Federer has no plans to wow Edberg, just to win

Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:30am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Glancing up at the legends of tennis can make 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer push too hard for the "wow" factor, so new coach Stefan Edberg can expect a cold shoulder from the cool Swiss when watching from the stands.

Federer has hired Edberg, twice a winner at Melbourne Park, to help him win more slams and the new partnership began successfully on a baking hot Tuesday as the Swiss moved into the Australian Open second round with a 6-4 6-4 6-2 trouncing of local wildcard James Duckworth.

Six-times grand slam champion Edberg watched impassively from behind a pair of sunglasses, and sat in a shaded stand at Rod Laver Arena as his 32-year-old charge wrapped up proceedings in less than two hours to escape the heat.

Federer, unlike triple defending champion Novak Djokovic or Briton Andy Murray, has never been one for drawing comfort from the player's box, and is unlikely to change for his "childhood hero".

"I realize after a set I didn't look up once yet," Federer told reporters after notching his record 57th appearance in grand slams. "I better check if he's actually sitting there. I did see him. He was wearing sunglasses. 'Okay, he is there'.

"No, I don't look up much. I stopped doing that way back when because I said you just can't be dependent on these entire looks all the time.

"Being coached from the sidelines, that's not how I grew up. I feel like it's like in school, you know, you do your work. At home, you get ready for the test, and then the test, you don't cheat and you try to do your best score.

"I see it the same way in tennis. Clearly when I did look up ... it's nice seeing him sitting there. Even if he wouldn't be my coach it would be nice. Plus he's in my corner, it's great."   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to James Duckworth of Australia during their men's singles match at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic