Edberg backs Robson over decision to cut ties with coach

 
Frank Dalleres
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BRITAIN’S Laura Robson has made the right decision in jettisoning a third coach in 18 months, according to former world No1 Stefan Edberg.

The Swede, who won five of his six grand slam titles under British coach Tony Pickard, believes Robson, 19, can improve by focusing on honing her strengths rather than trying to eliminate her weaknesses.

Robson parted ways with Andy Murray’s former aide Miles Maclagan last week, just four months after joining forces. That followed a nine-month spell under Croatian Zeljko Krajan.

“Maybe having a lot of coaches isn’t the best situation but, equally, if you stay with the wrong person and do not make a decision that is probably worse,” Edberg said.

“People often talk about how you should work on your weaknesses. For me it was the forehand from the baseline. But I was more concerned with strengthening my strengths.

“For me, that is a more positive way to be, and you need weapons to win matches. That is what Laura Robson has, weapons.

“So although she may need to work on her movement and things like that, there are plenty of players that would only ever be able to move to a certain level. But if they have a huge weapon, like she has the serve and forehand, make them even better and they will win matches for you.”

Robson’s best results came under Krajan, between September last year and May 2013, claiming big scalps and rising more than 100 places up the world rankings to 27. Yet under Maclagan the Australia-born teenager has faltered, winning just three matches in her last four events.

Edberg puts his success with Pickard, who later worked with Britain’s Greg Rusedski, down to their strong off-field bond as much as his coaching.

“Tony and I had a great relationship,” added Edberg. “We would hardly talk about tennis in the evenings on tour. We would talk about business, investments, life. If I had a personal problem, I could tell him. He was like a second Dad to me.”

Stefan Edberg will compete in the Statoil Masters Tennis with John McEnroe, Tim Henman and Goran Ivanisevic at the Royal Albert Hall, 4-8 December. Hospitality packages from £179. Call 020 8233 5854 or email statoilmasters@imgworld.com.