Stefan Edberg and Roger Federer at Wimbledon 2015 (© ubitennis.com)
Roger Federer beat Stan Wawrinka 7-5, 6-3, 1-6, 4-6, 6-3 in the first semifinal of the Australian Open and will compete for a fifth title in Melbourne.
The Swiss, coming back to the Tour in 2017 after a six month break from tennis, will make his first appearance in an Australian Open final since 2010 and will be seeking his 18th Grand Slam crown, a goal in which his former coach Stefan Edberg has never stopped believing.
Interviewed last October by Linus Sunnervik in Stockholm, Stefan had remained still on the motto he had been repeating several times in his two years as Roger’s mentor. Never count Federer out, he still has a chance.
“It will be an exciting comeback next year. And at the same time a challenge. He's not as young as before,” Edberg had stated after the ceremony held on the 20th anniversary of his foundation for Swedish young tennis players.
“I really thought he would take one (Major, ann.) over the last few years. I stood for him, and it turned out to be quite close. It is possible that he has still one left,” Stefan had added. “It does not get easier than before. But he has a slight hope, anyway. It would not shock me.”
That “slight hope” will be his final step next Sunday, when the Swiss Maestro will meet the winner of the second semifinal between Rafael Nadal and Grigor Dimitrov. Winning a Grand Slam title at 35 would be an achievement for the books and would make Federer the oldest man to ever take a Major in the history of men’s tennis, after Ken Rosewall, who won 3 Grand Slam events after 35 years of age, the last in 1972 right in Melbourne as a 37-year-old man.
But, in Stefan’s words, “if there’s anyone who can do it, it's Roger.” (mc)
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