the HERALD ============ Roche keen to help Hewitt Leo Schlink June 01, 2007 12:00am Article from: Herald-Sun Font size: + - Send this article: Print Email HIGHLY regarded Australian coach Tony Roche yesterday broke his silence to declare his interest in coaching Lleyton Hewitt. Roche refused to elaborate on the reasons behind his dismissal from the Roger Federer camp. However industry sources point to Federer's reluctance to pay Roche adequate bonuses, despite winning six of his 10 grand slams under the Sydneysider, as the main reason the pair fell out. "I have no comment on that," Roche said yesterday. "I'm taking a break at the moment and I don't have any plans right now. "But it would be nice to be involved with an Australian player again. Lleyton and I go back a long way. "He's playing the French Open right now and he's got Wimbledon coming up and I don't want to distract him from that. But when he gets back home after Wimbledon, I'd like to talk to him." Roche, 62, was fired by Federer last month after the world No. 1 lost at the Rome Masters to Italian wildcard Filippo Volandri. The decision shocked even the Swiss critics who declared Roche too old to help Federer, despite the pair's stunning record of 192 wins from 205 matches since 2005. Those in Roche's corner are furious with comments made by Federer since the split. He recently told The Times in London a breakdown in communication was the prime reason for the move. "The situation with Tony had become really complex because all of a sudden we just didn't talk any more," Federer said. "We would spend time on the practice court and barely say a word. It was sad but people change and times change. "I suppose it is a special thing to coach me because of the set-up I have, how I am, how I see tennis and I know, as well, what is best for me. "For me and my game, it is hard to have a coach but I remain open to anything. I've always had the gift that if someone tells me something, I can do it in five minutes. I don't need an hour." Roche and Federer shared a handshake agreement since the end of the 2005 season. The partnership was based on Roche travelling about 16 weeks a year, but floundered badly after Federer's victory at the Australian Open. It is understood Roche was quietly dismayed at the reputedly meagre bonuses Federer awarded him for continued grand slam successes. The Federer rewards are believed to be less than what Ivan Lendl, another world No. 1 mentored by Roche, paid the Australian during his halcyon sweep through the 1980s. Roche is rumoured to have raised the issue with a senior figure in the Federer camp but, in doing so, is believed to have alienated Federer's influential girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec. Hewitt wanted Roche to become his coach when Pat Rafter, coached by Roche, retired in 2002, but he was unable to take up the offer because of hip surgery. Roche has always been close to Hewitt and, with Hewitt now living in Sydney, a union between the two seems inevitable.