by Pontus Weinemo
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Stefan Edberg at the ATP World Tour Finals in London last November
Roger Federer reached out a hand. Stefan Edberg received it. Now the Swede will pull Federer back to the top. - Nothing says he can not come back, says Edberg to SportExpressen.se.
The call came from nowhere. On the other side of the line there was an opportunity Stefan Edberg could have never imagined.
Had it been someone other than Roger Federer he would have declined.
- It was him who made the call. Being the coach was not exactly something I myself had thought of as relevant. But he's a special player, there is much reason. Otherwise it wouldn't have been appropriate, said Stefan Edberg.
- I was surprised, definitely. I had not expected. It took some time before I could suck the candy.
Did you know each other before?
- We have met sporadically before. But I have followed him throughout his career. He is a fantastic player, both on and off the court. He is a wonderful ambassador for tennis. In this way, this is fun, being able to be with him. Roger Federer has a tough year behind him. He had a shining career, and now he is only sixth in the world rankings.
In December Stefan Edberg was in Federer's team for a week - and the cooperation will continue in 2014. The year when the Swiss will return to the top.
- I will not have any primary responsibility, I'll be part of the team and try to influence him in a positive direction, said Edberg.
- Last year was pretty tough for him, partly because of injuries, so he has more to give.
What can you offer?
- A little inspiration, and perhaps work on some parts of his game. Well, we have something in common when it comes to being the best in the world. But it's mostly small things that I should have a voice on. On the court, it's him who will play the matches. But to some extent I can be involved and help out.
Stefan Edberg was himself number one in the world rankings for 72 weeks between 1990 and 1992. Roger Federer has totally been world number one for 302 weeks. After the decision to have Edberg in his team, Federer said that right the Swede was his idol as a kid.
- Yes, I understand that. It's something similar to when I grew up with Borg. It feels funny, says Edberg.
Roger Federer is currently in Australia for the Brisbane International. Edberg is not in place for the event. But he will go there when the Australian Open is played later in January.
Then hopefully Roger Federer will challenge Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
- They are in different stages of their careers. Nadal and Djokovic are at their best, says Edberg.
- Roger has got a little age factor, it gets harder as you get older. But he has a few good years ahead of him, though he must be injury-free. Nothing lasts forever, but definitely a few years - as I see it.
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- Federer has at least one more major in him, says Edberg
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