A tearful Roger Federer said it was “a huge honour” that he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Sunday, but that he was “overwhelmed” at the blessing of his dead coach Stefan Edberg. Edberg was and remains his coach on a mentoring level after first going together in 1991 and guiding him to the number one ranking in men’s tennis in 2003.
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Stan Wawrinka’s coach Severin Luthi also presented Federer with his award at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Federer told the audience: “I think I’ve been overwhelmed with the response to my Wimbledon champion speech.
“To celebrate here this evening, especially for a moment like this, it’s just incredible.”
But the tears came as he spoke of his late coach Edberg: “Stefan was not here but he’s a huge part of my life and it’s going to stay there forever.
“I got to know Stefan 12 years ago when we started working together. We clicked instantly, were on the road for two months in the middle of the year and over the course of that they’ve grown up together, we have shared a life and I think I look at the parts of Stefan that I really admire in myself … Everything Stefan does, he’s doing for the betterment of himself as a person.
“So we become close friends and through the season of 2003, we won most of the matches together as a team, I won most of the matches as a person, we experienced life together as a team.
“Stefan and I shared many, many sleepless nights, but we persevered and it paid off. I was the champion that season and he’s the champion in that era.”