Tennis

Coaching Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic: Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker share memories

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Novak Djokovic and Boris Becker, and Stefan Edberg and Roger Federer

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ByDan Quarrell
06/07/2020 at 12:26 | Updated 06/07/2020 at 12:32
@Dan_Eurosport

Speaking on Eurosport's Tennis Legends vodcast, 'super coaches' Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg reveal their experiences working with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Swedish legend Edberg worked with Federer between 2013 and 2015, while Eurosport expert Becker coached Djokovic from 2013 until 2016.

Speaking with Tennis Legends presenter Mats Wilander, the pair opened up about their memories of working with the superstar duo as their famous coaches.

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First Edberg opened up on what an honour it was to work with Federer, and spoke about how they came to pair up and what they worked on together to improve his game.

"Obviously, it was an honour to be asked to coach Roger," Edberg said on the vodcast. "It took me some time to decide. We actually spent a week in Dubai just to get to know each other before going on the tour, but to summarise things: it was great to be around Roger, he's such an ambassador for tennis - and obviously, yes, we talked about tennis, about strategy.

"He wanted to change his game and that was maybe part of the reason why he took me in to get a few ideas. He knows so much about tennis so there is only so much you can sort of teach him because he knows pretty much everything on the court.

"But it was nice to get somebody else who has been in the same position, being in the finals and trying to change the game. Once you get older, you maybe need to change your game, and that is what we worked a lot on.

I think the great thing, looking back, was he switched racket to more of a modern racket - that was really key. He changed his game a little bit. His movement got a little bit more aggressive, which I think he needed to do. So it worked out very well - it was good to be around.

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Becker then spoke about his memories of working with Djokovic, who has also spoken to his former coach and Wilander for Eurosport, and the key areas they worked on together to develop his mentality and approach.

"I started with mentality," Becker said. "Ultimately, it's about attitude and then how you approach big matches.

He had his way, he had lost a couple of big finals to Rafa and to Roger, so he was mentally down.

"I thought his court positioning was a little off. I thought his old approach was a bit too passive to defend. If he let these guys overtake him, and tough guys do that, so it was a whole package.

"But I remember the very first time I was on the sideline and obviously Novak and Roger were big rivals, and they were speaking to Stefan and me right before the match, shaking hands and having small talk.

"Even after the match, it was a very odd atmosphere in the locker room when you had two guys in the corner looking at each other, and Stefan and me chatting back like it is a walk in the park."

Look out for the full Tennis Legends vodcast and the latest podcast from Mats Wilander, Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg on Thursday...

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