It’s official, Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg have parted ways after two years of what was a successful partnership. Granted, they didn’t win any Grand Slam together, but given Federer’s age and where he was a few years ago losing to guys named Federico Delbonis, Sergiy Stakhovsky and Tommy Robredo, I’d still say it was a success.
Under Edberg, who sounds like he was tiring from the commitment in the end, Federer added another set of twins to the clan, he brought out the SABR and he went to a larger racquet. And for me, the biggest change Federer has made the last few years is that racquet. That’s been the catalyst for this rebound.
So as long as new coach Ivan Ljubicic doesn’t make him go back to the smaller frame, I don’t think we’ll see much of a difference in Roger’s play and results.
Federer knows his stuff. He’s won countless Slams without any true coach. If he needs anything it’s perspective on how to play certain players, particularly Novak Djokovic.
Edberg had been out of the game for so long that maybe he doesn’t quite have the familiarity with the current level of play that someone like Ivan Ljubicic has. Maybe Ljubicic can give Federer some new insights, new strategies for Novak Djokovic. After all, that’s the goal right now. Chasing Novak.
In order to win Slams right now you are going to have to beat Djokovic in best-of-5. Federer came up short twice this year in the last two Slams, and maybe Roger feels he’s not getting any closer to beating the Serb by listening to Edberg.
And for what it’s worth, Ljubicic has two wins over Novak most notably at 2010 Indian Wells.
Why Ivan? He retired just a few years ago in 2012 and has stayed part of the game since, recently leading Milos Raonic. They are friends. Ivan plays single-handed, big serve, heady player who maximized his game once reaching No. 3 in the world. And he’ll have thought not just on Novak but also on Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and others. But Novak has to be the priority.
So while I don’t think this changes much in terms of Roger’s style of play, schedule, etc, maybe, just maybe, Ljubicic helps Federer take a bit out of Djokovic massive ranking lead and gets him another win or two in a Slam. I guess at this stage and Roger’s age, anything is worth a shot.
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