Stefan Edberg and Federer: what could possibly go wrong?

After the announcement that Djokovic hired six-time Grand Slam champion Boris Becker, probably not for his experience as a top-level coach (hardly any), but for the different sporting-mindset that only the very best possess. It appears Federer (who claims not to be bothered about his ranking anymore) has followed suit, sourcing another six-time Grand Slam champion in the form of Stefan Edberg.

They have in common a liking for the Basel Open, as of course it’s Roger’s home tournament, and it also happens to be where Edberg won his first professional title, although in doubles. The same year, 1983, he made it to the US Open, where he won the junior tournament. Having won the junior tournaments at the other majors, he became the first plaey to acheive a ‘Junior Grand Slam’. However, the 17 year-old was very unfortunate, that a poor serve hit and killed 60 year-old linesman Dick Wertheim. Read more about the event in this short article by the New York Times. Aside from that, the following year he won his first professional singles title in Milan, later going on to win consecutive Australian Opens (the last time they were held on grass). He also doubled up at Wimbledon and the US Open, his last Grand Slam title coming at the US Open in 1992, and retiring in ’96.

Edberg is arguably the greatest server/volleyer tennis has ever seen. Federer is also credited with this title, although he is one of the most versatile, as said by Jimmy Connors:

“In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist, or a hard court specialist…or you’re Roger Federer.”

I think the two will work well with each other, yet I’m still puzzled why he actually needs a coach. The clip below shows Edberg against Boris Becker at the 1988 Wimbledon final.

– Jacob Lee

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