Six-time Grand Slam champ Edberg didn't expect to get into coaching
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014 03:45 pm
Six-time Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg admits coaching wasn't on his radar this time last year.
The Swedish tennis legend has served as a member of Roger Federer's coaching staff this season, and he's pleased with how things have turned out.
"It was never something that I thought that I ever would do, to be honest," Edberg said Tuesday on a conference call. "I had a phone call last September or October. I had a call from Roger that he was looking to find somebody else. It took me by surprise. It took me some time to decide but I felt I needed some time to think it through."
The move was formally announced late last year after Federer closed out a frustrating season. The former world No. 1 dropped to No. 8 in the singles rankings last January but he's been on a steady rise in recent weeks and currently holds the No. 3 spot.
Federer, a seven-time Wimbledon champion, reached a Grand Slam final for the first time in two years earlier this month at the All England Club, beating Milos Raonic of Thornhill, Ont., in the semifinals before falling to top-ranked Novak Djokovic in a five-set final.
Edberg said he has enjoyed working with the Swiss star, who turns 33 next month and will be the third seed behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal at the Aug. 2-10 Rogers Cup in Toronto.
"I think it's a pretty special situation where it's maybe not the sort of the ordinary coach role," Edberg said. "It's more like being part of a team, being a little bit of a mentor and maybe talking a lot about my own experiences getting into his game and see what I can do. It's been very good so far this year I think.
"It's been a learning process as well I think for both of us. So far I think it's worked out pretty well and the great thing is he's played some really good tennis this year ... the way he's playing now, he's a threat to anyone out on the tennis court I believe."
Edberg will return to the Centre Court spotlight himself on Monday when he's inducted into the Rogers Cup Hall of Fame. Edberg, who won 41 ATP singles tournaments over his career, was a finalist at the Canadian event in 1986 and '87.
He also reached the doubles final in 1985 and took the title with partner Pat Cash in 1987.
"It's very nice to get recognized," Edberg said. "I think the older you get the more you appreciate these things. It's very nice to be inducted like this."
Former Rogers Cup master of ceremonies Don Goodwin will be the other inductee in Toronto. He'll be inducted in a ceremony on the tournament's closing weekend.
The Aug. 1-10 women's tournament will be played in Montreal. Four-time Grand Slam champ and two-time tournament champion Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario will be inducted into the Hall on opening night at Uniprix Stadium.
Top-ranked Serena Williams of the United States is the top women's seed this year. Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., is the No. 6 seed while Raonic is seeded seventh in the men's draw.
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