• Wimbledon

Federer already better thanks to Edberg, claims coach's mentor

ESPN staff
July 4, 2014
Roger Federer is aiming for a record eighth Wimbledon title © Getty Images

Stefan Edberg's former mentor believes the Swede has already made Roger Federer a better player and backed him to guide the 17-time grand slam champion to further glory.

Tony Pickard, who masterminded Edberg's rise to world No.1 and six grand slam singles titles, says his former pupil has given Federer a new edge as he pushed for a record eighth Wimbledon title.

"He [Federer] believes in coming in a little bit and it's not on a wing and a prayer. He is looking for the moment, but still doesn't do it enough for me," Pickard told the Times.

Federer in last-chance saloon

Roger Federer has won 17 grand slams © Getty Images
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"Before he didn't do it at all and in six months, the two of them have a rapport and they obviously trust each other.

"Having spent time sitting with Stefan, he believes the guy will do it. He and I had a relationship from day one and together I saw him win slams, become No.1 in the world.

"Stefan takes on a job with a guy who has been No.1 in the world who has won slams, so you can't walk in and say, 'Hey, wait a minute, the way you play isn't good.' You've got to go softly, softly and feed into what he does."

After beating Milos Raonic in their Wimbledon singles semi-final on Friday, the Swiss will contest the 25th grand slam final of his career on Centre Court on Sunday.

He has won 17 of his 24 previous grand slam finals and, while cautious of Federer's chances on other surfaces, Pickard believes the current world No.4 can win Wimbledon again under Edberg's stewardship.

"Obviously, he [Federer] still wants them all, but I honestly believe now that this [Wimbledon] is the only one he can win.

"They both achieved in their particular eras the premier position in the game and it would be lovely to see them succeed here. It would be magical."

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