Poll: Roger Federer Wants Nothing Do With On-Court Coaching: I Don’t Think It’s Necessary
by Tom Gainey | March 14th, 2014, 10:36 am

Roger Federer has a new coach Stefan Edberg and their partnership is working out exceptionally well. But Roger doesn’t want the Swede great coming out onto the court and given him advice during matches like the WTA allows.

“I really hope it doesn’t, I really do,” Federer said of the prospect of men’s on-court coaching. “If it does happen, it’s hopefully after I’m done playing. I really don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s fair maybe necessarily, because not everybody can afford a coach.

“It’s just not right. We’ll see girlfriends walking out, we’ll see parents walking out. It’s not going to be pretty, you know, It just won’t. It will look amateur like in my opinion. Yeah, I hope we’ll stay as far away from that idea.”

Federer admits that it “seems to be working well” in the womnen’s game, but he just doesn’t see the need for the ATP to try it again (they did it in 1998).

“It’s cool to figure it out yourself,” Federer said. “You can look over to your coach for comfort and support, but other than that, I think tennis should be one of those unique sports where you don’t get coaching.”

Federer won his 10th straight match yesterday defeating Kevin Anderson. The Swiss will play Alexandr Dologpolov in the semifinals tomorrow. And today he’ll team with Stanislas Wawrinka in the doubles semifinals.

Do you agree with Roger? Vote now!

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41 Comments for Poll: Roger Federer Wants Nothing Do With On-Court Coaching: I Don’t Think It’s Necessary

James Says:

Agree with RF. He’s been whining a bit too much of late though.

MMT Says:

Agree 100% – it’s a ludicrous thing that is proving useless on the WTA, and doing it on the ATP would only be making it more acceptable…when it should really be derided.

sheila Says:

agree with federer, especially for those low ranked players that may come up from a challenge event but dont have coaches to give them advice. no disrespect to caroline wozniaki, but she just let go of another coach after a short period of time, her father comes down from stands to coach her all the time & she’s not doing to well. when she’s practicing, if she & her coach havent figured out that her ground strokes have no pop & her defensive playing style is getting her nowhere & she needs to be more offensive, then coming onto the court in the middle of a match isnt going to change things much. i’m not an expert, but imho, tactics should be discussed before the match & looking up @ the coach for some reassurance is understandable. once again, federer said some players cant afford a coach so where is the fairness in that.

Skeezer Says:

You tell em Fed!
Imo it’s just a crutch, needing a coach to tell you what to do on court. Pffft!

andrea Says:

on court coaching is weak IMO. you have so much time to work with your coach leading up to the match. players and coaches should have done all their homework before. if a player starts to collapse mid match, you can discuss afterwards the how’s and why’s.

from what i’ve seen on the WTA, on court coaching basically translates into hand holding and self esteem building. and is usually trotted out after a bagel or breadstick set.

can you imagine edberg coming out to talk to federer after being toasted by nadal in a given set? that would be so lame…..can’t even visualize it.

John Says:

Agree, this would turn the Mens game into a joke.
It would be like a bunch of babies IMO.

Slice Tennis Says:

“can you imagine edberg coming out to talk to federer after being toasted by nadal in a given set? that would be so lame…..can’t even visualize it.”

Good one.

Humble Rafa Says:

Don’t we already have on-court coaching in tennis. Uncle Toni helps me all the time.

Not sure what the fuss is all about.

Hippy Chic Says:

Rogers spot on,no on court coaching,i hate seeing the women having it,so i certainly dont want to see the men having it too,it makes a mokery of the sport.

http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:

@Humble Rafa, you are hilarious.. applause for that one. Yeah, what’s the fuss, in deed? Right? It’s like, stop wasting your time, Roger!! We know what we do!! LOL….

metan Says:

Humble Rafa, why are you so honest???

skeezer Says:

@7:11 post.
“Don’t we already have on-court coaching in tennis. ”

You need to tell Unc Toni that he is not in the WTA. Get with the program.
It’s too bad you both have had to go against the ATP rules of on court coaching to win matches. But not surprizing, LMAO.

skeezer Says:

@4:05 post.
Don’t get it. Imagine what? If…if….if….imagine..imagine…

uups Says:

Humble Rafa is a woman?

Hippy Chic Says:

^Does it matter if Humble Rafa is a woman?^what difference does it make anyway?^

Hippy Chic Says:

Skeezer i believe Andrea brought up the Fed/Edberg on court coaching,in a what if scenario,sorry just saying.

Mr. Larvey Says:

Men have a sort of on court coaching in Davis Cup. Does it play any meaningful role during the matches? No! So, in my opinion there is no need to change the ruls.

madmax Says:

On court coaching, I wonder who came up with this silly rule. Coach in practice, do your best on court, get into your zone and stop looking to your coach to bail you out of situations. All the ground work has been done.

It’s the self belief that goes awry when things don’t go your way. No need for coaches to be brought on court.

I remember seeing Caroline Woz falling apart and then her coach came on, shouted and ranted, (camera zoomed in, in full view), obviously he was trying to instil a sense of self-belief and confidence, but really. I ask, is it necessary?

Sienna Says:

Rafa is getting on court coaching all the time.
the only male tennisplayer who is allowed te probably.

A Tango Lad Says:

Not so. Toni Nadal is not on the court.

Why can’t more fans of the Maestro simply enjoy their own guy with all he has achieved (other than the ability to figure out one player). Such obsession with Nadal befuddles me.

Okiegal Says:

^^^ Me too, Tango!

tweener Says:

Very well said roger. On court coaching will seem like running to the parents for comfort and solace when got spanked/bullied by the opponent.

skeezer Says:

You’re spitting hairs. Unc Team Nadal has been disiplined in the past for illegal coaching from the stands to the court. As rules go, if he can tell him what to do or give advise whilst playing a match it is illegal in the mens game. He doesn’t have to be exactly “on the court”.
It has nothing to do with being a “fan” of a player, obsession, etc, it’s a rule and not allowed on the ATP tour. Hope it stays that way imo.

A Tango Lad Says:

Are you sure about this?

You missed my poor attempt at humour (and my point as well it seems).

Okiegal Says:

I have seen other coaches do this too……giving signals with their hats even. The camera caught Grigor’s coach giving hand signals. His coach acted like a little kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar….it was funny. I wonder if the players who look at their boxes a lot are looking for coaching or encouragement…..could be a little of both, but Uncle T. ain’t the only one by a long shot….imo.

Giles Says:

I saw Magnus Norman chat a lot to Stanislast during the AO final. Uncle T ain’t the first and he certainly won’t be the last. Shame with joker and Vajda, lots of chit chat.

Giles Says:

^^ *same*

Okiegal Says:


I got you…..knew you meant same…..I am notorious for keyboard errors, but I can usually figure it out. I always try to correct myself too, probably a waste of time, however….TXers are pretty sharp….lol

Hippy Chic Says:

This thread topic was about on court coaching,which Rafa doesnt have,nor should he have,nor should the WTA have either,about the coaching from the stands well Rafa does have that,as does Novak,Andy,Stan they are all notorious for it,dont get me wrong though it doesnt make it right.

Sienna Says:

Rafa uses on court coaching all the time.
T tells him to take a # 1 or 2. Rafa pulls the plugs.

Skeezer Says:

How do you know what players if any are getting coached while playing? If they get a warning, so be it. The ump is suppose to be aware. It doesn’t stop players from communicating to there box. I have seen the same, yelling at there box out of frustration, etc. No coaching allowed from the stands however, period.

A Tango Lad Says:

No I’ve yet to see Toni on court.

Sienna is half right though. Toni helped Nadal take No. 1 alright.

Whatever. You can focus on Nadal if you prefer.

I’m going to watch Roger put Dolgopolov out of Indian Wells.

Hopp Suisse!

skeezer Says:

Not focusd on Nadal, but the topic. You haven’t seen unc toni coach rafa while playing? Officials have and thats all that matters. Again, he doesn’t have to “on the court”. He can sit in the team rafa box in stands and still is illegal to coach from there! Same with all other players/coaches. Whatever is right.

http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:

When there is a ‘chat’ between player and box, I would think it’s usually just frustration venting from the play or encouragement from the box. It’s when the coaches start making gestures using fingers or whatever body parts, that you know the ‘coaching’ is on.

I remember this funny situation long long ago at the AO between Sharapova and her dad who was her coach then. I think Maria was having a tough time and when there was a short break, Sharapova’s dad held up a banana and suddenly Maria took out her own banana and ate before the next game. I can’t remember whether Sharapova won the match or not but after the match Sharapova was asked about this and she simply answered ‘My life is not about a banana’. Does anybody remember? It was really funny!

Okiegal Says:

The only banana incident I remember was Rafa’s…..LOL. I have to laugh about that. Kind of know how he felt, that’s happened to me once.

Grigor got coaching from his box in a tournament mot long ago. The camera caught the coach giving hand signals. There would be so many ways to give signals. At least Uncle Toni isn’t sneaky about it….He does it loudly, but some of those umpires speaka da language. I would bet my last dollar that all of them have been guilty of it one time or other. I do believe they look at their box for encouragement…….and maybe signals?? Who knows. It’s against the rules so all the players need to stop it.

Okiegal Says:

I read this entire thread again, sorry that I repeated myself about Grigor…..short memory.
Please forgive!!

http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:


Yes, there was a banana incident with Sharapova and Yuri, her dad. I just searched and found a number of articles talking about the incident. I searched ‘Sharapova and banana’ and got what I wanted. There was also mention of her other coach, Joyce, who held up 4 fingers to which Sharapova returned 4 fingers – all court on camera during the same match. Looks like this was at the 2006 US Open. Here is the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/tennis/usopen06/news/story?id=2580650.


http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:


Sorry, I mean ‘all caught’ on camera, not ‘all court’. lol

Okiegal Says:


Thanks, I will check this out. There are tons of funny stuff on you tube regarding sports. I just go crazy looking at all of it. I like all of the player meltdowns with the racquets and umpires. It doesn’t take much to entertain me…..I suppose! I guess that is why I tune in to TX……sheer boredom! Lol

Okiegal Says:


I read the your link, that was funny. She remarked to the media did they really think that her team holding up a banana would have anything to do with her winning or losing the match….and she was so right. I think the media can ask some of the stupidest questions!

http://tiahpost.com/blog/ Says:


I also learnt something new. Never heard of the 4-fingers part of the story until I revisited that article. I find most of Maria’s responses to media questions really memorable. She makes it short and sweet. I think it was the same period that she was asked about rumors regarding her possible appearance on ‘Desperate Housewives’. Her response? Something like – ‘I am not desperate and I am not a housewife’. At times, I wish Federer could make his responses short and sweet like that. But, alas, I guess not! He is Mr. Fed!

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