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Roger a special person: Edberg

Melbourne: Stefan Edberg believes his return to the Tour as a coach of Roger Federer can help the Swiss add to his record tally of 17 Grand Slam titles.

The Swede will be a part of Federer’s team for 10 weeks in 2014, including all four Grand Slam events.

“I am doing it because I really think I can make a little difference,” Edberg told a small group of reporters at Melbourne Park on Monday.

“If I can make a little difference, maybe that will take him back where he was.

“Roger has to do the work on the court but it’s maybe just a different voice, different opinions and obviously I’ve been in this situation before, in the big tournaments.

“Tennis-wise he’s such a great player but there are always many things you can work on, maybe minor things in his game.

“It’s going to be a tough road but I still believe he’s good enough on a given day to beat anybody.

“If he could win a Slam here this year, it would be great but it’s a tough task, a lot of good players.”

With Boris Becker having joined Novak Djokovic’s team and Ivan Lendl now in his third year as Andy Murray’s coach, Edberg’s return has added to a buzz of excitement on the Tour.

The soft-spoken Swede quit the Tour in 1996 after winning six Grand Slam singles titles and still makes the occasional appearance on the Champions Tour.

Looking like he could still be out there himself, Edberg hinted that only Federer could have persuaded him to give up his “comfortable life”.

“I think Roger is such a special person both on and off the court, a person that I really respect and because it was him, at least I gave it a thought,” he said.

“I talked with my family because I live a pretty comfortable life now and this is a change.

“But it’s such a great opportunity to be around Roger and (maybe) I can have a good input in keeping him in this game as long as we can, because he’s so great for tennis.”

Speaking further Edberg said: "It's great to be back in Melbourne. I haven't been here since I played in 1996. It's great to be out there again - and on the same court as Roger.

"Roger's been around for a long time, but there's always room for improvement. You need to improve your game every year, because everybody is improving. There are certain areas I can see, but the main thing is to stay healthy and be motivated. Wanting to be out there, that's the main thing."

Realistically, Edberg agreess with the general sentiment that this tournamnent is between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djkokovic. They dominated last year, and Federer did it hard.

“2013 was a tough year,” said Edberg. “But we’ve got a new year here. It’s always great to come to Australia for the first tournament of the year. Everybody’s been away. It creates an opportunity.”