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Federer, Higueras
Federer, Higueras
© photopress.ch
Federer to Work with Higueras in Estoril

Roger Federer will work with former Top 10 ATP pro Jose Higueras at the Estoril Open this week, with a view to continuing the coaching arrangement during the European clay-court season.
 
Federer confirmed the news at a press conference in Estoril on Monday, where the Swiss superstar is making his first clay court appearance of the season. He will play Olivier Rochus in the first round on Tuesday.

“Jose will be with me this week and we’ll see how it goes,” said Federer. “He has come over from the States and we have worked together for three days.

“I’ve been thinking about a coach for a long time, I had a few names but there isn’t too many out there. Once I had Jose in my mind I asked him if he’d be interested. He was quite flexible and came over. I took the decision when I was in the States.

“The decision I have taken is not because of the French Open, but because I want to continue to improve as a player. I think it would be the wrong approach to hire him just for Paris.

“We’ll see how it goes this week and he might come back for Rome and Roland Garros. [If we work out] he will definitely be my coach in a similar way to Tony [Roche], travelling a few weeks but not all the time.”

Higueras, who captured 15 of his 16 career titles on clay and reached a personal-best No. 6 in the ATP Rankings in June 1983, also advanced to the semifinals at Roland Garros in 1982-83.
 
In nearly two decades of coaching, the 55-year-old Spaniard helped guide Michael Chang and Jim Courier to Roland Garros crowns.

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He also worked with Pete Sampras in his pursuit of capturing the French title, along with former Roland Garros champions Carlos Moya and Sergi Bruguera.

He also had stints with Todd Martin, Dmitry Tursunov and is also currently working with American Robby Ginepri.
 
On Saturday, Higueras trained with Federer for three hours on Court Central at the Estadio Nacional. The 26-year-old Federer has been without a coach since breaking up with Aussie Tony Roche after Rome last May.
 
The Swiss has a 102-36 career record with six titles on clay, winning ATP Masters Series Hamburg four times (2002, '04-05, '07), Munich (2003) and Gstaad (2004).

In the last two years, he's compiled a 32-6 clay court mark with five of the losses coming to rival Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard is 6-1 lifetime on clay against Federer, including Roland Garros final wins in 2006-07 and semifinals in 2005.

ATP Profiles: Roger Federer | Jose Higueras

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