by Tomasz Dobiecki
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Swede Stefan Edberg, Roger Federer's current coach, deplores the fact that tennis is becoming more defensive, and serve&volley style a thing of the past. An unusual conversation with a rather silent former ATP ranking leader, during the stretching exercises of the Swiss. Written on memory. Why no voice recorded? Here's the reason...
Tomasz Dobiecki: Hello, is it ok if you are free during Roger's exercise, if we talk for a minute?
Stefan Edberg: - We can talk all the time, provided that it will not be recorded (pointedly looks at the recorder in my hand.)
- I just don't like to give interviews, because I think that I have little to say. Anyway, I never speak much, I'm rather silent, like most Swedes.
The Swede, who lives mainly in London. Among Englishmen do you feel comfortable?
- I'm not complaining. Although they, too, sometimes talk too much. They are sometimes noisy especially in the evenings, but I can withstand them.
Roger Federer is also a rather taciturn man. Is that why you decided to help him as a coach?
- Roger also speaks more than me, but I actually feel good in his company. This does not mean that we are still just silent.
Are you helping Federer to return to a more aggressive style of serve&volley tennis?
- In today's tennis it would be a suicide. I do not know a player who is constantly going to the net at the moment.
Pole Lukasz Kubot often does, not the entire match, but he just gets a lot of points at the net.
- Is he the one who lost the Wimbledon quarter final with Janowicz? It was probably the Polish quarter?
Yes, what do you think of Lukasz's game?
- I saw a little of this match on TV. He has got a more mixed game, although at times close to the kind of tennis that was played on grass several years ago. However, it is unfortunately the past. Today, an excess of imagination in attack indicates suicidal tendencies. Balls are getting heavier and slower, tennis too, so the defender has more time to prepare a lethal response. In my time, chances were half and half, and now about 70 percent for the defender.
Do you regret that serve&volley strategy has been left behind?
- Yes, of course, because this way matches get longer. And I do not have much time to watch them. Especially marathons on claycourts. I never cared much for defensive game from the baseline, but I think you just have to accept the changes.
Roger is one of the few complete tennis players. What else can be improved in his game?
- There is always something to improve, or at least correct. You have to adapt to the trend, otherwise you'll still be on the platform when the train departs.
And what exactly can you improve?
- I can not say that, because I signed certain obligations in the contract.
Do you believe that Federer can be number one again?
- And why not? With such talent and potential he can still turn into rivalry with Nadal and Djokovic.
But probably better in Wimbledon than here in Paris?
- Who knows, if I did not believe it, I wouldn't have come. I think that the quest for victory in Roland Garros is still open, and one of the candidates is just Roger.
Djokovic's coach is Boris Becker, with whom you competed on the court. Did you accept Federer's proposal to now compete with him on the bench?
- No, I accepted this interesting challenge because I work with one of the best tennis players in history.
It turns out, however, that you have a lot to say...
- Me? It's an illusion, I'm Swedish, and Swedes are naturally taciturn.
What about your compatriot and former rival Mats Wilander?
- Well, maybe he changed nationality (a smile appears on his face.) So I think it is, he is a TV star and has a program on Eurosport. I would have not fitted it.
- Because I'm a taciturn Swede.
I forgot this, because we had a pretty interesting conversation, which I would happily publish. (On the terrace of the clubhouse Federer appears.)
- It's ok, but after that you have not recorded.
But I have a pretty good memory.
- For me it's time. I'm sorry I just babbled (smile.)
Edberg and Federer take their covers with rackets and move to the tennis court.
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