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Federer and Edberg discuss racquets and history
Published Nov 02, 2020
Two legends of the sport, Roger Federer and Stefan Edberg, recently got together to discuss all things Wilson, tactics and tennis on Zoom.
Both champions have swung a Pro Staff and had incredible results. In fact, Federer and Edberg have a combined 26 Grand Slam titles.
When Edberg first turned pro, he was using a wood racquet, but would make the switch to aluminum and quickly reach the Rotterdam final before claiming his first pro tournament in Milan.
“Great control, it was just a great feeling," the Swede said. "I felt where I hit the ball every time, and I tried to make some changes to different racquets at the beginning of my career, but I couldn’t quite get the same feeling."
Edberg does have some regrets about not testing any newer technologies as they continued to be released, but is overall happy with the six majors the Pro Staff helped him to. Although, Federer's edition of the Pro Staff was an updated one, the Swiss was thrilled to be holding the same style of racquet as many No. 1's before him.
Pete Sampras, Jim Courier and Edberg were just a few super stars that took the court with the classic frame.
“I never thought I was going to have this kind of a career when I was young and to have done it all in the Pro Staff line, it has been very nice for me," Federer said.
Federer with Edberg in 2015. (Getty)
The 39-year-old hasn't tested out too many racquets over the course of his 22 years on tour. However, he did make a significant switch in 2013 from a 90-inch frame to a 98 size. The change didn't land him another Grand Slam title in 2014, but he did take home five titles that year.
Edberg worked with Federer during that period, giving him the confidence to commit to the change. To have one of his heroes guide him through the process meant everything to Federer.
“You’re my hero now,” Edberg said to Federer.
The two would then dive into the topic of serve and volleying, a specialty of Edberg's and a tactic that seems to be dwindling more and more as time goes on.
“In the future, if you want to be No. 1 you’re going to have to be able to do everything," Edberg said. "There is still room for serve and volleying, but it will never be how it was 20, 30 years ago."
Federer agreed and believes more drills need to incorporate net play, and said it's all a mindset that players need to accept they will get passed at the net from time to time. The ability to shrink the court by closing the net holds a ton of value.
Before wrapping up the conversation, Federer shared his most memorable match with the Pro Staff.
At Wimbledon in 2001, Federer defeated Sampras for the first time on Centre Court in the only meeting between the two. The occasion was special for many reasons, including their bond over the Pro Staff.
Federer beat Sampras in five sets in the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2001. (Getty)
“For me to have that clash of the Pro Staffs, the two of us playing one another, I think if I look in a Pro Staff world that would be it," Federer said. "If I would have played Stefan that would have been another one, but unfortunately that match never happened."
Wilson recently released the 13th versionof the Pro Staff that still embodies the classic feel of the original.