Roger Federer flew into Australia on Saturday and confirmed that he has added Swedish tennis legend Stefan Edberg to his coaching team in time for a run at a fifth Australian Open title in January 2014.
The world number 6 with a record 17 grand slam titles, will be working with the 47-year-old Edberg along with longtime trainer Severin Luthy.
The 32-year-old hopes that six-time grand slam hero Edberg can add that little something to a game which went wrong in 2013, Federer’s worst season a decade as he failed to reach the final of a major for the first time since 2002 and claimed only a single ATP trophy.
“I’m happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Luthi on my coaching team,” said Federer, who arrived in Queensland from Dubai with his family to play the Brisbane International for the first time.
“Severin, who has been part of my team for the last seven years, will do most of the weeks and Stefan has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Stefan was my childhood hero, and I am really looking forward to spending time and learning from him,” said Federer.
Edberg quietly spent a week with Federer this month in Dubai as the pair worked on court and surely discussed the new arrangement, The Swede said, “I’m really excited to be part of Roger’s team and I hope together we can bring out his best tennis.” The new arrangement means that both of Switzerland’s main players now have Swedes onside. Stanislas Wawrinka has been working for a season with former French Open finalist Magnus Norman, who tweeted: “Edberg and me doing many things alike. Moved back to Sweden after tennis. Worked in finance. Owns tennis academy. Now coaching Swiss player.
“A few things brings us apart. He has 6 Grand Slams. 41 titles. was world number 1 and. over $20 million in prize money.” The Swiss is the latest in a line of players who are now guided by “celebrity” coaches in the form of grand slam winners.
Andy Murray is heading into another season with Ivan Lendl — one of Edberg’s main rivals in the 1980s — with Novak Djokovic bringing Boris Becker onside and Japan’s Kei Nishikori is to be advised by 1989 French Open champion Michael Chang.
France’s Richard Gasquet is now with double French Open winner Sergi Bruguera and Croatian Marin Cilic is back with countryman and 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.