Annacone won’t be with Stephens in Australia

by: Matt Cronin December 28, 2013

AP Photo

After working with coach Paul Annacone for five weeks during the off-season, American Sloane Stephens has come to Australia without him and apparently will be coached during the stretch by her hitting partner, Britain's Andrew Fitzpatrick.

Stephens stopped working her coach of 2013, the USTA’s David Nainkin, at the end of the season. According to USA Today, Nainkin has now taken a full-time position as the coach of Sam Querrey.

Annacone, who most recently coached Roger Federer, did not indicate whether he will work with Stephens again, but appears to be open to it.

“Sloane has an abundance of talent, and she is on a good track,” he said.  “I think Sloane is right there. It’s never easy to bet against Serena, but I am looking forward to seeing Sloane in action.”

During a chat on the web site ProTennisCoach.com, Annacone said in regards to Fitzpatrick that he "hates" the term hitting partner.

“He is more than that," Annacone said of Fitzpatrick. “We worked together and they are a good team and I am excited to see how things go Down Under.”

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