Coach Paul Annacone reveals Roger Federer wanted to have an explanation for everything he was asked to do. Annacone, who famously coached Pete Sampras for nearly a decade, started working with Federer in 2010. When Annacone asked Federer to do something during one of their first days, the Swiss revealed to him that in his childhood they called him "Why Man." Federer deeply respected his coaches and team members but he just wanted to know why he was asked to do certain things.
Annacone on Federer: In childhood they called him 'Why Man'
"Yeah, I think it's almost unfortunate because people thought that it came so easily, he didn't ever have to do anything, Well, I can tell you first-hand that the pre-season training sessions in Dubai after the US Open with Pierre Paganini and Severin Luthi, it was very strategic.
He spent a ton of time in the gym, he spent a ton of time on the practice court. And one of the things that I found most interesting about Roger was that the first time I met him, we talked about doing something and I asked him to do it, and he said, 'Why?' I said, 'What do you mean why?' And he goes, 'Well, when I was a kid, everyone used to call me the 'Why Man'
I'm happy to do it but you have to tell me why and how does it fit into my game.' And that mantra lasted from the day he started to the day he stopped as a professional tennis player," Annacone said on Tennis Channel, as quoted on Sportskeeda.
In 2013, Annacone and Federer ended their partnership. After splitting with Federer, Annacone worked with Stan Wawrinka and Sloane Stephens. Since 2018, Annacone has been working with Taylor Fritz. Meanwhile, Federer ended his astonishing career after this year's Laver Cup.