from La Gazzetta dello Sport
by Vincenzo Martucci
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
«I am happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Lüthi on my coaching team, he has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks. I am really looking forward to learning from him».
In the wake of the Novak Djokovic-Boris Becker agreement and after the exciting tweet by the Swiss from Dubai («Edberg has just completed a week of training with me and my team. It's been great to spend some time with one of my childhood idols»), Roger Federer announces on his website his sensational choice of head-coach, 47-year-old Swede Stefan Edberg, 6 time Grand Slam champion with his serv&volley style and former world number one.
Confirming as court coach Severin Luthi, friend and Swiss Davis Cup team captain, as he had done in October, after three years of cooperation with Paul Annacone (former Pete Sampras' menthor). Luthi who has followed "Federer Express" for the last seven years and will be with him from next Sunday at the start of 2014 in Brisbane.
As the 17 Slam record holder (now world number 6) tweets: «I'm about to start my 16th season on the Tour! I couldn't be happier for the ATP World Tour that's going to start». With the echo of Stefan Edberg, most elegant champion on court - gifted of a superb backhand volley - and great fair-player, who, only a short time ago, had got back as coach to help the Swedish youth: «I'm really excited to be a part of Roger's team and I hope together we'll bring out his best tennis».
Italy at Perth. In the meantime, in the exhibition event of Abu Dhabi (Arab Emirates, hardcourt) that opened the season of the top two players, the number one Rafa Nadal lost 6-4 6-4 in the all-Spanish match with Ferrer (dropping his serve at the end of both sets), while the number 2, Serb Djokovic - watched by his new head-coach Boris Becker - overcame Tsonga (Fra) 7-6 6-3. In the Italian night, Italy - led by Andreas Seppi and Flavia Pennetta, playing in a men's singles, a women's singles and a mixed doubles - opened the Hopman Cup, traditional exhibition tournament for National teams in Perth (Aus), against Poland, with Agnieszka Radwanska, but with Grzegorz Panfil replacing the powerful and high-ranked Jerzy Janowicz, sidelined with a foot injury.
Federer with Edberg, Djokovic with Becker They choose the legends as security blankets
by Vincenzo Martucci
After Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, also Roger Federer takes the poster of his childhood idol off his bedroom wall and his unconfessable dreams, and takes the original with him at his tennis matches as a security blanket. So, after Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker, also Stefan Edberg, another former world number one, another protagonist of the «noble art» of the magic '80s and '90s transformed by equipment development and power, becomes the coach of a modern hero. Following a trend that, at another level, concerned the pairs Nishikori-Chang, Gasquet-Bruguera, Ivanisevic-Cilic. And makes the web go crazy, hoping for other pairs, like Nadal-Borg, and calling for other legendary former champions like McEnroe, Agassi, Sampras and Wilander.
Why do champions like Federer, the one with the larger number of Slams (17 Majors), feel the need for such helps? To find more motivations for harder and harder trainings and for a game with fewer and fewer solutions. «Not me», makes things short the world number one, Rafa: «I go ahead with my team». While the Spanish number 2, David Ferrer splits up with his historic coach, Piles, and hires the former professional Altur.
It can't be a trend. Of course, the same - correct - suggestions, pronounced by Vajda (Djokovic's former only coach) aren't worth the same if spoken by Boris Becker's mouth, a man who has played 7 Wimbledon finals, winning three of them, or by the net dancer, Stefan Edberg, who was his rival 25 years ago.
There's more. There's the emotional factor. «He was my idol», explained Djokovic and Federer. «Also Lendl, like me, lost 4 Grand Slam finals before breaking the spell», reminded Murray.
Then there's the wish, matching with the need, for constant improvement, and then why not hire your childhood hero trying to copy his qualities?
Murray learned from the source of physical and mental fitness, Djokovic would clone the serve and volley, Federer would steal lightness and fantasy.
Tennis, however, with Lendl, Becker and Edberg on court, has already won once more.
- Stefan Edberg & Tony Pickard Mr Class and his teacher
- "Federer should skip the claycourt season," says former coach Edberg
- "Federer is exceptional, but tennis needs a new name too"
- "I am a happy person"
- Federer criticizes young players: "I wish they volleyed more"
- Federer & Edberg: the meaning of a challenge
- «A source of inspiration»
- Roger Federer looks for new angles with Stefan Edberg
- Federer and the "certified pre-owned"
- And now, Federer-Edberg!
- Edberg to coach Federer in 2014
- Federer: «I will never be able to volley like Stefan Edberg»
- Courier: Becker and Edberg fresh air for Nole and Roger
- You have got to be kidding me?
- Djokovic-Becker, Federer-Edberg… Will They Work?