Federer splits with Edberg, hires Ljubicic

NEW YORK • Roger Federer plays on at age 34, and he will play on without Stefan Edberg, his boyhood idol and assistant coach.

The Swiss tennis star announced on Tuesday that Edberg is leaving his staff after two years and would be replaced by Ivan Ljubicic, his good friend and former tour rival.

"It was a dream come true," Federer said in a statement of working with Edberg, the former world No. 1 player from Sweden. "Although it was supposed to only be for 2014, Stefan was great and agreed to extend the partnership through this year, which I really appreciated. He taught me so much, and his influence on my game will remain."

Federer, ranked world No. 3, said Severin Luthi, the Swiss Davis Cup captain who has been working with him since 2008, would remain his head coach.

"It probably should be an easy transition," Paul Annacone, Federer's former coach, said. "Severin is kind of the glue, and if Severin is there and the other particles come around and they stick to the glue, they'll be fine."

In a statement, Edberg confirmed that he had coached this year with the "clear understanding that it would be my last year".

He believes the Swiss still has the ability to win the big events.

But Federer did not win the biggest ones during his two years with Edberg, failing to win an 18th Grand Slam singles title and losing in the 2014 and 2015 Wimbledon finals and this year's US Open final.

Under Edberg, Federer sharpened his offensive skills and recovered from a difficult 2013 with a 73-12 record last year and a 63-11 mark this year.

Ljubicic, a former world No. 3, had been working as Canadian Milos Raonic's coach since 2013 but will now be a key part of Federer's travelling back-room entourage.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2015, with the headline 'Federer splits with Edberg, hires Ljubicic'. Print Edition | Subscribe