(Reuters) - Former world number one Roger Federer has made his “childhood hero” Stefan Edberg part of his coaching team and will use him on an occasional basis next year, the Swiss said on Friday.
“I am happy to announce that beginning in Melbourne, Stefan Edberg will join Severin Luethi on my coaching team,” Federer, a 17 times grand slam champion, announced on his Facebook page referring to next month’s Australian Open.
Swede Edberg, also a former world number one, won six grand slams, including two Australian Open titles, in the mid-1980s.
“Severin, who has been part of my team for the last seven years, will do most of the weeks and Stefan has agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open in Melbourne,” the 32-year-old Federer added.
“Stefan was my childhood hero, and I am really looking forward to spending time (with) and learning from him.”
Federer is the third leading player to hire a former tennis great to help on the coaching side after Andy Murray’s link up with Ivan Lendl and world number two Novak Djokovic’s decision to recruit Boris Becker to his team.
“I’m really excited to be part of Roger’s team and I hope together we can bring out his best tennis,” Edberg was quoted as saying on the ATP website (www.atpworldtour.com).
The Australian Open, the first of the season’s four grand slam tournaments, begins on January 13 with Federer looking for his fifth title there and first since 2010.
The world number six opens his season next week at the Brisbane International, where Briton Murray has been champion for the last two seasons.
Writing by Rex Gowar; Editing by Ken Ferris