by Alejandro Delmás
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Six Grand Slam titles won between 1985 and 1992 (two in each of the major tournaments except Roland Garros, the only one he never won), Swede Stefan Edberg gave an offensive attitude to the game style of Roger Federer, who is living a successful stage of his career under Edberg's technical guidance. On the Rod Laver Arena, Stefan Edberg spoke exclusively to AS on the hottest topics of the great Australian event, Roger Federer himself ... and Rafa Nadal's dramatic triumph against the American Smyczek.
In spite of his good form, Roger Federer went through a series of troubles against Simone Bolelli and dropped a set. The problems were Bolelli himself and a sudden swelling in Roger's right hand...
We do not know what happened to Roger's hand being treated and, in any case, it's a medical question. It's not my competence, but it doesn't seem anything serious. Technically, Bolelli's good tennis, especially in the first set, forced us to complete a great match to move forward. I think Roger's third set was brilliant. We would have had problems had Bolelli been able to maintain his initial pace: but that is difficult in a five-set match and against a player with Federer's skills. It was a great, great match. Good show.
What can you personally say about Federer?
Roger Federer is a great person on and off the court. He's as great as a person as he is as a player, and I think that's saying a lot. What stands out the most of him is his love and passion for the sport of tennis. Those love and passion keep him alive at an age and in circumstances in which it's not easy to keep on playing on the professional Tour.
What do you think about Rafa Nadal's victory against Tim Smyczek and the problems that Rafa went through?
I didn't see the entire match, so I can not make a complete balance. But Nadal has overcome many situations with similar problems and that shows the champion he is. In this case, Nadal beat anxiety. He won "inside" a stressing situation. And that is perhaps the most difficult thing in tennis. I know that Smyczek's good match and his own health problems led Rafa to this situation. And he knew how to respond as the champion we all already know.
Stefan, could you compare current tennis to your heyday, the '80s or '90s of the twentieth century...?
No doubt, tennis is much better than it was. Sport and life progress and improve through small things or details. As far as tennis, all those little things in preparation, materials, technque... have come together to lead to that improvement. There is another key: since the beginning of 21st century, tennis is living the best part of a great generation, with all these champions: Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and, of course, Roger Federer.
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- Federer criticizes young players: "I wish they volleyed more"
- Dubai & Edberg celebrate Federer's 7th title
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- "Federer needs to play more aggressively"
- Navratilova vs Courier on why Federer lost
- HD pictures and video from Fedberg's last hitting
- Team Fedberg: more pictures and an HD video
- Exclusive images of Edberg and Federer hitting
- Federer's birthday gift to Edberg
- Stefan Edberg returns to Melbourne
- Federer: "I arrived in Melbourne with confidence"