Henman seeks Annacone's guidance

Tim Henman has turned to Paul Annacone, the American coach who guided Pete Sampras to five of his record seven men's singles titles at Wimbledon, in the hope that he can become the first British player since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the game's premier title. Annacone is being brought in, on a part-time basis, to work with Henman during 2004, starting with the Australian Open. The British No. 1, determined to build on his impressive conclusion to this year's major circuit, revealed the move on the eve of his match during the Honda Challenge at the Royal Albert Hall against Germany's Rainer Schuettler.

Henman, who has been without a coach since splitting with Larry Stefanki after the U. S. Open in September, won his first Tennis Masters Series shield in Paris with wins over Roger Federer and Andy Roddick along the way, said: "I've had considerable success when I've had the freedom to make my own decisions on the couple of occasions in my career when I haven't been working with a coach. On the other hand, I've also learnt a great deal from both David (Felgate) and Larry (Stefanki) when I worked with them. "Paul and I have been friends for a long time and I obviously have a lot of respect for him for what he and Sampras achieved together.