LONDON -- When Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer meet in Sunday's Wimbledon final, it will be just one of the rivalries rekindled on Centre Court.
A short lob from where top-seeded Djokovic and No. 2 Federer will clash for the 40th time (Federer holds a slim lead of 20-19), Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg will be sitting a mere 10 or 12 feet apart. They will continue a rivalry of their own -- as coaches of the men doing the dirty work on the grass.
Becker, now 47, is the co-coach of Djokovic (with Marian Vajda, who isn't in London). Edberg, a 49-year-old Swede, is Federer's top aide. The men probably won't glance at each other as they sit enveloped in silence, most likely under white duckbill caps and dressed in garb paying homage to Wimbledon's all-white dress code.
But the coaches could be forgiven if at some point they suddenly leap from the player's box, commandeer rackets and shove their charges out of the way. Edberg and Becker are esteemed former Grand Slam champions and two of the more beloved players from the early 1990s, with the fiery German a sharp contrast to the reticent Swede. They met as combatants 35 times -- a robust, historic rivalry -- with Becker winning 25 times. But Edberg won two of their three crucial, final-round meetings here at Wimbledon.