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.”
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.
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.