Paul Annacone is one of the world´s leading coaches. He´s worked with some of the greats including Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Tim Henman.
Annacone guided Sampras to nine of his 14 Grand Slam Titles, leading to Sports Illustrated calling him “the court whisperer”. He helped GB´s Tim Henman rise from number 41 in the world to a career high of 4. He also led Roger Federer back to World number 1 and his 7th Wimbledon title in 2012.
In between this, Annacone was also Managing Director of the USTA Performance Programme from 2001 - 2003 and was LTA Men´s Head Coach for 3 years. More recently he´s worked with Sloane Stephens and is currently coaching Taylor Fritz.
A former professional player, Annacone won three ATP titles and reached a career high ranking of No. 12 in singles and 3 in doubles. He won the Mens doubles at thenAustralian Open in 1985 with long-time partner Christo van Rensburg, and won 14 doubles titles during his career.
In this episode, Annacone discusses his coaching philosophy and how he thinks his playing career helped him as a coach. He also tells us stories from his time working with Sampras, Henman and Federer and the differences between them. A must listen!
[09:00] Why it´s important to know how to give the same message to different personalities.
[18:24] The importance of game identity and working on your/a players strengths.
[19:50] Find out what he learned from Pete Sampras as a young coach that helped shape his coaching philosphy.
[23:33] Listen to Roger Federer´s reaction to a heartbreaking loss at Wimbledon
[28:29] Big picture mentality: Paul discusses his run to the Wimbledon Quarter-finals in 1984 straight out of US College.
[33:31] Listen to Paul´s stand-out memory from his time working with Sampras.
[38:55] Why he thinks Henman had an ideal game for Clay
[44:06] Listen to his memories from the 2012 Federer v Murray Wimbledon Final
[47:51] Does he think Federer can win another Wimbledon?
[48:51] Who was the easiest to coach? Who had the best backhand? Find out in the Sampras v Henman v Federer Quickfire round!
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DISCLAIMER: Please note we use a transcription service, so there may be some errors in the following transcription of this episode. If you can, please refer to the audio for exact quotations.
Daniel Kiernan 00:09
Welcome to Control the Controllables. I'm Dan Kiernan from SotoTennis Academy in Spain, and we teamed up with Max Tennis Academy in Ireland. We brought this podcast together to entertain, educate, and energize the tennis community through the different lenses of the sport that we love. From Grand Slam champions to those at grassroots level, from sports journalists, to backroom staff. Our aim is truly to get under the bonnet of the tennis world at all levels. So sit back and enjoy the show. Welcome to Episode 117, of Control the Controllables when we started this podcast 14 months ago, I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to speak to this man.
Paul Annacone 01:02
When we started working together. Roger wanted to get back to number one, and he wanted to want to win another major. So that day, that happened, he won and then a few weeks later, I think he became number one again, so that was great, but I just remember him being you know, he's always very calm. You know, I know he's nervous inside but he's always very calm. And for me, I felt horrible for it because I'm a huge Andy Murray fan and obviously with my history working with LTA for four years, but I was so thrilled for Roger to see him come back and win that
Daniel Kiernan 01:35
And that was of course, Paul Anacone. The coach of the grip Pete Sampras, Tim Henman, Roger Federer, Sloane Stephens, the current coach of Taylor Fritz, but he was also a Grand Slam champion himself back in 1985, winning the Australian Open doubles championships. He was as high as number 12 in the world. In the singles, he made the quarterfinals of Wimbledon as a 246 ranked player in the world. And he got up to number three in the world in doubles. What actually really fascinated me, because we had Tom Gullickson. On the show a few weeks ago, he was the coach that stepped in when the late great Tim Gullickson, sadly passed away. When he was Pete Sampras' coach, he took the reins he learned from Tim. And then he went on to coach Pete for seven, eight years. I believe he was part of nine of his grand slam wins is such a kind hearted man. When you speak to him, you can see why he has become a world class coach, working with some of the greats of the game, because he really does make you feel comfortable when you speak to him. And he's got brilliant insight that he shares with us. I wish I had longer. I really do. We had 40 minutes. He was it was in the middle of a rain break between Taylor Fritz and Novak Djokovic last week at the Rome Masters, which he was watching from his house in California. And we managed to get on to the phone to have the conversation. And I'm sure it's going to enrich your day, wherever you are. So sit back and enjoy. I'm going to pass you over to Paul Anacone. So Paul on a corner big welcome to control the controllables how're you doing?
Paul Annacone 03:34
I'm doing well. Thanks for your patience. I tell you we've been playing a little bit of tag trying to figure out when to do this. So thanks for your nimble footwork like our friend Dan Evans.
Daniel Kiernan 03:43
Absolutely. And actually, what a place to start because now that you're coaching, Taylor, Fritz, and they've come against each other this week in Rome. You were you the secret ingredient in this relative? Oh, in this week?
Paul Annacone 04:00
Absolutely. It's all about me down. I'm the one that that works the magic. No, it's actually been for me it's been really fun to watch Dan's progress, you know, to watch him start to come into his own and play so well. And we've stayed in touch through the years. So for for Dan to start playing such good tennis and and to be in it day in and day out. It's been really a treat for me. I've got a special place for Dan is that he's actually a lovely guy. And he's that his challenges as we all have. But it's nice to see him playing good tennis. And look, he just Taylor beat him in Rome and played played played better. That wasn't one of Dan's better matches lately, but he's played such good tennis, you know, you're not going to play great every time and Taylor's a tough matchup. It's the ball really hard. But all in all, it's been fun to watch Dan Evans is progress. He's doing real well.
Daniel Kiernan 04:50
No. Absolutely. And and on the Taylor one. You're, you're in California. He's he's in Rome. How is that something that Have you been doing any traveling? Are you not doing the traveling right now? And how is it then coaching someone at that level from afar?
Paul Annacone 05:08
Well, you know, I have been in the last couple of years since pan of the pandemic hit, it's been a little challenging, you know, is that the French Open last year with Taylor. So the downside is I haven't been at many tournaments, the upside is we've had a lot more time in LA than we would have had. So we've had basically more than double the amount of time here than normal. So for me, as much as players like to have the camaraderie of a coach there, I actually feel like this time is more important. And with today's media, I can see every single match anyway, I can see every match he plays, we talked before every match. And he's got David Nankin has been coaching him with me for longer than I've been there. David's an amazing coach and with the USTA for a number of years and has coached a ton of great players. So David and I kind of worked together. When When David or I can't go the USTA has been very helpful in sending people like this week, Mike Russell's with them in Rome and Mikey Russell was with him. In Madrid, Mike Russell's, a great coach, and JY Oban was has been with him some who also coaches Reilly Opelka. So it's a nice mix, you know, and one of the biggest things for me when you have that it's always like, Well, is it too many voices. So I, I'm really clear from the beginning as as the rest of the team, that the messaging is the same, the personalities that deliver it might be different, but the messaging is the same. Because if they start the player start to get a lot of different thoughts going on, then it gets confusing, especially when they're out on the road. So it's all pretty simple, basic themes, but different personalities delivering it, which in some ways is very refreshing. Because otherwise Taylor probably gets sick of me by now. Now he's got some different voices that are also saying stuff to him. So it's worked really well. And it's been a great ride. And like I said, he's got a great team around them. Wolfgang Oswald is physio that travels with him who I think is off the charts how good he is with understanding the body knowing, rest, recovery, injury, and also strength and conditioning. So he's got, he's got a really good core group around them. And it's made a lot of fun for me.
Daniel Kiernan 07:20
I think it's nice to hear that, Paul, because I think running a tennis academy, we will get a lot of parents who demand the same coach to be on every session to spend every minute with the players from from a young age. And I think if it's done correctly, as you say, and the messaging is clear, and there is very clearly someone who's leading that as well. It's nice to hear that that can be done at the top end of the game. And I guess your belief is that can also be done as you go down the levels as well. Yes, I
Paul Annacone 07:52
think so. I you know, look, I think when the players are younger, in the early developmental years, consistency is more important in buying into a voice, you know, when they're really young, I think is more of a dictatorial kind of molding stage when they're younger. But then the messaging about the development of Strategy and Technique and philosophy. I think it's pretty important that it's similar, like I said, in many ways, different personalities saying the same thing is refreshing. And I said that before. I think one of the challenges look, I've been on the road with Roger for four years and Sampras for almost eight and Tim Henman for four and a half. It gets stale, it's hard for the players, you know, it's hard for the players. And they're all really different. They're still all really dear friends of mine. But at some point, you have to find new ways to say the same thing. And that's challenging. So by having a different person in there, that is on the same page, but seeing it with a different tone, or a different personality that can be helpful. But the key is that everyone communicates together and clearly because if it's all disjointed, in individual sports, it can become a big mess. Because as you know, like in European football, most of the players conform to the manager's philosophy, right? The managers got his philosophy or her philosophy about how they want to do things and the individual sport in tennis, I've found okay, how do I say the same thing to a different personality? Well, I coach Pete way different than I coach Tim. And in that Coach Tim way different than I coached Roger, and I coach Roger way different than I coach Sloane Stephens. So you have to figure out what buttons to push to get through to that individual personality. And for me, that's part of the job and I actually enjoy that part of it. I'm gonna get drawn into talking about Paul Annacone and the coach here, which because there's so many things that I want to go into, I'm going to jump back into you as a player. But there is a point I want to take up there, Paul, when you're talking about coaching those different players and how I mean, obviously a different way with them is there non negotiables that you have as a coach that stand in place, no matter who the player is. And then you adapt your your way your style, or are you flexible, almost in all areas? Well, I think philosophically, as a coach, to me, I'll say if to remember the players that I've been lucky enough to coach, or some of them are all, you know, they're all time greats, you know. So I probably have learned more than that from them. And they've learned from me, but but I think philosophically, as a coach, you need to have an open mind, you need to hear what the player's feeling, because that relates to what they're doing. Right. And so I think a lot of it is being aware of, of understanding their personality and how they operate. And then you can figure out, you know, why things happened, it's easy to see what happened. But as a coach, I have to figure out why it's happened. So in terms of non negotiables, the only thing to me that's a non negotiable, as long as the player is professional, and exhausts all their resources to do the best they can, that's all I care about, you know that for me, that's pretty much a given. That's why they're professional athletes, you know, they get paid to do it. So it's a job as long as they do that I'm, I'm totally fine. And, and that brings up some interesting topics, because sometimes you have to convince them that maybe they're not right about something that they're trying to do. And that's not always easy, you know, you better be pretty buttoned up, or you better be pretty creative in your ways to have dialogue, because it's not combative. You're not dealing with a 12 year old that you're punishing, you have to figure out how to get them to feel like, Oh, that makes sense. Maybe I'm missing something here. And, and to me, that's where I've been lucky. Because, you know, Tim, and Roger and Pete. For those three years, I've been the longest with as great as they all were, they're incredibly open to hearing why you feel how you feel. And when you're that great. There's a lot of propensity to be closed minded and so stubborn, that you can't convince them of anything. And none of those players were like that. And that was a blessing for me. Because that was that's how I was able to impact and to me, that's unbelievably flattering, because that means that they respected what I said, which is great.
Daniel Kiernan 12:23
But is that one of the attributes of a great, they've got that open mind as well. Or have you come across other greats that you've not worked with? Who have that closed mindset?
Paul Annacone 12:33
No, I think they do. Because I think that, you know, it's a matter of differentiating, right, and it's one of the things I'm going through with Taylor Fritz right now, he's 23 years old, still developing around 30 in the world, one of his biggest assets is he's unbelievably stubborn, and strong minded. One of his biggest liabilities is that he's unbelievably stubborn. And so it's a matter of balancing that I don't want to disrupt that disrupt that on the court stubbornness, and I'm going to compete no matter what I'm going to try to problem solve them. I don't want to distract that I don't want to take away from that. But I do want him and he's gotten better. I do want him to be a little bit more open and aware of some of the messaging that he's hearing, not just from me, but from David Nankin and Wolfgang Oswald in the people is team around him. Because sometimes that stubbornness goes, goes a little bit too far there, when perhaps that's holding him back a little bit. But that's part of his learning curve, and he's getting better at it. But as a coach, I've got a balance, right? I don't want to crush that stubbornness, then all of a sudden have him, you know, like a wet marshmallow on the court and not able to use that stubbornness to his strength. Right? So, again, those are part of the subtle nuances I find in coaching that are really interesting and fun and challenging to deal with.
Daniel Kiernan 13:50
Absolutely. And now you as a player, were you stubborn, were you difficult to work with. Were how early was your philosophies almost as a coach starting to grow? If you go back into your guess even Junior days, I know you are you are an Orange Bowl winner. So you already a very successful junior at a certain age. How old were you at back in those times? Well,
Paul Annacone 14:15
I had a very strong coach as a junior Nick Bolleteri, was my coach from when I was about 13 to 18 or 17. And then I had another very strong college coach Mike De Palmer senior, the late great Mike De Palmer senior. So I had two very strong personalities coach me and then my brother actually coached me at the latter stages of my college career through most of my pro career, my brother because he was my brother and he's older. And because we had that bond, he had to have a I thought, you know, he's an unbelievable coach. He didn't get nearly enough credit as he deserved because he had to walk that balance of always being on the road with me knowing all the personal nuances, personality stuff, so I was kind of molded by those three people around me philosophically about how I coached and I think I was pretty stubborn, but in a weird way, I actually got way too insecure way too quickly with my game, I had a very atypical game, I used to come to the net on everything. And that was where I was good. So I chipped in charge all the time. And, and I had a lot of people whispering in my ear, saying, you know, you got to get better from the back of the court, you got to do all these things and get more solid. In the meantime, I was 12 in the world, and people are telling me all that stuff. And I basically, I basically abandoned getting better at what had gotten me there, get trying to get better and started doing other things. And all sudden, my ranking went from 12 to 38. And so, you know, my brother fought me the whole time. And he was like, you know, it's fine to work on your weaknesses. But let's remember what your strengths are. And I went too far towards the weaknesses. So I got to 38 in the world. And I said to my brother, you know, what's the deal? You know, I have done all this hard work, I'm crushing it doing all my supposed to do. And he said, You look much better losing now. I said, What do you mean, he goes, the points are much better, and you're losing, you look much better losing. And and he just kind of had a chuckle. And I was like, that makes sense. Yeah. Because the points are longer. You said, but you've gotten away from what got you to where you are said, that's got to be your foundation. And right after he told me that was interesting, because right after he told me that literally, about a month later, I won Vianna ATP event, Indiana. And I just got back to my old ways, and I never got back to where I was, but he was so right. So ironically, I was a little bit too insecure about my style of play. I think that that hurt me a bit. So again, all these experiential things for me go into the memory banks now of how I try to operate when I'm thinking about what Taylor feels like it fou all in the third, you know, what's going on in terms of his practice? What, you know, I find some people think you don't have to play to be a good coach. And I don't think you have to, but I know for me, it's been unbelievably valuable, you know, because I remember what it feels like to walk on center court at Wimbledon to play Edberg. You know, I remember. And it's hard to describe those feelings. But even after all these years, they'll still pretty My mind and body, you know, playing macro center court at the US Open. You know, for me, it was it's been valuable. I think there's great coaches that haven't played. But I also know for me, it helps me understand the players mentality much more much more empathetic about what they're going through.
Daniel Kiernan 17:37
That makes a lot of sense. Because I, I've always asked, I like asking about coaches, I'm always curious about the best coaches out there. And I, through your time, when you were working in England, even our paths maybe only crossed once, as we talked about before in Australia, I always was asking my colleagues in England, what what is Paul, you know, what does Paul bring? And what I always heard about you was how much you focused on the strengths that you would that you would really talk to the players about the strengths before they're playing, really building their strengths. Firstly, is that true? Is that the word on you, and secondly, I guess that sounds like it was shaped from your early experiences.
Paul Annacone 18:23
It was just it was shaped. But look, I think one of the most important things for players developmental progress is their identity, knowing who they are and why they're successful. I think it's different at different stages, that when you're coaching and teaching a young player, you're helping them form their identity, right, you're helping them understand who they are and how they play well what their physical and mental assets are and how to maximize them. Once they get a little bit older. I think by the time they're kind of 1718 on, it's more about them understanding who they are, and how they're going to be closest to whatever their potential is. So you have to get them to understand that and the way they understand that is to understand what their strengths are. That doesn't mean disregard the weaknesses. It just means understanding their strengths. But, you know, when you look at that, that, to me is really important. And I you know, I'm a as I've gotten older, perhaps I've started to think too much, but I really believe so much of what happens is how you react. And I think the best players that I've and the most successful people in the world that I've ever seen, figure out how to think their way through emotion. They figure out how to think their way through stress, and they figure out how to manage adversity. So for me as I've gotten older, that's one of the other things that I harp on show me, you know, might one of my biggest coaching philosophies is don't show me what you do on your good days. Show me what you do on your average days. Show me what you do when There's trouble show me how you when you know Pete Sampras taught me this 23 year old Pete Sampras taught me this when he was 23 years old. I'll digress into a little anecdote here. When he was 23 years old, I said, the late great Tim Gullickson, who was home, sick, battling brain cancer was mentoring me on how to coach Pete because I was trying to help Pete until Tim got well, which unfortunately, didn't happen. But Tim was mentoring me. And Pete was having a hard time on the road during the clay and I said, Gully, you know, what do I do? What do I do? Am I saying the right things? He said, Don't worry. So don't worry, he's going to be just fine. Keep it simple. Talk about his strengths, make things really simplistic. Now I was on a flight with Pete. And I said to him about the claycourt season or whatever, going into Wimbledon. You know, it's been it's tough. claycourt swing, what do you think we should do? You know, what do we need to do to get you really ready for the grass? He said Yeah, I think I've overthought the clay this year, I think I went too far, strategically, just went through two or three things, and literally 45 seconds. And then he said, When I get to the grass, he said, it'll be fine. said, I'll go home, let's go home, work on some serve some returns. And when I get to the grass, I'll be fine. And I said, Really? That's it. And he goes, he goes, Yeah, he said, you know, he said, one of my biggest strengths isn't the fact that I can play great. I know that I can play great when I play great. I know, I'm not going to lose, you know, and he said it very, not arrogantly just very matter of fact, I know stealing said, yeah, he said, But what my one of my biggest strength actually is, when I play average, I'm probably going to beat 80 to 90% of the guys anyway. So if I can keep my mind when I'm playing average, that's going to get me to quarters or semis of tournaments, and then I will play well. I was like, okay, so I just thought about it. And he was like, so don't have don't make a big deal out of not playing great, figure out what you have on the day, and then use that. And he was 23. When he told me that and to this day, it still resonates. I was like, Wow, that's pretty amazing. For 23 year old. And it was very, it was really simple. It wasn't an arrogant thing wasn't like, so I pressed him on and pressed him on. He said, Look, there's a handful of days I played great during the year, there's a handful that I play garbage, the rest is kind of what makes me up as a player. So I better manage the rest pretty well. That means don't, you know, just use what you have on the day and figure out how to maximize it. And I was like, it sounds great. But it's really hard to do that through emotion. So circling back, that's why when I see a player that's able to get in those situations and think clearly and find their way out and or at least find their way into a situation where they can possibly win. Those to me, those are this really special people. There's the special physical talents, that's great, but that's God given and whatever. But when you have someone that's able to do that, they're gonna get close to whatever their potential is. So that's why I really don't care who I'm helping. If they have those attributes, that means they're probably going to get close to their potential. And that's that's what I like people that can problem solve, people that all they do is try to max out and exhaust their resources to figure out how good they can be
Daniel Kiernan 23:17
That belief is and to be so close to that belief. And I would imagine if we to, to compare Pete and Roger a little bit, did they both have that unnerving belief?
Paul Annacone 23:29
Yeah. Yeah, very, I tell you, Roger was the same way very different personalities. But the same way. And I remember, you know, Roger losing a tough match. At Wimbledon, after being up two sets to love, which has happened about four times in his career at Wimbledon, and remember less probably, and an hour later, he was really, it was an hour and a half later, he was kind of playing with his daughters. And he was in a really good mood. When I said, Let's go for a walk later and talk about the match. He said, fine. So we went for a walk. And I asked him about it. He said, You know, he said, that happens once in a while, you know, it's gonna happen to everybody. And he said, but I can also give you a whole bunch of matches that I never should have one that I did, because I hung around. And I know when I play well, I'll be fine. But the thing is, if I'm not playing great, I can figure it out. He used to say, Roger said I can find solutions. And so today I didn't find solutions. He did, but there's a lot of times when I've done that, so he you know, they get it, you know, those people get it. They're really competitive, but they understand, you know, and it's hard to teach that. It's really and to me, that's one of the that's one of the things that's most difficult to teach, but you need to teach it starting from a young age so kids understand it.
Daniel Kiernan 24:50
One of my one of my favorite quotes that there is out there is is having a tolerance for failure, which Roger which Roger used to say a lot and and I remember hearing him I think it was an interview after he was played Davydenko, and I'm not sure, Paul, if you were working with him at the time, but he was, I think he was like six two four, one down to Davydenko in a slam. And he came back and he won. That's it. 2-6 6-4 6-2 6-2. And he said, you know, the interviewer said, you know, how are we feeling at 6241? Roger, you know, like, we are pressing the panic button. And he said, No, no, he said,
Paul Annacone 25:33
I could tell you, they don't have the panic button. No,
Daniel Kiernan 25:35
just I knew. I know, at some point, I'm doing I'm trying to do the right things. At some point, my tennis will kick in. And it kicked in. And I played well, and you know, it took over. So it's such a, it's such a special mindset. But I remember I'm a similar age to Roger and I eat didn't have that. In the junior ages. You know, so where it's somewhere along the line, he obviously learned it.
Paul Annacone 26:00
They know it's right, right. It's amazing, because we talked about that. And it was really interesting. I said, you know, because I knew of his temperamental Junior days. And I said to him, you know, what happened to, you know, your coach has finally convinced you to do. And he said, you know, he said, I just remember realizing one day that I'm holding myself back, you know, so he said, It wasn't someone that just told them that, you know, he said, I just realized, I'm not I'm getting so emotionally involved in what's happening, I'm not able to find solutions, because I'm making decisions on emotion. And it's, you know, and it's fine to be passionate and be emotional, but don't let that kind of drive what your decisions are. You know, and I think as you get more mature, you can so that's why I think when people say you can't learn certain things, I disagree, because Roger is a great example of it. He was an emotional, temperamental, you know, junior player, and he's become Mr. calm, cool and collected, you know, so I think you can learn those things. And that's, I think, why it's really important to help kids when they're young, make that a habit. Because then it just it then it's practice, then it becomes normal. You know, then like, that's why you know, it's an adult people like guy is so intense. He gets every ball like it's 1000 miles an hour, I was watching him, like, that's because that's what he's always done his whole life. That's just normal for him. So you can make things normal for you by ingraining. That at an early age.
Daniel Kiernan 27:31
Paul, I'm just going to I'm going to take you back a little bit. One, because I'm an LSU. Tiger,
Paul Annacone 27:38
which you might I won't hold that against you.
Daniel Kiernan 27:40
I went on to my biggest rivals in college with a Tennessee Volunteers. Oh, which I as I did my research on you, you you spent three years I believe at the University of Tennessee. Now, they were such rivals and that color made me so ill when we played against him. I'm not even going to talk about that. But what I am going to talk about is you turning up to Wimbledon rank 240 in the world, and I believe going all the way to the quarterfinals. Is that correct? Yeah. After your was that was your ranking so low? Because you were just coming out of college at that time?
Paul Annacone 28:22
I think so. You know, I hope so I don't know. But I just I remember that. It was one of the biggest lessons that I learned about Big Picture mentality. Because I had worked so hard that year to win the NCAA title. That was my goal. And I worked my butt off all year. And I did all this stuff leading into playing in Athens and getting Athens Georgia where the SEC sorry, the NCAA was and really getting unbelievably fit yada yada yada and I only lost. I only lost one match all year, I think going into the NCAA, I think I was Yeah, last one match all year, and from the fall all the way through. And I was seated one and you know fig favorite. And I basically just got so tight because I put so much expectation on myself. I didn't play well all we ended up losing in the quarters, but it's not that one match. It's just I didn't play well all week because of that expectation. But the lesson I learned the macro lesson was that you just work hard and stuff happens. So I worked hard and lost in the quarters. But then I went to England and qualified for Wimbledon and got to the quarterfinals. So that's a pretty good trade off. So what I took out of that was understanding hard work isn't you know, you set yourself up. That's why I look at Olympians and I go How do you do get ready for once every four years, you know, with us, right? It's amazing. It's amazing. It's so amazing and And for for us every week, a new app. That's why I love tennis every week, some new opportunity, right? So the hard work and the professional work is going to pay off somewhere. You just got to keep doing it. And so when I went to college and lost that match, I was absolutely heartbroken. But then, you know, a month and a half later, I was in the quarters of Wimbledon, my pro career was launched. So it's a pretty good trade off.
Daniel Kiernan 30:25
And I've got a little small thing I'd like to do if you're Paul to before we move a bit more into your coaching. Do you remember your record against Andre Agassi
Paul Annacone 30:36
on Yeah, no, I never beat him. It was like I might as well. We used to beat me so bad. I was like, it's got to be Oh, and five or six. What was actually old three. I believe you might be three. Okay, I'll make three. Okay, that's good. Boris. Boris Becker. Never beat him either too much power probably 0 and I know Wimbledon and the ATP finals. That's two. Maybe two Wimbledon's oh and three maybe?
Daniel Kiernan 31:05
Well old and six on the official records. Oh, in six, no, one of them was Ellen saying, Don't worry, this is gonna get better for you. I'm just getting started.
Paul Annacone 31:15
Me and my place early
Daniel Kiernan 31:16
Paul Annacone 31:18
I've been I think I'd beat him twice, but probably lost twice as many probably two and four, something two and five,
Daniel Kiernan 31:25
2 and 6. One of the wins on the record books was a walkover. Now, whether you take, I don't know. But that's
Paul Annacone 31:36
wrong, though. It's wrong, though. Because I beat him in Cincinnati.
Daniel Kiernan 31:41
Yeah. Let's get on to the ATP with this. I'm gonna make a note on this.
Paul Annacone 31:45
I know I beat him in Cincinnati. And I beat him at the US Open so I'm not even counting the walk over. So if you want to count the walk over that gives me three. That's awesome.
Daniel Kiernan 31:54
Paul Annacone 31:58
I was so lucky to be I'd be Jim. I think I'm just want to know against Jim, I
Daniel Kiernan 32:04
want five sets at
Paul Annacone 32:07
the Miami tournament. So it used to be five sets back then
Daniel Kiernan 32:12
in the round of 64. Five sets. That's a lot of tennis gonna have to play to win.
Paul Annacone 32:18
Yeah. And the key is if you're gonna go on with more players,
Daniel Kiernan 32:23
I've got one more. Okay. And this is what I'm setting it up to Pete Sampras, yeah,
Paul Annacone 32:29
I'm undefeated against Pete, I make sure I let him know that I'm undefeated against Pete, 1 and 0
Daniel Kiernan 32:35
1 and 0 against Pete Sampras
Paul Annacone 32:37
And I think I think I'm undefeated against Michael Chang, too. And so the big joke is, is that I get to tell all those people that I'm undefeated against them, but I don't tell anyone that when I played them, I don't think any of them are older than 16.
Daniel Kiernan 32:58
With no we don't we don't we don't need to mention that, Paul. That's for sure. And as we're talking about Pete, how did that start? So you touched on that? So Tim was coaching Pete, and he started mentoring you towards that. And I guess it sounded like it started as almost an interim interim coaching position.
Paul Annacone 33:20
Yeah, actually, Peter Boto wrote wrote a very interesting article for TENNIS Magazine back then called the accidental coach, right. And, and basically what happened was, I was wrapping up my career, I had a herniated disc in my back, and I really couldn't play much anymore. And I was down in Australia, still competing, and mostly playing doubles. And Tim and Pete were, you know, friends, and, you know, I just happen to be watching the matches during the week. And then all of a sudden, Pete was getting ready to play and I said, Where's Gully? And he said, you know, he's in the hospital. And I said, really? And he goes, Yeah, he had another seizure, and they're not really sure what's wrong. And I said, Well, what you know, I said, What can I do? And he said, Well, can you just go check on him? So I checked on Gully, and he would they were doing all these tests. And he's just said, you know, just go sit in the box or whatever. And then they did the test and found that there was something not right. They saw some lesions, and some growths in the brain. And so he had to fly home the next day. And so basically, you know, Gully just said, you know, we went out to dinner actually, Jim went to dinner to the night before Gully, left. I think it might have been the night before Jim and Pete played in Australia. And and, and Gully, just said, Can you, you know, Gully and Pete said, can you just stay, you know, stay through the tournament? And I said, Sure. And so I just stayed. And then the idea was, I just communicated with Gully, when he got back and you know, communicated with Pete and tried to mostly stay out of the way and you guys just tell me how much or how little to do. And then you know, Gully started his battle once he got home and we all talked on the phone and Gully and Pete And I, you know, they just kind of said, would you, you know, would you travel with Pete some until, you know, golly beats this. And so I was like, Sure, you know, let's let's do that. And so, you know, while we were on the road, it was good, for Gully, you know, for Pete to be winning, that was good medicine for him, goalie was still involved and really helping me understand how to coach, how to manage the environment with Pete, because coaching is one thing, but coaching, the number one player in the world is very different. That's kind of a interesting baptism into big time coaching. It's not, it sounds easy, but I was really nervous and apprehensive. And luckily for me, I had both Tim Gullickson, who was ill fighting his battle and his brother Tom, helping me understand, and also Pete, at 23 years of age, you know, because luckily, I had known Pete since he was 16. So he felt very comfortable with me. So I got to know the environment pretty quickly, and how to communicate and how to operate and how to manage and coach. And that helped. So one thing led to another and, you know, I just, I just kind of stayed on, and Coach Pete, and Gully, fought the good fight until he couldn't anymore. And then after that I just stayed on. And, you know, the whole, I kind of think the whole scenario for everybody was to just do the best we could, at making a horrendous situation a little bit more tolerable.
Daniel Kiernan 36:31
And what's your, you obviously went through some amazing times with Pete, I believe, with him for nine of his grand slams, just just an incredible career that he had, but an incredible career he had with you alongside him Paul, what's the standout memory that you have from that relationship?
Paul Annacone 36:51
I'm mostly that we've been through a lot, personally and professionally. And we known each other for such a long time. And I think I learned a lot about excellence, and a lot about what it takes for people to achieve what seems unachievable. And also, even more importantly, that an individual sports and an individual endeavors, it's very different. You know, Pete had to do it very differently than Roger does it and had to do it very differently than Andre does it. And Andre had to do it differently than Roger so everybody's personality, you have to figure out how to plug it in, in this scenario, and so I learned a lot about that. And most importantly, to me is I kind of made a friend for life, you know, through good and bad through wins and losses. We've always been good friends. And unfortunately, because of COVID. We haven't played as much golf as I'd like to lately, but we still get out there and hit the golf ball around and have great tennis chats. And he's just a lovely guy that's that played a big part of my life and allowed me one of the best seats anyone could ever have to seeing some of the best tennis that's ever been played.
Daniel Kiernan 38:08
And I'm conscious of time, Paul, I could speak to you for hours, I have so many things I'd love to dig into. And just sit and listen myself. I'm a big tennis fan myself. And you know, all of these memories I've got of these great players that you've worked with and yourself, Paul, you know, I could listen, listen all day. So I'm gonna jump into Tim. The podcast is listened to probably 65% of the listeners are in the UK. There's actually 15% in the US now. So it's starting to grow on the USA as well. So if we talk about Tim, the one thing I really wanted to ask, how did you get Tim Henman to get to a semi finals of the French Open? How did that come about? And what do you remember of that run?
Paul Annacone 38:54
Yeah, you know, when I started working with Tim, I think he was ranked around 40 in the world, but he'd been a top 10 player for so long. I just felt like this is ridiculous. I don't know why he's 40 in the world. And we were friends because Tim and his coach, David Felgate, and Pete and myself, were friends on the tour. We played golf together sometimes and so. And so when Pete retired, Tim and I talked often and I remember chatting when he dropped and he said, you know, what do you think about? What do you think about my game and what's happening? And I asked him a few questions, and a lot of it was circling back to what we started off early about his identity. I think he lost his identity. And so we spent a lot of time just remembering who he was and why he had been in the top 10 for so long. And this is getting to answer your question in a very long winded way. But we got back to what he does best. I think Tim is, if not the best one of the top five volleyers in the history of the game that I've seen in the last since 19, whatever 82 And the guy's volleys were off the charts, his movement, his professionalism was off the charts and and the one thing that he struggled with is he didn't have a huge weapon. And that's one of the things that just let them down. Let him down. The guy got to you know, the guy did great at Wimbledon. He just didn't win it. There's nothing more frustrating than me than being in your lovely country and having people think Tim Henman was a failure. Tim Henman, it to me is the model professional he was for in the world, that's where his talent was. He wasn't better than that. That's where he was. And he maxed out. And to me, that's a professional. He didn't win the one. You know, the one goal that meant the most to him, but he got to be four in the world a number of times. So he did what his talent allowed. But he happened to be in an era with Sampras, and even he was a bitch and guys that were just had a little too much firepower at the biggest moments for him at Wimbledon. So basically, we circled back to what his skill sets were. And I always thought people thought with Tim can't play on clay. And he loved playing on clay. And I was like, this is a joke. You're great on clay. And people are like, What are you talking about? He moves unbelievably well loves to slide has one of the best slice backhands on the planet. Because he's such a great mover he knows how to get to net knows how to use his slice backhand to break up the rhythm of a clay court grinder. And to me for him getting to the semis of the French. I just thought that that was it was an opportunity. But I was like, doesn't shock me at all people. I remember you played a Juan Ignacio Cello. I think maybe in the quarters. I did that. Yeah. And people were like, Oh, this is gonna be rough. I'm like, it's gonna be rough. It's gonna be rough for Cello. I said, Timmy, this guy's going to have no rhythm, the ball is going to be out of his strike zone. It's going to be a nightmare for Cello to play, Tim. And I'd never understood why people thought that that was a shock. And to me, it was a great effort. But I'm actually surprised he didn't do better more often at Roland Garros. I think it was about going back to the identity. And I think that was one of the things is great players know how to play their style, in different situations on different surfaces. And I think Tim's kind of loss of identity or a little bit of insecurity showed up earlier on the clay it shouldn't have but it did. Yeah. Because I think he should have had a very, very good clay court record because he's unbelievably fit and fast and moved well and, and just I just think he has all the tools to play on everything. So that's that's my story about his French Open. But look, he was a, he's one of my best friends. Still, it's a great treat to coach him. And I think he had an awesome career,
Daniel Kiernan 42:49
He did. I mean, five out of six, five out of six semi finals of Wimbledon in a row. It's my pet peeve when I get in a taxi in the UK or certainly back in the day. And they will talk about how rubbish Tim Henman is. It's completely, it completely blows your mind. And now again, we could I could speak for five hours on Roger Federer. But I do have to what my thing on Roger, and there's so many things. But one thing we talk a lot about in England is on the UK is Andy Murray 2012. Because from the British perspective, it was just all eyes on Andy, in my opinion, it was actually the day that Andy Murray was made. You know, we almost saw in front of the nation, he poured his heart out. And he finally accepted he might never win a Grand Slam, which actually maybe opened up the floodgates for him to go on to win grand slams. How was it to be in the other corner on that day as obviously Roger was number 19 That day, was it that Roger won back in 2012. Something along those lines,
Paul Annacone 43:59
I don't even remember it was more than that. The numbers are all a blur now. So it's hard. But it was it was interesting. I mean, look, one of the goals, the biggest goal we had and I don't believe too much in result oriented goals for players at that stage. But when we started working together, Roger wanted to get back to number one, and he wanted to want to win another major. And so that so that day, that happened, he won and then a few weeks later, I think he became number one again, so that was great, but I just remember him being you know, he's always very calm. You know, I know he's nervous inside but he's always very calm. And he just knew Andy was a great player and he knew he had to serve well and he knew he had to do a good job taking advantage of Andy's second serve. And Andy started off really well playing really good tennis and did Andy win the first set and then Roger won the next three maybe is that what it was you did and so, but I just remember again, Roger oh and I never felt I never felt any sense of urgency or panic. And and I remember are, you know, when they came in on the rain delay, I forget what the score was. And Roger sitting down. And I said, So what do you think, pal? And you know, and he was just like, he was very, you know, he said, It's just got to get a little bit clearer on on the second server turns, I gotta get the first strike in more often. And he just went through like two or three simple things really totally unemotional just about what the match was. And then he went out there and just did it. And that's kind of the beauty of Roger Federer is that he, he makes it very simplistic and clear. And then he just goes and tries to do it, you know. And for me, I felt horrible for him, because I'm a huge Andy Murray fan. And obviously, with my history, working with LTA for four years, you know, I, it was hard for me to watch Andy not win until he did win a major, you know, because I'm a huge fan, one of the hardest workers that's ever played the game unbelievably gifted. So that was rough to see. For, for me as Andy's, you know, as a fan and friend of Andy, but I was so thrilled for Roger to see him come back and win that. And it brought a ton of joy to my heart. And then, actually, I was there a few weeks later when Andy got the gold medal from him in the finals of the Olympics at the All England Club. So that was a, that was a great day for Andy to win gold. And Roger was, you know, disappointed but so thrilled and proud to have a silver and he's good about the perspective stuff. Roger gets that, you know, and then, and then didn't Andy go on to win the US Open? Right. Yeah, that's him. Yeah. So So yeah, that was the beginning of his solidification into greatness.
Daniel Kiernan 46:37
Yeah, no, absolutely. And did you expect Roger would still be playing in 2021?
Paul Annacone 46:42
I did not. I didn't you know, the one thing that amazes me that you can never count out is how far the joy of doing something can take you. And I know when at the end of Pete's career, he was really kind of tired. He was he was emotionally tired from what it was like to be Pete Sampras and travel around the world. And Rogers not fatigued by that. So I don't know how I mean, I've traveled with him for four years. It's beautiful. It's lovely. They're the most amazing people, you everything is first class. They're so generous, but it's tiring. You can't go there's you can't go anywhere. I mean, everywhere you go, there's there are responsibilities and accountability. And it's, it's a great problem to have. But it's a tiring problem. But Roger doesn't get fatigued by it. He embraces it. He loves the environment. He loves his family being part of it. They are citizens of the world, they get to see all four corners of the globe. And so that's why he's still playing and um, fingers crossed that he can just get and stay healthy for a while longer.
Daniel Kiernan 47:49
Could he give us one more Wimbledon?
Paul Annacone 47:51
I think so. Yeah, I mean, if he's healthy, you know, for me, he's you know, one of the top you know, three or four favorites at worst. If he's healthy, even with very few matches. I just don't see how he can't be if he's not healthy, then it's a problem. The only question mark is after not playing for this long. My theme is what happens to his body three out of five sets every other day. That's a lot. It's a lot on a body and he's one of the most gifted guys in the world but he's almost 40 now and he has maybe the best man on the planet getting him ready to play and Pierre Paganini who's an absolute genius so no stone will go unturned for him to be ready but let's just have fingers crossed that he's healthy.
Daniel Kiernan 48:39
Paul our Control the Controllables end is always a quick fire round. Now normally we have a bunch of general tennis questions this one's a bit different. Your you can only answer Sampras Henman or Federer
Paul Annacone 48:58
Wow okay so what if it's a tie What if it's a tie
Daniel Kiernan 49:03
Not allowed no sitting on the fence nor sitting on the fence allowed the best the best server Sampras, The best returner Federer The best volleyer
Paul Annacone 49:17
Daniel Kiernan 49:18
The best single handed backhand Henman The best forehand
Paul Annacone 49:30
There is what if I could I can't believe you're not gonna let me tie this one. Can I go Pete from the forehand side? Roger from the backhand side.
Daniel Kiernan 49:38
Yes you can. That's that's a good tennis coaches way around
Paul Annacone 49:42
Running forehand Roger from the offside. Yeah,
Daniel Kiernan 49:45
The hardest worker.
Paul Annacone 49:48
Hardest or smartest? Hardest, you said hardest. I'm gonna go Henman,
Daniel Kiernan 49:57
The least professional off the court
Paul Annacone 50:01
Off the court. What if none of them are just the least.
Daniel Kiernan 50:05
Out of those three who eats the worst? Who eats the worst to who has the sneaky cookies at night and who you know,
Paul Annacone 50:13
I'm gonna give that to Tim Henman?
Daniel Kiernan 50:16
He likes his red wine Tim likes he's red wine. The biggest fan base.
Paul Annacone 50:25
Daniel Kiernan 50:26
The best under pressure.
Paul Annacone 50:30
Daniel Kiernan 50:31
The easiest to work with.
Paul Annacone 50:35
That's such a tie. God none of them are. I'll give it to Tim,
Daniel Kiernan 50:43
And the hardest to work with.
Paul Annacone 50:46
I'll give it to Tim.
Daniel Kiernan 50:49
And our last question, always on the podcast, who should our next guest be? Before you answer, Paul, you become accountable for getting them on the show. So think about your answer
Paul Annacone 51:03
Daniel Kiernan 51:05
You could be the man I'm trying to get to him. I'm coming from I was at one point British number one doubles player when he was British number two, not that I'm not that I'm able to.
Paul Annacone 51:15
Where's where's Evo when you need him?
Daniel Kiernan 51:17
Evo's been trying to get Tim but Tim has been playing hard to get. So maybe, maybe, maybe,
Paul Annacone 51:22
Maybe Evo and I can play doubles.
Daniel Kiernan 51:25
Exactly. Tag Team. Paul, thank you so much for your time, it was an absolute honor, honestly, to sit and talk. Thank you
Paul Annacone 51:34
You as well, you as well. I appreciate your patience. I know it was not easy. We had to juggle a few things. But thanks so much for the patience. I enjoyed it. And I look forward to it. If we do it next time. Can I go on with Evo Can you mean?
Daniel Kiernan 51:47
Let's get let's get that hub. Evo has been on twice. He's starting to bully the show a little bit here. So is he okay, yeah. times he's been on three times, really? Neal Skupski was on with Neal Skupski. And he was on when Mark Hilton. So next time he's got to come on with me. And I called on Evans. It's a deal. So I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did have in the chat with Paul. That really was a special chat for me. I think me growing up as a tennis player, a young tennis player through the Sampras era, the Henman era. And then obviously, the Federer era as well, he really has a feel played a big part of, of my tennis life without ever getting to spend much time with him. So that was really special. And as ever, I've got Vicki next to me, another special podcast.
Victoria Kiernan 52:39
Oh, that was brilliant. I wish it had rained longer in Rome. I think there was so many more questions I would have loved to have asked him but how well did he speak some great insights and some brilliant stories? And I found it really interesting what he was saying about Henman on clay, you know, I've never thought about it like that. I've always thought seven volumes, his game style suits grass. He always did his best on grass. So yeah, I've come away from that thinking, I've got a whole new perspective on Henman's game style now.
Daniel Kiernan 53:07
Yeah. And I think that's where his intelligence as a coach comes through really clearly, is his ability to almost match up strengths and reframe how you're able to use that. So almost if we think of tennis's as a wall, and it is somewhat gladiatorial, it's almost lining up what tools you have to go into into that war. And okay, in this moment, I need to use my sword. In this moment, I need to use a hand grenade. In this moment, I need to now protect myself with my shield. You know, it's that type of way. And he seems to be such an intelligent guy working with the players in order to do that. So what he's obviously done with Tim, is he's got Tim to understand that he has certain strengths. And I think obviously, the big one he mentioned was his movement. And then his ability then to change up the player use the slice. And I think it's very similar to what we've seen Dan Evans do over the last few weeks as well. You know, Dan Evans, not known as a typical clay court player, but Dan's an incredible athlete moves incredibly well has different elements to his game. And that showed by beating Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo making the semi finals. And yeah, I just I would love to pick Paul's brain even more because he really did have gem after gem that in such a simple way of of looking at the sport.
Victoria Kiernan 54:36
He really did. Well, we'll definitely have to take him up on that Anacone Evans duo. I think that'd be a very entertaining combo. And he speaks so well. Like you said gem after gem and often when I'm editing after you've had the chats I'll go back and edit it all together. I literally didn't touch that. That was just your entire chat the whole way through. He is so articulate but so much to take from that episode. What were your main takeaways.
Daniel Kiernan 55:00
I think my first takeaway is, I felt like I was talking to my next door neighbor. You know, and I think, and I say that very complimentary. You know, we're talking about here, a coach who's coached arguably two of the top five male tennis players of all time, and are probably the two greatest ever on quicker courts, you know, on grass courts. You know, if you imagine there was a coach who's coached Agassi and then coach Rafael Nadal, you know, that's what that's what we're talking about here. And then you throw one of the greatest ever British players into the mix, who has gone on and made six semi finals of Grand Slams, including the French Open four out of five Wimbledon's is then coached, he's moved over to the women's side and had some relative success with Sloane Stephens. He's he's been a Davis Cup coach, you know, he's, he's got so much, and he's done so much in his career yet, you just wouldn't know what speaking to him. And I think that would be my first takeaway, you know, that you don't have to be razz dazz, I guess, Nick, Bolletieri as such to be to be a great coach, you know, he's obviously just gotten gone about his business. So that came across really loud and clear. The importance of identity, the importance of recognizing strength. I think as human beings, we're very good at picking fault. And I think naturally, as coaches, we can be very good at picking faults and, and then working on weaknesses. Whereas obviously, Paul, from his own playing experiences, and I thought that was nice to hear, because I'd heard that Paul was very much someone who was big on identity and strengths. And that comes from some of his own experiences that he has. And yeah, I without Without question, I think he's someone that is going to help almost anyone he works with, there's no ego there. He's working with Taylor, Fritz. Now, he's quite happy to have other coaches that are doing the main stay of the traveling, whilst he's making sure there's the consistency of message that's coming through that, and just just an all round, good guy who has had so much success in the game.
Victoria Kiernan 57:13
The quickfire round was good.
Daniel Kiernan 57:14
And a little story on that I'd actually, I do prepare pretty well for these podcasts. But with the quickfire, I often just write the questions down a few minutes before and I just had a little thought to myself, come on, this is what you're doing. Right? You know, you can't be asking the guy forehand or backhand, when when he's coached all of these greats. And it just had that little kind of, I guess, moment of inspiration of saying, right let's let's give this a go see how it works. And I just thought it worked. So well. I thought, his honesty his difficulty in making the decisions a lot of really interesting answers that can teman Yeah, and also best volleys. You know what I think the best volleys one I would have gone to heaven for sure. Actually. Yeah. Because he hadn't been to people forget, he was number three or four in the world and didn't serve great and also didn't have a great forehand at all, you know, not a great weight of shot. So he had to do something exceptional. And and certainly the volleys and that these backhand were truly world class. Whereas the other guys that were talking about obviously a different level of careers, but the way that he was able to differentiate and pick that out, and I also loved his forehand answer is how do you pick between Pete Sampras and Roger Federer's forehand, you know, the fact that he was able again calm in the moment being able to answer that question and talk about the forehand and the running forehand. I guess for me that summed up Paul Anacone. For me that answer.
Victoria Kiernan 58:49
It made me laugh when he said about coming over to the UK and people saying that Henman wasn't doing very well and wasn't very good because he hadn't won a Grand Slam and it reminded me when you were playing in that early noughties, that was when people say oh, you're a tennis player. Oh, Henman. Like no, you got an absolute rampage, taxi driver, people in hotels, friends. Yeah. What are you talking about? He's been four in the world. He's done this. He's done that he's done this.
Daniel Kiernan 59:18
And Paul touched on that, I think as well in the podcast, he he touched upon, you know, ultimately Henneman pretty much maxed out his potential and, and that's all that's all we can ever do. You know, Roger Federer's potential might be 2020 plus grand slams, where somebody's else else's potential might be to get to 700 in the world and success is very much relative. And Tim Henman who we are going to keep trying to get on the podcast. If he is listening to this, Tim, you know, we're bigging you up here, mate and we look forward to speaking to you soon.
Victoria Kiernan 59:54
And we can't not mention Iga Swiatek after her win in Rome this week.
Daniel Kiernan 59:59
Great I mean, just getting to getting to know her and and if you haven't listened to Eagles podcast and gets 114 it is well worth listening. She is a superstar. You know, she really is. And she doesn't even know it yet, you know, but she, she, she has some serious game. She's, she's a sweetheart, she speaks well, she gave us a great insight into that, and spending nine or 10 days with her at the Academy. And I saw firsthand how nervous she was feeling going into this clay court swing. And I think to see her relax and play the level of tennis she did certainly in the final beaten Pliskova six love six love was was great to see and, and I always then listen to how they talk after these matches as well. And a great lesson here for coaches, players and parents. She just still continue talking about the process. You know, what a great week it's been in terms of her own development. You know, she's learned so many things. She's just won a 1000 event and got into the top 10 in the world. Yet that really wasn't what was being discussed. It was and that just shows the power of the sports psychologist and the coaching team around her Derya PRT are doing it are doing an amazing job. And yeah, maybe she has to be favorite or certainly in the top two or three favorites going into the French Open. And we'll have our panelists which who I'm speaking to tonight, which will be out in the next few days to see what they think as well.
Victoria Kiernan 1:01:32
And thanks to those of you who've been getting in touch to let us know what you think about the episodes we've heard from Mike Adams in the last week who said just listen to Carl Maes brilliant interview informative and interesting. I met Carl a few years ago and was impressed with his knowledge and professionalism. I thought you've got so much information from him not one poor episode yet keep them coming.
Daniel Kiernan 1:01:53
Very nice. And yeah, look, look absolutely loved the messages, I'll be honest, it's what what makes us tick here control the controllables you know, getting these messages, these kind messages, the constructive messages. It really does make us want to continue doing this and bringing this these amazing people to you. I have to also mention, and I'm sure we won't mind, Mark Hilton got in touch with me the other day, as did Liam Broady. You know, saying how, how much more professional, the podcast is sounding such a big well done to you, Vicki, and all of the team behind the scenes. But he also did, he said, I've gone back and re Listen now three or four times to Valorie Kondos Field. So if anyone hasn't listened to that, it seems to be almost the most talked about podcast we've had. It's episode 62. And it really does have many, many take home messages.
Victoria Kiernan 1:02:50
It's still still my number one I think it's brilliant, like yet so many messages, as I think for coach, parent, for anyone. It's a great episode.
Daniel Kiernan 1:03:01
And I would just urge any of you that have kind of come late to the party on these podcasts. I know we do have lots out there. But do use the scroll button. You know some of our first ever podcasts are brilliant as well. Freddie Nielsen, Jonny Marray talking about their Wimbledon title back in 2012. Goordon Reid, you know, given the chance to speak to a Wimbledon champion, paralympian medalist. You know, there's there's so many great episodes, though the one I want to share if you don't mind, Vicki before we go, which is quite a special one for us is Alex Hyman's got in touch and said he's just listened to the Mike James podcast, which was our last podcast last week that so many people are talking about, you know, the data, analytic side of the game. And he said that it was quite funny timing when he was listening to it because he was on his way back from training day at IBM. Coming back from Wimbledon.
Victoria Kiernan 1:03:57
Have a great time, Alex, you'll love it. It's a brilliant job.
Daniel Kiernan 1:04:00
So yeah, brings back good memories for us. That's where me and Vicki met all these years ago.
Victoria Kiernan 1:04:05
Still going strong.
Daniel Kiernan 1:04:07
Still Still going strong. Many, many great episodes still to come. Thank you all for listening. But until next time, I'm Dan Kiernan and we are Control the Controllables