Edberg: Federer is one of the best things that ever happened to tennis

In a very interesting interview, Stefan Edberg talked about his first year as a coach of one the Tennis greatest.

7 of the 8 players currently competing in London, are coached by former champions who, during their careers, featured, at least once, in the ATP World Tour Finals or, in Amelie Mauresmo`s case, in the WTA Championships.

All these former ATP players had a great impact on their protegees` results this season. Boris Becker helped Novak Djokovic returning to No.1, Goran Ivanisevic and Magnus Norman took Marin Cilic and Stan Wawrinka, respectively, to very unexpected Grand Slam titles, Michael Chang was instrumental for Kei Nishikori to become the first Asian player making a Grand Slam Final and Ivan Ljubicic is one of the reasons behind the best year of Milos Raonic`s career.

Among those, is, of course, also Stefan Edberg, who had a huge influence on Roger Federer`s brilliant season. The Swiss returned to No.2 and prior to the Paris Masters 1000 was only a few points away from the No.1 spot.

Edberg talked to Italian newspaper "La Gazzetta dello Sport" about his exciting debut year as a coach.

The 6-time Grand Slam was first asked about his feelings in meeting his old rivals in a player box rather than on the court:

"Well, when Roger played against Djokovic in the Wimbledon final, people were saying it was Edberg versus Becker again, but things are not exactly like that. Boris works with Djokovic, but we are not rivals as we were in the past, we have a more friendly relationship now. And the all thing is way more relaxed, at least from my prospective."

"Tennis is very different now compared to when Boris and I were playing" Edberg said before adding that: "Today the game is better played and we have a generation of amazing superstars. On the other hand, there is not much variety and players pretty much all have similar styles. To be competitive today, I could not come to the net 90% of the time as I used to do."

The Swede confessed that he was caught by surprise when, in December 2013, Federer asked him to train with him in Dubai and see if we would have been interested in coaching him. "If I had not been asked by such a player, I don`t think I would have been interested in coaching. But that was such an honor and a unique opportunity: he is one of the best tennis player ever and he asked me for help. I thought about it; I wanted to practice for a week first and then, when I saw it was working, I accepted because he is an exceptional person. I also established a good relationship with Luthi, who follows him on tour more often than I do."

Edberg is still impressed with what Federer can do on a Tennis court: "It 's really incredible. He can play any type of game and he has all the shots. Although he is still trying to improve and be more aggressive. Changing racket was the first step. Then I encouraged him to try solving problems with the most appropriate of his weapons, depending on the circumstances. I wanted him to be more creative and unpredictable and come to the net more often. I believe he can win more Grand Slams as he proved at Wimbledon, where he went very, very close. If he is fit and he plays at his best he will always have a chance."

This week, Federer revealed that it was Edberg who encouraged him in playing more tournaments. Stefan explained that: "When you get older, you need more of a routine in your game, which is what Roger experienced this year, recovering confidence in his shots. That, along with solving his back problems."

Edberg also highlighted the crucial role that Federer has for the Tennis movement in its entirety: "He`s a great ambassador for Tennis, on and off the court. It is clear from the response of the crowds all over the world. Roger is one of the best things that ever happened to tennis. The longer he plays, the better it is for everybody. He goes beyond. He is unique."

Date: 14th November 2014, Source: Tennis World USA


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