Roger Federer added six-time Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg, a serve-and-volley specialist, to his coaching team as he prepares for the Australian Open tennis tournament that starts Jan. 13.
Federer, 32, of Switzerland, has a men’s record 17 singles titles in major tournaments -- Wimbledon and the Australian, French and U.S. opens. Only one of those titles has come in the last three years.
Federer has been without a head coach since splitting with Paul Annacone in October. He has worked with Severin Luthi, Switzerland’s Davis Cup captain, for seven years.
“I am happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Luthi on my coaching team,” Federer said yesterday in a statement on his website.
Federer won one tournament in 2013, on grass in Halle, Germany, and failed to reach the final of any of the four Grand Slam tournaments for the first time since 2002. In the last 14 months he has slipped from No. 1 to the sixth-ranked men’s tennis player.
“Stefan has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open,” Federer said in the statement.
Federer revealed in a Dec. 16 Twitter post that he’d spent a week practicing with Edberg, saying, “It was great spending time with one of my childhood heroes!”
Edberg, 47, who won Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the U.S. Open two times each, won his last major title at the U.S. Open in 1992.
“I’m really excited to be part of Roger’s team and I hope together we can bring out his best tennis,” the Swede said in the statement.
Earlier this month, No. 2-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia announced that he had hired Boris Becker, 46, as his coach. Becker, who often faced Edberg in Grand Slam finals, also won six majors by relying on a serve-and-volley style.
Federer and Djokovic each has a chance to become the first man to win five Australian Open titles since the sport’s professional era began in 1968. They currently share the record of four championships with Andre Agassi of the U.S.
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