from Tennis Now
Despite the fact that Stefan Edberg has been taking time off with family during the Swiss maestro’s post-Wimbledon training block, World No. 2 Roger Federer says that having the Swedish legend as a part of his team has been a major source of energy/inspiration for him.
Federer, who announced the hiring of Edberg prior to the start of his 2014 campaign, struggled through a 2013 that saw him go 45-17 and slump to his lowest winning percentage since 2002 while struggling with back issues for much of the season.
In 2014, he Federer adopted more aggressive tactics and returned to top form, notching 73 wins and coming within a game of winning Wimbledon for the eighth time. This week in Cincinnati he's taken it to another level, causing jaws to drop all over the grounds by intercepting second serves near the service line in order to chip-and-charge. It's yet another way that Federer has evolved over the course of the last several years, and his rejuvanated net game is a big reason that he's been able to keep gaining the upper hand on his elite foes.
Federer told reporters in Cincinnati this week that Edberg’s influence has helped him tremendously in that time, both tactically and emotionally.
"I thought obviously first six months were very interesting for me just to spend time and just speak to him, listen to him, what he had to say, what he thought about my game, you know, how to play on which surface, how to play when and what and how much to play in terms of scheduling and so forth," said Federer. "So that was very interesting."
Federer says it’s not only he who looks up to Edberg—it’s his whole team.
"I think he's been really good for the team," he said. "You know, he gets along very well with Severin, and he of course also looks up to Stefan like I do. He was a hero of ours growing up, so to be spending time together all three of us really injected a lot of energy into the team, which was nice. Also with my fitness coach, my physio, you name it. My wife, my agent. Everybody is really excited he's on the team."
But when it comes to the hard yards, those precious lung-searing moments that Federer uses to prepare his body or the torturous grind of a Grand Slam run, his longtime coach and confidant Severin Luthi is still the man.
"He hasn't done this buildup block," Federer said of Edberg. "Just after Wimbledon he was home with his family, so I did everything with Severin. Usually the hard work and hard yards I've always done with Severin for the last seven years. That's where I built up the base."
He added: "Then it's really Stefan that's given me some specific things to tryout during the match and practice and so forth, but it's really Severin running the ship."
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