Andy Roddick, who retired during his first-round match against Spain's Alberto Martin on Tuesday with a damaged ankle, when trailing 6-4, 7-6, 1-0, is being urged to link up with the eight-times grand slam champion Jimmy Connors. His brother John currently coaches Roddick, who was the No5 seed at Roland Garros but who has managed to win only four matches on the Paris clay in six years.
Roddick has been struggling badly and earlier this year parted company with his former coach Dean Goldfine, who had previously replaced Brad Gilbert. He was, by his own admission, at his lowest ebb after being forced to pull out here and a behind-the-scenes move is currently in place for Connors to perform a similar role to the one the Australian Tony Roche has with Federer.
Andy Roddick, a first-round loser, is considering an approach to Jimmy Connors to coach him on a part-time basis. It is understood that Roddick, a former world No 1 and US Open champion, would not require Connors to travel with him to every tournament on his schedule, but would like a working relationship similar to that between Federer and his coach, Australian Tony Roche, with face-to-face contact only at key times of the year, such as before the grand slam events.
Connors, one of the great names of the sport, could become Roddick's fifth coach in three years. In that time Roddick has worked with Tarik Benhabiles, Brad Gilbert and Dean Goldfine, and is currently accompanied on the tour by his older brother, John.
Connors is apparently already aware of Roddick's interest in him, and may be willing to mull over a future working arrangement. Connors has indicated that he might like to work with the younger generation, and two years ago he publicly flirted with the possibility of working as a coaching consultant for the Lawn Tennis Association.
After winning his first grand slam title at the US Open in 2003, Roddick was spoken of as someone who might go on to win several more, but that has not happened, and not just because of the greatness of Federer. Though Roddick has a gargantuan serve and a huge forehand, the technical weaknesses in his backhand and his inability to stay in rallies have since been exposed, and his confidence has duly suffered.