Stephens hires Annacone as full-time coach

Friday, January 03, 2014 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

After working with coach Paul Annacone for five weeks during the off-season, Sloane Stephens has decided to hire the American full-time for the 2014 season.

"I'm happy to add Paul as my coach for the 2014 season," Stephens said in a statement released to USA Today.  "His success as both a player and coach speaks for itself. We had a great preseason working together and I'm excited for the opportunity to continue working together."

Just last week, Annacone said he would not travel with Stephens to Australia. Stephens' hitting partner, Andrew Fitzpatrick, is currently coaching her at the Hopman Cup in Perth. But apparently once the contract was signed, Annacone changed his mind and now will coach Stephens next week in Sydney and at the Australian Open.

Annacone most recently coached Roger Federer, and has also coached also Pete Sampras and Tim Henman. Stephens reached the second week of every major in 2013.

"That is a terrific opportunity," Annacone told the newspaper about working with the world No. 12. "I'm going to have to get comfortable with it and understand the dynamics. She's going to have to understand me."

While it is still unclear exactly how many tournaments Annacone will travel to with Stephens, has learned that he will be with her at all the Grand Slam tournaments and at many other events.

They live a half hour away from each other in Los Angeles.

"I think she is a really good kid with a good heart and an abundance of talent," Annacone said. "Now it's nose to the grindstone and keep working."

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