17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer made headlines last week when he revealed that he had just completed an exciting “training week” with Swedish tennis legend Stefan Edberg. The former world No. 1 has generally referred to Edberg as his “childhood hero” so it is not surprising that he enlisted his help ahead of the 2014 season.
While his help was beneficial, Edberg admits that this was merely a temporary occurrence, where he was brought in to offer advice and feedback on Federer’s overall game.
“It’s a matter for us to find time to fit it in,” Edberg told Stockholm’s Svenska Dagbladets. “If we can, I would be more than happy. The idea of the [training] camp was that I would give my views and come up with some feedback. He wants to try some new things.”
Edberg, who won six Grand Slam singles titles and three doubles titles over the span of his career, admit that he was surprised that Federer was interested in enlisting his help, considering how long he has been away from the sport. The idea of coaching was not one that particularly interested Edberg, but could not resist the opportunity to help Roger Federer.
“I was very surprised (that Federer asked) because it’s so long since I left tennis,” Edberg said. “But I was also very flattered. I’ve never really thought about coaching and if it had not been Federer doing the asking, honestly, I would not have been interested.”
Edberg mentioned that he advised the 32-year-old Swiss to play a more attacking game in hope of avoiding long rallies with elite baseliners Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The advice is necessary considering the Swiss no. 1 failed to topple any of the other Big 4 players in 2013.
Apart from that, Edberg displayed his trademark discreet nature and refused to detail anymore aspects of his time with Federer, including any potential arrangements they may have made for future encounters.
“Of course I have some comments as to what needs to change and evolve, but it’s not the done thing that I sit here and talk about it,” he said. “I think he will be coming back. He’s a great player and all the pieces are in place, he can definitely win some more grand slam titles.”