Roddick splits with coach Jimmy Connors

Andy Roddick has split with his coach, the player announced after beating world number two Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open.

updated: March 07, 2008 08:13 IST
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Andy Roddick has split with his legendary coach Jimmy Connors, the player announced after beating world number two Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7/5), 6-2 in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open on Thursday.

The former US Open champion claimed that the separation had happened about week ago before he came to Dubai, had been amicable and had been almost inevitable for "logistical reasons".

Roddick was full of praise for the 55-year-old who has become one of the most famous names in tennis with his longevity as a player and unique commitment to the business of winning.

"I have the most respect for Jimmy Connors," he said.

"I thank him for his time. It was difficult for him to do it part time.

"He maybe did not exactly get the results he wanted, but at the same time he was retired even before we started.

"We are amicable, we are friends, and I am thankful for what he has been able to give me and that he took time out of retirement to give me good things."

Roddick joined forces with the irrepressible Connors, the winner of a record 109 tour titles, shortly after being beaten in the third round of Wimbledon in 2006 - a point he has described as "his lowest ebb".

Connors is attributed with having picked up Roddick's morale and helping him both to reach the US Open final later that year and to lead the US team to a Davis Cup triumph late last year.

"He helped me play up the court and adjust my game," Roddick said. "He's helped my backhand a ton - it's a lot more solid.

"And fighting spirit: when we got together I was as close to being down and out as I have ever been. I really credit him with getting me back into the top five and into a Grand Slam final."

Roddick admitted that communication between them had become difficult.

"You try to understand where someone's head is at, from a distance, as well as you can," said the American.

"But when I am going from Australia to Austria to California to Memphis to Dubai it becomes difficult. It was as much a matter of logistics as anything."

Roddick intends carrying on without a coach for the time being.

He travels with his brother John Roddick and former ATP trainer Doug Spreen.