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"I'm lost here! I came back this morning, and many things have changed since the last time I was here in 1996. I do not really recognize any of the stadiums. But I'm glad to be here" - Stefan Edberg about coming back to Melbourne, 18 years after his last appearance at the Australian Open as a player. Read the interview

Fedberg

Becker, Edberg and Lendl. The challenge never ends

from Il Tempo
by Alessandro Nizegorodcew
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello

The three greats back on court as coaches. They were chosen by Djokovic, Federer and Murray.

"I think there has been a generation that has really changed the game. The tennis we showed in the 80s is not so different from today's." Words by Boris Becker, former world No. 1 and Novak Djokovic's new coach. "Bum Bum" joins Ivan Lendl, Andy Murray's current coach, and probably Stefan Edberg, who is expected to announce shortly his sports union with Roger Federer. Becker, Lendl and Eberg, three extraordinary champions from the past, winners of as many as 20 Grand Slam titles on aggregate, three different talents, with extremely different personalities.

Ivan Lendl, born in 1960, has won eight Slams in his career (twice the Australian Open, three times the French and three times the US Open), without ever being able to triumph at Wimbledon, the only major regret of his glittering career. Lendl was the man of the records: he has won at least one tournament a year for fourteen consecutive seasons, from 1980 to 1993, reaching for eleven years ('81 - '91) a Grand Slam final. Player (and now coach) with a rough character, hostile to any outburst of joy, however, he was able to give the British crowd the joy of Andy Murray's Wimbledon title, 77 years after Fred Perry's. The first words from the Scottish champion were straightly directed to his coach with affection: "This title is dedicated to my staff and especially to my coach, Ivan Lendl, who has never managed to win here, even though he played two finals" .

 

Pete Sampras: Roger could learn from Edberg's chip-and-charge

Just a couple of days before Christmas, when the news of the Edberg-Federer partnership was not official yet, Pete Sampras was interviewed by Steve Flink and gave his views on what Stefan's help could bring into Federer's game.

This is the most interesting excerpt of their conversation:

"Stefan is a great guy and one of the best serve-and-volleyers ever. But I feel like Roger is always going to be more comfortable staying back and not really looking to come in too much. Maybe Stefan would shed some light on movement up at the net because playing the net is about movement and intuition. There may be some other things Stefan could help Roger with. When push comes to shove and you get nervous, you always rely on what you do best. I don’t see Roger really changing his game and he doesn’t have to, but if there is a way he can utilize Stefan with some chip-and-charge it could help against some of these guys. Stefan has such a great temperament and that would be a good match if Roger decided to have Stefan travel and work with him. I have a lot of respect for Stefan and his knowledge of the game."

 

The new wave of coaches

from Espn Deportes
Translated into English by Mauro Cappiello

Everything returns. More than two decades after being the stars of the tour, they get back to the stage. Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang and Sergi Bruguera are in the tennis world again, but this time for their off court actions. The four joined Petr Korda, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Lendl, among others, who had been the spearhead of a golden generation. The new coaches in action.

The last occurrence of this selected group was the most unexpected and sensational. Boris Becker joined Novak Djokovic's team. The Serb will have the former world number one as head of a group that will keep his current coach, Marian Vajda. Australia, Dubai, Miami, Monte Carlo, Rome, Roland Garros, Wimbledon, Cincinnati, US Open, Shanghai, Paris and London: the German's presence was confirmed in 12 tournaments.

"I'm really delighted to have the opportunity to work with Boris. He's a legend, someone who knows a lot about tennis and his experience will help me win new Grand Slam trophies. He's also a great person and I'm sure that he will strenghten our workgroup," said Djokovic, who also added that Becker "will bring fresh air" to his team.

 

Coach revival. Top players choose greats from the past

from L'Unità
by Federico Ferrero
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello

In the tennis community, the alignment of stars looks like something magic. Everybody knows of the professional relationship, just as solid as the former Czech's massive jaw, tying Ivan Lendl and Andy Murray: to merge the destinies of the terrible Ivan and the Scottish boy, a dream named Wimbledon. Now expired for the former number one who tried anything, even skipped the French Open, not to give up that last, desperate chance. But won only two shots against the target of the sacred fire of the Championships and failed both in 1986 and 1987. As a coach, on the other hand, Lendl has been able to eradicate the virus that weakened Murray in the Grand Slam, with the vaccine that he himself had experienced after four finals lost in Paris, Australia, and New York in the early eighties; Andy repaid him violating the ground of Wimbledon, for the delight of the British fans.

You know the news: former champion training a champion. There's more, though. In these few weeks of preparation for the upcoming season, Roger Federer has withdrawn in his plastic hermitage of Dubai, where he sweats and moves, like the arms of the goddess Kali, parts of his business activities, especially those in real estate. The fallen king, after the upset of the last few months spent with an aching back, invited to share his training camp not a kid chosen among the juniors, or one of the lately unemployed professional coaches. He called Mr. Stefan Edberg, the master of the lost art of serve & volley, the heron with Scandinavian blood and movements inspired to Nureyev's.

 

Becker & Edberg, look who's back The race for the coaching champion

from La Stampa
by Stefano Semeraro
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello

Djokovic chooses the Geman to get back to number one: but it doesn't always work out.

"I am very pleased to have been named by Novak Djokovic to be his coach, together we will do great things." Bang, or better Bum bum, since the quotation belongs to Boris Becker, the former wunderkind who, between the '80s and '90s, turned Wimbledon into his garden and tennis in a battlefield with his Sturm und Drang serve and volley.

A surprise wedding which confirms a trend, the revival of the '80s, launched a couple of years ago by Andy Murray with the hiring of Ivan Lendl. In recent days, in fact, Michael Chang  and even Becker's rival Stefan Edberg got back in the circle: the former will follow the Japanese talent Kay Nishikori, the latter, after having spent ten days in Dubai training with Roger Federer, might accompany him on the tour next year "for a few weeks," as the Swiss confessed to his magic circle.

Mix everything with Jimmy Connors' failure (hired and fired after only one tournament this summer by Maria Sharapova) and a dose of hope from Sergi Bruguera, double French Open champion in the mid '90s, since a few days at Richard Gasquet's side, and you will get the vintage cocktail of a generation and a half of stars that, after facing each other on the courts, are now getting back to the challenge from the bench.

 
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