Paris: World number three Roger Federer has shaken up his 2016 coaching team with six-time Grand Slam champion Stefan Edberg leaving and Croatian Ivan Ljubicic drafted in to replace the Swede.
Federer, the 17-time Grand Slam winner, issued a statement on his website Tuesday saying that “his childhood idol” Edberg had originally signed up as an assistant coach only for 2014.
“After two very successful years, I would like to thank Stefan Edberg, my childhood idol, for agreeing to join my team,” Federer said on www.rogerfederer.com.
“It was a dream come true. 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. He will always be a part of my team.”
The change constitutes another throw of the dice for Federer, 34, as he bids to prolong his stay at the top of men`s tennis and add to his all-time record haul of Grand Slam titles.
Federer said that Severin Luthi will continue to be his main coach, continuing a partnership that began in 2008.
Edberg said he had a “wonderful two years” with Federer but made it clear that he always planned to walk away at the end of this season.
“After an amazing 2014, I decided to continue on for another year, but with a clear understanding that it would be my last year given the time commitment,” he said in a statement on the ATP website.
“I believe Roger still has a lot left to give to the sport of tennis and is capable of winning the big events… I will always feel part of the Federer team.”
Ljubicic, a former world number three, 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.
Federer will make his 2016 ATP Tour debut at the Brisbane International which begins on January 3.