Stefan Edberg in Federer's box during the 2015 Wimbledon final
by Mauro Cappiello
“It’s almost surreal but, of course, absolutely amazing”. In a short conversation with Andreas Käck of SportBladet, Stefan Edberg commented the 2017 revival of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
After the problems they both had last year, the Swiss and the Spaniard have become the top two favourites at Wimbledon. Just like ten years ago, when they met in their second of three successive finals at the Championships.
“No one thought they'd be here today. But it's great for the sport that they are still hanging at the top. There are no better ambassadors for tennis,” continued Stefan, who appeared last Tuesday in Roger Federer’s box on Centre Court to watch part of the Swiss’ first round match against Dolgopolov.
“It’s more like I’m there as a friend, I’m following the course of his development,” said Stefan about his current relationship with the 7-time Wimbledon champion. “What Roger has done this season is absolutely incredible. I do not think anyone could have predicted this success, not even Roger himself.”
According to the Swede, Federer’s choice to skip the entire claycourt season to save energy for grass was reasonable, in his perspective. “It’s hardly something you normally do. But Roger is Roger, he has already achieved so much in his career and probably felt that he would find it difficult to challenge for the title at the French Open and that it would be better to focus on Wimbledon.”
In recent years, former coach Edberg had always supported Federer’s bid to an 18th Major trophy. The Swiss’ unexpected triumph at the Australian Open last winter gave him even more reasons to be confident about Roger’s chances to clinch a record 8th title at SW19. “It's a little more exciting now than it has been for a long time, considering both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have had some problems during the year and are not in their best shape. I agree Roger and Rafa are favourites and Roger has the edge. On grass, he is always dangerous.”
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