When the topic is around tennis, mentioning Swiss maestro Roger Federer is just about unavoidable. His popularity extends to the point that his name has become synonymous with tennis. His former coach and a tennis legend himself, Stefan Edberg explains the routine and character the great player possesses.
Stefan Edberg has six Grand Slam titles to his name and is known as the man behind Federer’s great comeback. While he coached the great man for just two years, the Swede helped Roger shape up for the destiny ahead. In a conversation directed at learning about Federer, Stefan opens about the maestro as a player.
“Roger Federer learns very quickly”: Former Coach Stefan Edberg
Being at the top requires results every coming day. Federer has been at his best for close to two decades now, and he is not done just yet. The reason behind this is very simple; he has kept working on until and beyond becoming the very best. Even though you are the best, you need to keep improving to stay on top.
Stefan highlighted, “Well, teaching Roger is not a difficult thing; he’s a very good listener, he knows what to do and he learns very quickly.”
During the two years they worked together, the Swedish legend brought some key changes in Federer’s game, which he uses even today. Edberg added, “As you get older, it gets harder so you need to take control of the points. And I think he needed a little bit more, sort of a different kind of game with some more variation.”
It was only a couple of years after that Stefan’s guidance lived up to its promise. On decoding Federer’s Australian Open comeback in 2017, Edberg reveals the silent mantra.
“Roger still wants to get better”: Edberg
The game of tennis is a contest of strength and stability; it is also a sport of smart play. With growing age and stiffer legs, consistent performances become a challenge. However, the 39-year-old changed his game with age and started player closer to the net. A combination of quickness and world-class ball-striking allowed the Swiss maestro to continue to be competitive.
“I think one of the things that he sort of worked on that really made a difference was when he started to hit this backhand a little bit flatter, took a little bit earlier and that’s how he won the Australian Open in 2017,” said Stefan Edberg.
After his Australian Open win, the Basel-born collected Wimbledon and three Masters 1000 events in the same year. Roger also defended his title in Australia the following year.
Federer’s former coach concluded, “Even as of today, I’m sure he’s working his butt off to get back into the game and give it another shot in 2021 to get back to the top of the game.”
Missing the ATP Finals in London, Federer is expected to make an appearance in the Australian Open 2021. This is his return to tennis after a complete year.