Roger Federer

Edberg to Coach Federer, New Racquet Confirmed for Australia

Hey guys, whilst most people spend time relaxing over Christmas it looks like Roger has been plotting ahead of the 2014 season as he's just announced on Facebook that his childhood hero, Stefan Edberg, will be coaching him for at least 10 weeks whilst they are in Australia.

Fedberg

Personally I think this is a great move from Federer as Edberg was not only one of the best serve and volleyers of all time, he also played the sort of tennis that you feel Roger must play too if he's to compete for titles / slams again. Roger used to idolise him growing up too so there should be a lot of mutual respect.

I'm not sure what made him make the decision but I'd guess it was a combination of their sessions in Dubai going well and also the fact that Becker has now teamed up with Djokovic.

Becker and Edberg are both tied on 6 slams so you can't really separate them too much but which one of them will get the most out of their player? Interesting times ahead that's for sure.

I think it also has an added dimension because Edberg and Becker were big rivals on tour, so this almost makes it personal as they are both now entering the realm of coaching. It's going to be competitive between them just like it was on tour; Becker leads the H2H 25-10 but Edberg won 3 out of their 4 meetings in Grand Slams. Tasty!

New Racquet Confirmed for Australia

Federer Wilson Racquet Prototype

There's more good news on the racquet front too as Federer has also confirmed that he will be using the new Wilson prototype from Gstaad / Hamburg in both Australian tournaments meaning Brisbane and the Australian Open. He revealed this in an interview yesterday with his local paper the Baseler Zeitung, you can check that out here, it's written in German – http://bazonline.ch/sport/tennis/Ich-bin-ein-interessanter-Spieler-zum-Coachen/story/20766569 so will require Google translate if you don't speak it / read it.

I have translated the relevant question below:

Q. In the summer you stopped playing with a larger racquet after the early exit in Gstaad. Now you have again tested the new model in practise. Will you be using it on the tour?

Yeah, I'm going to play in Australia with a similar model as last summer. Actually, I wanted to carry on testing right after the U.S. Open again. But then I had so much on my plate and my game, that I stuck with the old one. Now I have had more time to still make further small changes and to speak to Wilson with regards to changes…. But now I have the feeling that now is the right time for a change. I've played two and a half weeks with the new model and I am confident. The racket suits me very well in the hand. But the proof will be on court. We will see in the tournaments in Australia how it goes.

Boom! All sounds good to me. Obviously like Roger says the proof is in the pudding but I think this is definitely the right move and should give him more power, better returns and that little bit more margin for error.

From the interview it sounds like Roger has fine tuned the racquet to his own specifications after trialing it and now Wilson have implemented those into his new frame.

Looks like things are coming together nicely for Roger at the moment, he's injury free, has a new coach, will be using a new racquet and of course has another baby on the way which he confirmed on Christmas eve. Allez!

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer – I’ll pretty much try and watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I’m not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Fed and tennis in general.

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79 thoughts on “Edberg to Coach Federer, New Racquet Confirmed for Australia”

  1. I can’t wait for Brisbane to begin now. Things are suddenly moving very fast. All the news seems good, let’s just wait and see how it all pans out.

    Did anyone else see the ceremony they had in New York earlier this year for ex (and current) world No. 1’s? Roger said there that Stefan had been his idol when he was growing up and Stefan replied that he was honoured by that – and looked as though he really meant it!

  2. Fedberg, new racket and new baby Fed on the way, wow feeling like I’ve got the best Christmas presents ever! Can’t wait to see him on the court in sunshine down under. Any idea when he will be due? Allez πŸ™‚

  3. Wow. Just wow. I’ve been smiling ear to ear since that baby announcement. Every day, something new and positive from Roger. The racket news, Edberg joining his team. I hope his ‘attack’ on the ATP Tour in 2014 is super successful. It almost feels like he is buzzing right now. I can’t help but feel some of the energy myself! 2014, bring it on!

  4. I’ve been wondering when this baby is due. Mirka is probably at least 3 months along. Generally, people don’t announce the pregnancy until then. So, due around Wimbledon?
    Exciting times.
    Pospisil playing doubles this year. Interesting. I thought he’d focus on singles.

    1. Yeah think u r right as she def looked pregnant at the O2!! Ps my daughter gave me the Fed calendar for Xmas!! How sad am I??? Haha!

    2. Sue, I wondered this too, so I went back & checked out what happened in 2009 πŸ˜‰ – Roger made the announcement on his website on 12 March, and the girls were born 23 July – so a little over 4 months later. If it’s similar timing, we might expect a due date of late April/early May. However, my bet is they let the announcement go a little later this time so as to avoid as much hoopla as possible, so I’m hoping for any time after late March. (Actually MID March would be a GREAT time since that’s when my own birthday is! πŸ™‚ )

      This was actually the first question asked in the phone interview Jonathan quoted from above, & he answered something like, you know, we’re really not going to be talking about the details since that’s personal stuff; what’s important is for Mirka to be healthy & have a really good pregnancy just like last time.

      I also notice he did NOT say “we’re expecting our 3rd child”, as some are reporting it; so to my mind it’s not impossible that Mirka might be pregnant with twins again. I think our takeaway is, it’s going to be a surprise for us, & what a lovely surprise it will be. Though I’m sure there will be plenty of speculation as soon as the first pictures of Mirka in Australia appear.

      1. I suppose this is why Roger hasn’t posted his schedule for 2014 yet. Not allowed to fly at 8 mos. Thinking IW.

      2. Good point – I was thinking she was at Wimbledon at 8 mos in 09, but it’s conceivable they came across on the ferry. No ferry to IW!

    3. I too wondered if Mirka was pregnant late on this year (based on face and upper body, I’d guess): I’d guess it was at the O2, although I have seen some footage from Bercy and Basel, so it might have been one of those. I was guessing before Wimbledon, and probably before RG too. Sometime in the middle of his spring training block might be good – unless it’s too much of a distraction, of course.

      Thinker: don’t forget, there is such a thing as the Channel Tunnel. I’m not sure how many people use the ferry these days! As for Roger, he could just be teasing us: remember he virtually always referred to “baby” singular last time around, even when he knew it was twins. I’d have thought the chance of another set of twins might be quite high, given that both he and his sister have them.

  5. Not saying that google translate is not good, but the way I understood that answer was that he tried out a different racket than hamburg/gstaad. Not that my german is the best though πŸ˜€

    Great news on all fronts though! πŸ˜€

    1. You are right! Not quite the same model as he has tweaked it as Jonathan says! Goodness what excitement, no sooner than we emerge from the Xmas fest than Roger is already 2 steps ahead! Fedberg, racquet and a baby! Now all we need are some titles!! Crazy times ahead with possibly Lendl, Becker and Edberg meeting in the players boxes! Betcha McEnroe very jealous! See Murray beat Stan today!

    2. “Not saying that google translate is not good,”

      Oh, please, feel free – it isn’t! It’s only as good as the translations it sometimes steals to put in there.

    3. Yeah I think in my guessed translation underneath the link I put he’d made some tweaks to it. Sounds like it’s a different model though now based on other interviews. Box beam style still, looks like he’s taking what he likes about the PS 90, put that into a bigger head size and using more modern things.

  6. ItΒ΄s just all really good news and it just says something about Rogers on going love to the game and the desire to still achieve great things. We might just be in for a really exciting 2014 season, let the games begin πŸ™‚ I saw my favorite movie last night and in it thereΒ΄s a line that suits this moment just before the new season with a lot of tough battles:

    “what we do in life echoes in eternity”

      1. A general who became a slave. A slave who became a gladiator. A gladiator who defied an Emperor.

        Can you guess is now, Susie? πŸ˜‰

      1. “Quod in vita facimus in aeternum resonat

        Sounds better in Latin”

        Most things like that do – and this one in particular πŸ™‚

  7. Hi Jonathan

    So looking forward to 2014 now Fed has his new racquet, new coach (i think they will work so well together) cannot wait to see all the serving and the vollying, and of course a new baby fed on the way – I have a feeling in my bones that this is going to be the year when Fed reminds all the doubters just how good he is on a tennis court – GS 18 on the way

  8. This is great news!!!

    However, on a slightly unrelated topic- I was reading up about Mononucleosis and whether Soderling would return to the game, which led me to Ancic and then Roger. Apparently one of the most common ways for Mono to spread is by saliva. So the question which struck me was this. Unless there’s a way for saliva to find it’s way into a person’s mouth without thrusting your tongue into his/ hers

    Who gave Federer Mono!!? πŸ˜›

    Haha. Mirka? Or could it be…

    1. All that travel and time change is hard on immune system. One gets worn out and is much easier to catch whatever is out there. Any virus or bacteria is lurking on the next handrail. So, mono is called the “kissing disease” but can be obtained from many sources.

    2. Oh, don’t start that up again :). One of the “reasons” various people claim he can’t have had mono is because “Mirka didn’t have it”. As far as they knew. Aaaaggghh!!!

  9. I do not quite get the excitement over Roger abandoning the racquet type with which he won 17 slams and reintroducing a tactic that was essentially obsoleted by slower courts and string and racquet technology. There’s not much tennis that I find worth watching nowadays but I’ll always take the time to watch Llorda. Think he is incredibly talented but going to the net on every serve is maybe not the right tactic today, and probably that is not the plan for Roger either.
    However, Edberg might help Roger to get back into the mental side of tennis. I think that lately, Roger has given away way to much confidence to the opponents by displaying negative emotions, which I think goes back as far as the Tsonga quarter final in the AO.

    Perhaps going with a bigger racquet head will prove to be a good thing but if anything I would like to see Roger back on top of the mental game and to get back some pop on the backhand, and perhaps a new shot like the fake drop shot that he seems to have introduced a couple of years ago. If it was up to me, I would put a ball machine on a 2.5 m stand and make it serve top spin into the ad court all day long and have Roger polishing up on the return of this serve.

    1. “if anything I would like to see Roger back on top of the mental game”

      So would I. I was rewatching the WTF match against Delpo the other day, and realised that getting Roger to serve first is becoming way too easy a way of getting a cheap service break. And then there’s the habit of losing his serve at the beginning of subsequent sets … He needs to tighten up mentally, and concentration-wise. Don’t know how much Edberg can help him with that. I’m still bemused by those two sets at RG against Simon …

    2. I would disagree about the racquet, there is no point dwelling on the past. You are only as good as your last match really so I think it’s the right time for a change. Just because he won with it before doesn’t mean he can again.

  10. Roger Federer’s Outfit For Brisbane 2014 (I liked): http://i.imgur.com/WrOrnLG.jpg
    Also he has released his schedule for the 2014 season (No surprises except by Miami):
    Brisbane, Australian Open, Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Roma, Roland Garros, Halle, Wimbledon, Toronto, Cincinnati, US Open, Shanghai, Basel, Paris.

  11. Yeah it’s wierd..dont know what he gains by playing Miami..Coudl’ve played Montecarlo instead atleast that gives him an early start to the clay season… :/

      1. Like most of you guys here I hate MonteCarlo.But I don’t see the use in playing Miami..It is a hard court tournament which plays like MC.So I actually hate it more.

  12. “Will Roger Federer ever play an IMG owned tournament again?”

    I guess Yes. Miami is back on schedule, Jonathan. Surprising to me.

  13. So let me get this straight. Roger used a 90 sq.inch racket to win 17 slams, but now somehow he HAS to get a bigger frame to win again? Sure, with 95-100 sq. inch frame he might have a few less shanks, but if people think it’s going to be some kind of panacea they are in for disappointment. Roger won all those slams with his lethal forehand, perfect placement on his serves, and his assortment of volleys, half- volleys, slices and drop shots. In other words a game perfectly suited for a 90 inch racket. I think he’ll have more punch to his backhand with a bigger frame, but don’t see how it helps the other aspects of his game. There’s also the risk that he might lose some of his exquisite touch and feel with a bigger frame.
    Djokovic took a long time to reach peak form after he changed rackets, one wonders if Federer has that luxury at age 32.

    1. That’s my concern, too. Mind you, he hasn’t actually said what frame size he’s using, has he? Seems to me that 95 would be a happy medium, and hopefully not take too much away from the touch side of things.

    2. Hey Sridhar, I kind of do agree with you, but Roger has to try something right?? I mean, all the others are using some kind of technology or strings to be better, so Roger should atleast try that too. I mean, we don’t want him to be another Sampras saying in a few years that he regrets not changing while he played.
      Sridhar, I don’t know about the details like you do or like the others do, but he can atleast try like 2 or 3 months with a bigger racquet or a bigger frame size. Since he has played with the same kind of racquet for 14 or 15 years, if the bigger racquet/frame size does not work, he can always switch back to his smaller racquet. But he atleast has to try to do something that gives him more confidence.
      You say he has certain perfect shots that are perfect for his 90 inch racquet, but when he was low on confidence, he was thinking too much about his back and too little about these shots. Maybe the bigger racquet will give him just more confidence to try the same perfect shots or even some new shots.

      I really don’t think that the bigger racquet or frame size will be like a magic staff in his hand (although I do hope that with my whole heart), I do think Roger is amazing for atleast TRYING something else to stay relevant and to matter and to show the tennisworld that he is not giving up (of surpassing his own history and legacy) with atleast another fight.

      For me, it does not matter with what racquet, but he needs his confidence back (and kind of his hunger for winning, like the WTF Delpo match)…. Although, I do think the new baby will bring lots of good luck for Roger…

    3. Precisely what I voiced a few posts ago. Roger is what he is because of that special 90 sq in. At the same time, a change is needed. So, I have concerns too as to how much feel he will lose. We did notice that his front court game suffered quite a bit when he tried that new racquet. It changes everything.

      The more power he has on his serve, backhand, and other shots, the more pace the opponent gets, and the faster it comes back, not exactly Roger’s game.

      Djokovic was still in his developmental stages when he switched racquets and had lot of untapped potential. Roger wouldn’t have to go through that learning phase. He has the technique, and the court smarts. What he lacks is that little bit of help from the frame. I doubt he will take too much time to get used to it.

      I can’t wait to find out what happens over the next few months.

    4. Also, the 90 sq in he uses is quite similar to the Pro Staff 95, at least when it comes to sweet spot zones, so he will most likely use a 100 sq in frame if he has to get anything at all out of it. I’ll be surprised if he goes for a 95. But then again, Roger has been full of surprises recently.

    5. I believe Fed will use a 98sq”, same size as Murray uses and his touch is still one of the best in terms of volleying and pickups.

      I get people don’t want to change, but you can’t live in the past or base all decisions on how good you were 2 years ago with the 90.

      Change will help here for sure. Based on the doubles highlights he’s volleying well and hitting with more power.

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