Roger Federer has joined a recent trend of top tennis players hiring former stars as coaches after adding his childhood hero Stefan Edberg to his team.
“I am happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Luethi on my coaching team,” the 17 times Grand Slam champion announced on his Facebook page in reference to the Australian Open in January.
|Boris Becker became the youngest ever Wimbledon champion in 1985 when he was 17 years old [Getty Images]|
Edberg is the third former tennis star to be hired by, after Novak Djokovic recruited Boris Becker, while Andy Murray already has been working with Ivan Lendl, a fierce on-court rival of Becker.
Federer said that Edberg, a six-time major champion, had agreed to work with on the coaching team for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open.
Severin Luthi will continue to work with Federer.
“Severin, who has been part of my team for the last seven 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,” the 32-year-old Swiss star said.
In October, Federer split with coach Paul Annacone after three and a half seasons together.
Federer finished 2013 ranked number six after what was the first season since 2002 that he failed to reach a major final.
“I’m really excited to be part of Roger’s team and I hope together we can bring out his best tennis,” Edberg told the ATP website.
Luthi said that Federer had a full schedule next year and they both wanted to make sure they 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,” Luthi told ATP.
Becker’s Slam travel
The Federer-Edberg announcement comes a little more than a week after Novak Djokovic hired Boris Becker as head coach.
“I am really excited to have the opportunity to work with Boris,” the 26-year-old Djokovic said in a statement issued on his website.
“He is a true legend, someone who has great tennis knowledge and his experience will help me win new trophies from the Grand Slams and other tournaments.
“Becker is a great person, too, and I am sure he will fit in our team in the best possible way.”
Becker, like Djokovic a six-times Grand Slam champion, will replace the Serb’s long-time coach Marian Vajda, although the Slovakian will remain part of the team.
Becker – who was courtside to watch Djokovic win the Abu Dhabi Championship on Saturday- will travel to all the Grand Slam tournaments with the Serb, starting with next month’s Australian Open where the world number two is bidding for a fourth consecutive title, having twice beaten Murray in the final.
“I am proud Novak invited me to become his head coach,” Becker said in a written statement.
|Ivan Lendl won 94 ATP titles [Getty Images]|
“I will do my best to help him reach his goals, and I am sure we can achieve great things together.”
Becker’s old foe Lendl is also expected to be at the Australian Open to coach Murray.
The 22 matches the rivals played in the 1980s and early 1990s always contained an undercurrent of friction, with the stony-faced Czech Lendl clearly agitated by the man nicknamed Boom Boom.
While Lendl edged their rivalry 12-10 it was Becker who won the three Grand Slam finals they contested, most notably the 1986 Wimbledon final which Lendl had set his heart on winning.
Becker once accused Lendl of not being “mentally tough” while Lendl hit back saying Becker did not have the guts to say things to his face in the locker room.