nothing presented here is anything but tenuous information, no proof involved, presented as "theories" and "questions", which of course the public then assumes those theories and questions must be based on inside information just because Peter wrote it, although why people would think Peter would be privy to any real inside info about Roger that Roger really didn't want people to know is quite funny, since Peter is not in Roger's circle and Roger's circle is VERY secretive. predictable article, predicatble gullible response from the public.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:30 PM

Bedtime for me...hopefully more news will come out while I'm asleep, I'll catch up in the morning.

Goodnight, everyone. :)

Posted by Cosi 03/11/2009 at 07:35 PM

Posted by MH 03/11/2009 @ 6:47 PM

I'm impressed with the comments of Amit (3:46). You should, with revisions to direct the message specifically to Roger, let him see your words of wisdom. It was right on. I personally thought Cahill was the best prospect around, so I'm really disappointed. All I want is for Roger to continue his career in a way that will add to his unbelievable resume instead of deteriorating very slowly away and diminish his already legendary accomplishments."

Perhaps those words of wisdom should be directed to CAHILL, he is the one that didn't want to do the coaching.. If you really want Roger to continue his career, pray that he has, first of all, better health,because that has become an issue and probably the most prominent issue in some of these lapses, injuries and pain not only affect the body but they affect the mind of an athlete, and remind yourself that Roger had some of his best results in tennis for the most part when he was pretty much without a full time or even a real part time coach! Cahill didn't get him those thirteen slams he already has. I don't think a lack of Cahill is as major as some are making it. Roger won the USO last year with Severin Luthi in his corner.. perhaps we need to give him more of a chance.

Posted by jewell - Make tea, not war. Jelena J for Indian Wells 2009!!! 03/11/2009 at 07:35 PM

*giggles quietly to self*

*really goes to bed*

Posted by Vie 03/11/2009 at 07:36 PM

Come to think of it, Mirka is there all the time, so talk about her can't be helped. It must be uncomfortable for her too, to be there all the time.

Posted by Gern 03/11/2009 at 07:39 PM

Tennis Player

I don't honestly believe that Pete engaged in any "rampant speculation" when it came to his Mirka comments, sorry. Yes, even the "most reputable" can get it wrong, but those "most reputable" have earned that title because they are careful enough most of the time not to base their articles on "rampant speculation"

Posted by Annie - In DC withdrawal- Vamos Armada and USA 03/11/2009 at 07:43 PM

-a good reputation has little bearing on whether one is a good journalist-

Tennis Player: are you kidding? Reputation is everything. Ask pete sampras.

Posted by Annie - In DC withdrawal- Vamos Armada and USA 03/11/2009 at 07:44 PM

Gern: gee, wonder why i've enjoyed all your posts so far ;)

Posted by battty 03/11/2009 at 07:45 PM

Most of the anti-mirka bias from the media seems to becoming

from columnist who would prefer Fed to date someone whom they deem

to be a playboy bunny type; they can then live out

their own fantasies (married or not) by way of the Fed!

Posted by Tari 03/11/2009 at 07:47 PM

Geez. Same old, same old...Roger is dishonest! He's difficult! It must have been something he or Mirka did to turn Cahill off. Control freaks! It just could not be what has been officially stated. No, there is something more. Everyone else and their brother can give a press conference and they are golden. Not Roger.

And I agree with those saying that a little vicious innuendo about Mirka is just wrong. Back it up or don't say it. It's terribly unfair.

Disappointing. Really. Ugh.

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 07:48 PM

Jewell: 'nighty 'nite. i'd also like to see an interview with mirka.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 07:52 PM

Annie - In DC withdrawal- Vamos Armada and USA

There are many people out there with great reputations who are incompetent, corrupt, dishonest or in some other way less than. Reputation is often used as a smokescreen to conceal misdeeds in the background. Sometimes reputations are even based on low standards, just look at Fox News. Of course, you get people with good reputations who justify them, but not everyone does.

It's funny you should mention Sampras, because not everyone thinks he's the stand-up guy you clearly do.

Posted by stine 03/11/2009 at 08:00 PM

Isn't it possible that this is just what they say it is? Both sides wanted to give it a try, to put to rest all of the "Why don't Federer and Cahill get together" comments. Neither wanted to look back 5, 10, 20 years from now and think, "What if I had given him a shot." They both tried it and decided it wasn't for them.

Posted by Annie - In DC withdrawal- Vamos Armada and USA 03/11/2009 at 08:01 PM

Tennis Player: i mentioned sampras only because pete wrote his book with him, as an example that pete has a good reputation. i know nothing of sampras' reputation.

Pspace has put up a link to a great article with Fed on the YC thread.

Posted by Vie 03/11/2009 at 08:02 PM

Mirka might be like an insider outsider going to the tennis center for these many years, not having the clear status and privilege of a coach or a parent. Coaching arrangements change, and this kind of arrangement for Fed and Mirka, will change too. We need to see some change in the box (hehe).

Posted by Tamara 03/11/2009 at 08:07 PM

maybe if we look around us everyone who is very successful has somebody who is controling him,and controling him in a way that he helps him to stick to his goals,somebody who really trast you and makes you trust in yourself,nobody was very successful just by himself you need people around you to achieve something big.In music,sport, in every part of life you see parents ,wife ,close relatives and managers controls successful person life,that's why Rafa,Roger ,Nole are more successful then Haas ,Blake, Safin etc

Posted by Annie - In DC withdrawal- Vamos Armada and USA 03/11/2009 at 08:10 PM

http://tinyurl.com/a9z2nk

Roger on Rafa from the other thread.

Posted by Mr. and Mrs. D. 03/11/2009 at 08:11 PM

What if the truth was that Cahill suffers from severe halitosis or that Roger is a bit "too touchy feely". Would you expect honesty at the press conference. What each stated is most likely the truth, but both these gentlemen are too classy for complete honesty to the public. Whatever the case may have been, neither would have spoken negatively about the other.

Posted by Annie trying to change her moniker 03/11/2009 at 08:15 PM

anybody?

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 08:18 PM

Regarding the whole Federer coaching thing, I don't really think he is doing anything wrong. He's still doing very well winning Slams or making finals and keeping himself in contention. No one wins them all. Nadal is very good and has gotten better.

Luthi was recently asked in an online interview what the deal was with Federer losing to Nadal. He simply said that from the outside it may look easier than it is, but Nadal is a great player who plays at an incredibly high level. It's not that Federer is doing anything wrong, just that Nadal is doing a lot right. Luthi also mentioned matches have been close between them and could have easily gone the other way. It's not always necessary to change things because you have lost a few close matches. We saw what happened at the French last year when Federer made big changes. Sometimes you just have to accept that you will win some and lose some. Changing anything will not necessarily make you win more, it could even make you win less. Also, it's not as if Federer has plummeted in the rankings. He's still right there amongst the 2 top favourites going into any event.

Posted by Annie trying to change her moniker 03/11/2009 at 08:19 PM

Craybas beat Dokic. bummer

Posted by Annie trying to change her moniker 03/11/2009 at 08:23 PM

Tennis Player: i keep saying that the AO final was better (for me) than the wimby. For the first 4 sets the level of play was spectacular. Don't know what happened to fed's head in the 5th but until then that match could have gone either way.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 08:26 PM

That's another thing, we forget that Federer already has a coach, Luhti. Luhti has been with him the whole time people have been asking when is Federer going to get a coach. Coaches do not have to be famous to justify the tag. Many players have coaches who are not famous. Nadal's coach was not famous before he helped Nadal get to No.1. Cahill came to Federer, not vice versa, so maybe Federer is happy with Luhti.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 08:33 PM

Annie - maybe you could go with AnnieFannieBeauFannie?

See, now here IS the real problem of internet/blog/quasi journalism. At this point, because of what Peter wrote and because of how people reacted to it, it actually DOESN'T MATTER what Cahill or Fed says about the situation. You could pump FedHill full of truth serum and hook them up to lie detectors and people would STILL hear what they WANT to hear. What has been planted about Mirka or Control Freakyness or Gilded Cages or whatever prevails. Any semblance of truth dies a slow and torturous death here on the internets. And so it goes.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 08:37 PM

I thought Federer played okay in the Australian final, but not as well as he can, he also served terribly, in the 30% region for most of the match. If he had served as well as in his semi-final or even any of the previous rounds, I think he would have won comfortably. By their standards, the match was decent, but not great. Higueras said Federer should not have lost that match or the Wimbledon final, but that's how things pan out sometimes.

Posted by 03/11/2009 at 08:39 PM

CL, Roger should marry Mirka, is all we say... hehehe

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 08:40 PM

CL: lol! no, just trying to go back to good ol' Annie, but typepad won't let me!

Posted by BlueDog 03/11/2009 at 08:40 PM

As a dad of two young daughters, there is no #ing way I would be away that much at this point in their lives. Cahill's reason rings absolutely true to me. Maybe he was thinking Fed would train in Vegas.

As for Mirka/Fed. It is almost impossible to look into another couples relationship and know what makes it tick. I've had good friends who bicker all the time, and yet they make each other happy. I've also had friends where I didn't like one half of a couple, and thought perhaps they weren't good for one another. That didn't make my perception accurate.

I enjoy reading Pete's speculation. I find I often disagree with him, but it's worthwhile to get a different perspective. It's like reading a good spy novel, with double agents, evil geniuses, intentional leaked misinformation, and double crosses. I just wish there were some good-intentioned characters once in a while.

As I read this thread, I keep remembering this story about a bunch serious insiders who had this "slam dunk" info about a bunch of WMD.

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 08:42 PM

phew.

TF: i know fed's serve stunk but some of their rallies were jaw dropping. It's not too often that you can hear the crowd oohing and ahhing during points. i thought it was an amazing match.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 08:46 PM

Gern

We disagree, simple as.

Reputations are also developed in a variety of ways. Longevity without much distinction can even do a lot to build one's reputation, paying one's dues and all that.

Posted by Annie 03/11/2009 at 08:46 PM

Blue Dog: your post ended with a bang. good one.

Posted by Pspace 03/11/2009 at 08:48 PM

CL, Is it really a problem? In the end, there's only so much one cares about this issue. The show must go on.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 08:49 PM

Yes they had some nice rallies, but at this stage I don't think it's possible to get through a Federer or Nadal match, even if they are playing badly, without seeing some spectacular shots. I did'nt think Federer played especially well in the Wimbledon final last year either, but there were still many good points.

Posted by tony snedker 03/11/2009 at 08:50 PM

if nadal was not tired after the marathon verdasco match he would have beaten federer in straight sets at the AO-09;

fed is fading

Posted by 03/11/2009 at 08:51 PM

Reading the last couple of posts on Federer, I keep thinking how relatively (and deliberately) simple Nadal's life seems to be. Trying too hard to maintain neurotic control and to find the right solution to a problem can surely be counter-productive and in fact make life tougher for yourself?

Posted by Vie 03/11/2009 at 08:51 PM

sorry CL, that was me laughing at 8:39. We have gotten out of hand here, no..

Posted by Alexis 03/11/2009 at 08:52 PM

"fed is fading"

Maybe he is. But we'll see if Nadal fades this well when he's 27.

Posted by BlueDog 03/11/2009 at 08:53 PM

Thanks Annie!

I agree about the 1st 4 of the AO. I was very heartened by how solid the rallies were. I think it's unbelievable that time after time Fedal delivers a show that lives up to the billing. I could do with an alternate happy ending though...

Posted by BlueDog 03/11/2009 at 08:59 PM

I think Fed's form was actually hurt by having 2 days off before the AO final. It may have taken him out of his mental rhythm.

*runs behind couch and ducks*

Posted by Alexis 03/11/2009 at 09:00 PM

Well Jenn. I won't apologize for what I said about Pete and this article. I think it was sloppy journalism. He wanted to 'break the news' quickly and came up with this gem in 40 minutes. Didn't bother to wait for Roger's presser or to hear what Cahill said. He just decided that the simple reason given wasn't juicy enough and he wanted to bring up much more controversial options. All of them being very negative about Roger and his inner circle, of course.

Posted by CL 03/11/2009 at 09:00 PM

[note from Pete - part of this comment has been deleted for inaccuracy]

Pspace - ah yes, 'the show,' It most assuredly will go on. The only 'problem' is that there are actual people who are part of that 'show.' Many there by choice, some not. And as has been pointed out, no one can hear you scream...or even protest... in cyber space. And believe me I get it that by posting here I am an 'enabler' of sorts, but I still think it is at least possible that we have created a sort of parallel reality here where truth is yesterday's bandwidth. I will bet you a Mirka sized bauble that the next time there is a coaching 'issue' , no matter what its genesis, no mater what its own reality, Mirka's name will come up in the context of , 'ya, I heard she is a REAL handful and has veto power over all of Fed;s major decisions. And this was from someone is a position to KNOW!' [[ rest deleted]]

Posted by twister 03/11/2009 at 09:03 PM

I think perhaps Cahill realized that Fed is a washed up tennis player who has seen his better days - he probably wanted to confirm his belief and then met with Fed and saw he is unwilling to change his style/game. He is not used to a coach and doesn't need one at this point. What he needs is simply to be a few years younger - which isn't going to happen. When you get to be Fed's age, a player usually stays at the same level or loses a step or two - so I don't see the point of a coach at this stage of his career. Federer most important challenge is to mentally get Nadal out of his head - he is too intimidated by Nadal - so I see part of Fed's problem as being mental and not so much his physical game.

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 09:03 PM

tony snedker

Nadal was fortunate to be in the final. Had Verdasco not choked against him two points away from victory at 0-30 in the 5th, talk of Federer's decline would be noexistent. Maybe Federer would also have had more in the tank had he not had to comeback from 2 sets down against Berdych, in the sun. This speculation is contagious.

Posted by Russ 03/11/2009 at 09:03 PM

@nT way back at 4:07 pm: If Mirka's the gatekeeper, does that make Roger the keymaster?

Posted by Tennis player 03/11/2009 at 09:05 PM

I think ideas of neurotic control and obsessive problem solving are more in the minds of the journalists than the players they talk about.

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