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Federer Hires Former Sampras Coach Paul Annacone on Trial Basis

Roger Federer hired Pete Sampras’s former coach Paul Annacone on a trial basis as he seeks to regain his No. 1 ranking in men’s tennis.

“I’ve been looking to add someone to my team and I’ve decided to spend some days with Paul,” Federer, 28, who lost in the quarterfinals of the French Open and Wimbledon, said in a statement on his website today.

Annacone will be leaving his job as head coach of the U.K.’s Lawn Tennis Association at the end of November after more than three years. Before his time with the LTA, the American coached 14-time major winner and former world No. 1 Sampras and Tim Henman, previously British No. 1.

“As Paul winds down his responsibilities working for the LTA, we will explore our relationship through this test period,” said Federer, who lost his No. 1 ranking to Rafael Nadal after the Spaniard won the French Open. He didn’t specify how long they’ll work together.

Federer, holder of a record 16 Grand Slam titles, had been guided by Australian coaches Peter Carter, who died in 2002, and Tony Roche. Since splitting from Roche in 2007, the Swiss has worked with his nation’s Davis Cup captain Severin Luthi.

After appearing in every Wimbledon final since 2003, Federer was beaten in the quarterfinals on the London grass courts this year by Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic. As defending champion, Federer was upset by Sweden’s Robin Soderling in the quarterfinals of the French Open, ending his record streak of 23 straight Grand Slam semifinals.

His loss to Berdych pushed Federer to his current ranking of No. 3 on the ATP World Tour, his lowest since Nov. 10, 2003.

He’s scheduled to return to the men’s tour in Toronto on Aug. 7. He’ll compete in the Rogers Cup, a warmup event for the U.S. Open, which starts Aug. 30 in New York.

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