“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!