It’s Official: Fedberg is a Team

I am happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Lüthi on my coaching team. Severin, who has been part of my team for the last 7 years, will do most of the weeks and Stefan has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Stefan was my childhood hero, and I am really looking forward to spending time and learning from him.

“I’m really excited to be part of Roger’s team and I hope together we can bring out his best tennis,” Stefan Edberg commented.

Severin Lüthi added: “Roger will play a full schedule next year so we both wanted to make sure we had a solid team in place. I want to continue to improve and innovate Roger’s game and I really look forward to be working with Stefan. Like Roger, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Stefan and I am sure he will bring a lot to our team as Roger continues to chase titles in 2014.”

It’s on

Well there it is guys. Not too surprising as the signs were there that they were trying to become a team, but good to see nonetheless. The arrangement is pretty much as I expected too, with Severin still doing the bulk of the work but Edberg doing a minimum of 10 weeks. So this is now pretty exciting with Lendl already coaching Murray and Becker coaching Djokovic. Fedberg and Djocker already have catching up to with Ivandy. Ivandy clearly has great chemistry and it is already hard to see Fedberg or Djocker surpassing their achievements. Lendl and Murray are just very similar personalities and now their slam careers are following a similar trajectory as well. Both lost their first 4 slam finals and since Lendl became Murray’s coach at the beginning of 2012 he made 4 slam finals and won 2.

Murray also became the first Brit in 77 years to win Wimbledon. It really has been a dream partnership. In all likelihood Lendl will win the coaching dual with Edberg and Becker, just like he won it with them as a player. He already has the 2 slams head start with Murray and I can see those two win many more slams in the future. They are just warming up. Lendl won 8 slams while Becker and Edberg both won 6. Each player had one slam they could not win. Lendl could never win Wimbledon even though he made the final there twice, while Edberg and Becker could never win the French Open. Edberg did come very close once when he lost in 5 sets to Chang in the final, while Becker could only manage 3 semi-finals. As far as the head-to-heads go Becker leads Edberg 25-10 which sounds like a Fedal-type rivalry, but it is not the case since Edberg leads Becker 3-1 in slams(2-1 in Wimbledon finals and 1-0 in a French Open semi).

Clearly a big difference between the very one-sided 8-2 slam head-to-head in favor of Nadal. As far as Becker and Lendl goes Lendl lead the head-to-head 11-10 but Becker lead 5-1 in slams. Edberg had a very close rivalry with Lendl as well leading 14-13 and 5-4 in slams. As far as Masters Cups goes Lendl won 5, Becker 3, and Edberg 1. Finally Lendl also spent by far the most weeks at #1, so he was the better of the three players by quite a margin. He was the most dominant #1 after Roger and Sampras. You can see that all three these greats had intense rivalries with each other in their playing days and the fact that they are all coaches of other greats now makes for a very interesting dynamic. I think Fedberg will have similar chemistry than Ivandy and probably Djocker too. I find it all very exciting and I think it is fantastic for the game.

Fed 4.0?

Nadal is now the odd one out and one wonders if he will consider any changes to his coaching team. John Mcenroe? Now that would be something. But I doubt it and things are exciting enough as it is. In the mean time the Brisbane draw has been made and Roger will have a good chance to start the year in the best way possible with a title. Roger’s draw is Duckworth/Nieminen, Matosevic/Benneteau/Querrey/Tursonov, Chardy/Anderson, Lopez/Simon/Dimitrov/Nishikori. I’ve heard that Brisbane and Melbourne will be faster this year but I’ll only believe it when I see it. Either way if Roger continues where he left off in London he should win this title. And I think it is important that he does so to set the tone for 2014. It is also official that Roger will play with a new racquet which is great to see.

This time he did it the right way by changing racquets in the off season so he has enough time to get used to it. Roger is making all kinds of changes to stay relevant which is smart. New child, new coach, new racquet, new tournaments, and a new year has everyone talking. It does look like 2014 is shaping up to be another good year for Roger. I’m sure you are all excited to see the ‘new’ Roger in action in Brisbane after a long wait. Lets see what he can do.

Federer Reveals on Christmas Eve that Mirka is Pregnant Again

Mirka and I are very happy to share the news that Myla & Charlene will be big sisters in 2014! Happy Holidays…

Before I continue with my post let me first of all wish you a merry Christmas. I hope you all had a blessed time with your loved ones and that none of you were alone. But if you were then let me remind me of the Fedfamily here on my blog who cares and who are all connected thanks to Roger Federer. I spent the day with family myself but I felt the need to connect with you guys as well, who have been such loyal and faithful followers of my blog. My blog reaching an age of 5 years and a million views recently is a tribute to all of us. Those things would not have happened if there wasn’t something special about this blog. So I think we can afford to feel proud of ourselves for these achievements. All of us. Whatever the future holds it has been a great ride full of ups, downs, passion, intensity, interesting discussion, friendship, and much more.

Well then. Full of surprises this GOAT, isn’t he? Let me say congratulations to the Federer’s for expecting their third child. As I’ve always said there is never a dull moment in the Federer camp. There is always something happening. Even in the off season. I can’t speak for others but I’m sure there are quite a few people who hopes this will be a boy. It would just balance things out a bit after the twin girls and may be someone who follows in Roger’s footsteps. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of this new development but I’m sure Roger knows exactly what he is doing, and if anything it will just improve his tennis. And if it doesn’t it won’t matter either. There are more important things to life than tennis(I’m serious!). It is exciting either way and of course Roger has no shortage of ‘help’ when it comes to the children.

With a fan in Dubai

He is so wealthy that he can have the best of both worlds. That’s why probably it is positive for his tennis if anything. He is in a great position in his life where he can be a good parent and a professional sportsman at the same time without either of the two negatively influencing the other. Of course cash plays a role in this and Roger is an exceedingly wealthy man. And he deserves every penny. Roger did not become one of the wealthiest sportsman in history through greed and selfish motives. He has given joy and inspiration to countless fans around the world and entertained them to no end. He has treated other people as equals and tirelessly given of his time and energy to the public. In a society driven by idol worship he is one of the extremely rare idols who actually deserves that status.

He was named the second most respected and trusted personality in the world second only to the late Nelson Mandela in 2011. I never said anything about Mandela’s passing in my blog but believe me it was felt here in South Africa, as I’m sure it was all over the world. Either way it says a lot about Roger to get elected for such an honor behind someone like Mandela. And he may as well be the most respected and trusted person in the world at this point. And I didn’t even mention his foundation which recently celebrated its 10th year of existence. The man is a true inspiration. Always sees the glass as half full. Always bounces back from adversity. Always respectful and giving tennis a good name. One doesn’t even want to think about the void it would leave the day he leaves the sport.

Well it’s not long before Brisbane now, is it? Just 5 more days and the man is back on court! I’m very excited to see the ‘new’ Roger in action and whether he has a few more surprises in store for us. Will he have a new racquet? Will he serve-and-volley more? Will his confidence keep increasing from where it left off in London? Can he start the 2014 season with a title? All these questions will be answered and I am waiting in anticipation and excitement. Maybe the expectancy of an addition to the Federer household will also serve as an inspiration for Roger to rise to even bigger heights. Children makes one feel young after all, especially if you can afford to pay others to do some of the more energy sapping work. What do you guys think? Do you think this new development will inspire Roger or do you think it could interfere with his tennis?

Fedberg: A Match Made in Heaven?

“It’s a matter for us to find time to fit it in,”

If we can, I would be more than happy.

“The idea of the camp was that I would give my views and come up with some feedback. He wants to try some new things,

“I was very surprised (that Federer asked) because it’s so long since I left tennis,”

“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.

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,”

“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.”


What do you think? To me it looks like a real possibility. Both sides seem interested. It is more a question of fitting it in. I don’t see that being much of a problem because we already know Roger said he can’t ask Luthi to travel with him all the time. So maybe it won’t be anything full time but he could have Edberg travel with him for a good part of the year and Luthi filling in the rest. You probably heard that Becker is the new head coach of Djokovic. I thought that was a smart move from Djokovic. Djokovic only won one slam last year and Nadal dominated him when it really mattered. Roger is not the only one looking to make fresh changes. These guys expect the very best from themselves and will make the necessary changes if they feel like it. I think Becker is ideal for Djokovic because of his expertise around the net and his overall power game.

Djokovic clearly needs to work on his volleys and transition game which is why I think Becker can be very valuable to him. Edberg can be of similar value to Roger, although Roger is already a very competent net player. We know Annacone has already worked with Roger to approach the net more and become a better volleyer. So it won’t be anything new, but surely Edberg can help him improve even more in that area. Edberg is after all the volley GOAT. No one understand the serve-and-volley game better than him. But more than that Fedberg just sounds right. Roger has never had someone coach him who was as good a player as Edberg and I can imagine just having him in his corner will already be a confidence boost. Not to mention Edberg was his idol growing up and they have similar personalities.

I was a big fan of Edberg myself growing up. I remember watching the Becker/Edberg rivalry at Wimbledon as a kid. Edberg was really the ultimate gentleman and sport. Truth be told he was a better sport than Roger. Roger is a good sport but Edberg was on another level. He never lost his cool or shook hands with his opponent in a cold way after losing. His self-control was exemplary. He did fist pump at times after a great shot but never showed emotion after losing a point. Brad Gilbert wrote in his book Winning Ugly that he could never understood how Edberg didn’t show any emotion. After he won a big point he was looking across the net to get some encouragement from Edberg’s body language, but he gave him absolutely nothing. Just unbelievable self-control and focus.

Doesn’t it just seem ‘right’?!

Of course Lendl is already coaching Murray, who was another guy who had immense self-control on court. It would be fitting if Edberg ends up coaching Roger, because Lendl, Edberg, and Becker all had big rivalries with each other, just like Murray, Roger, and Djokovic has. The Murray/Lendl partnership has already been very successful and I can see the same being the case for Fedberg and Becker/Djokovic. It’s interesting to see in the article that Edberg thinks Roger should avoid long rallies with the likes of Djokovic and Nadal. I have been saying that for a while now but Roger seems reluctant to go to the net especially against Nadal. I have also advised in the past that Roger play as attacking as possible when facing Nadal, to offset Nadal’s extreme defensive play.

Of course it’s easier said than done, but he doesn’t have much of an other option. He has tried to out rally Nadal from the base line since day one which is one of the reason the head-to-head stands at 22-10. Roger has wisened up a bit since then but the courts have been slowed down so much that it made approaching the net less effective. So I don’t know how much it will help to attack the net more against Nadal, but Roger has to try something. Anything. At the very least Edberg will boost Roger’s confidence with his presence and be another necessary change up. He can also help Roger to become an even more competent volleyer and help him to be a better serve-and-volley player especially. I have always felt that Roger can serve-and-volley a bit more. He does it at times but not enough in my opinion.

He must take the game to Nadal and Djokovic and ask the questions on the passing shot. Yes it is risky and he will get passed, but he must ask the question. He just can’t hang with them from the back much. When the rally goes past 5 shots Djokovic and Nadal comes out the winner probably something like 8/10 times. So in truth staying back is more of a risk than approaching the net and asking the question. A bigger racquet head could also help Roger on the volley. I think Fedberg may well happen. And hopefully sooner rather than later. It’s not a reality yet but I’ll allow myself to feel some excitement over it. I really think it could help Roger to have someone of the stature of Edberg in his corner, especially given how much mutual respect and admiration there is as well. It could be just what Roger needs to add that one or two more slam titles!


Ps. Forgot to mention I passed a million blog views after my last post. How cool is that? Thanks!