We owe Stefan Edberg for bringing us back the vintage Roger Federer. But all good things must come to an end. Despite still stuck at an all-time Grand Slam tally of 17, the last two seasons witnessed the rebirth of the Swiss maestro.
While the Slam drought can be disappointing for Federer, the Fedberg partnership was good for tennis, for it accounted for the revival of serve-and-volley. Edberg, has put his protégé on the right path, whetting the tools in the latter’s arsenal to redress the aspects of his game affected by age.
In those two years, Federer came almost close to adding another Slam thrice. That however doesn’t undermine the accomplishments of team ‘Fedberg’; winning Majors alone aren’t a yardstick to success.
Edberg first coaching stint was nothing short of impressive. The prospect of another Grand Slam could have accounted for his extended stay in the team. (The Swede’s initial plan was to assist Federer for only a year) All the times Federer reached a Grand Slam final in the past two years -- 2014, 2015 Wimbledon; 2015 US Open -- the odds were in favour of his stronger opponent Novak Djokovic, yet, none of them were blowout wins.
There had been moments that made us picture Federer lifting an 18th Slam. It was Djokovic’s mental strength that gave him an edge over Federer in all the aforementioned nerve-racking matches. When Edberg extended his service, he might have had hopes of ending Federer’s Slam drought. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, despite ‘Fedberg’ being a marriage of true minds.