2013 was perhaps the most difficult season of his entire career for Roger Federer, unable to achieve the usual results due to a general lack of confidence combined with a physical condition far from optimal. After the semifinal reached at the Australian Open earlier this year, the Swiss phenomenon reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, a disappointing second round at Wimbledon and did not go beyond the round of 16 at the US Open, giving way to a brave Tommy Robredo in a truly daring.
When the specter of retirement was already circulating among the insiders, the former world number 1 decided to rely on the skilled hands of Stefan Edberg and to use a racket with a wider head to help him on the backhand side.
Interviewed by the Tennis Channel in recent days, the Swede recalled his collaboration with Roger between 2014 and 2015, enhanced by two finals at Wimbledon and one at the US Open (all lost to Novak Djokovic).
Edberg on Roger Federer
Speaking on the Tennis Channel Podcast Network, Stefan Edberg said, “Going back, 2013 was a tough year for Roger Federer.
He had back problems, maybe lost his way a little bit,” the Swede recalled. “He needed to get some inspiration, maybe had some thoughts about how he can develop his game,” Edberg said. Although Federer didn’t win a single Grand Slam on his watch, Edberg helped the Swiss Master improve his game.
“He made a decision to switch rackets, which was very, very important, I think. And that’s when I came into the picture in 2014,” the Swede said. “We got off to (a) start in Dubai, where we met the first time (and) spent a week to get around.
I had thought how he could become a better player, I think he had, in his mind, what he wanted to do. And that’s how we got started, just to, you know, take it from day to day. I’ve been in the same situation as him as well”.
Sharing the thoughts that Federer had on improving his game, the Swede said, “He wanted to be a more offensive player. For him, it was more to have some new input, some new ideas, and maybe a little bit of inspiration to get off to new stocks, which he did in 2014.
I think, again, switching that record was very, very crucial…going into new technology. So that’s how it all started."