Ivan Ljubicic has taken on a new role following the retirement of his charge Roger Federer
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Roger Federer’s coach has taken up his first job since the Swiss star retired in September, leaving him out of work. Ivan Ljubicic has been given a high-flying role at the French Tennis Federation where he will supervise and guide over-14s players looking to forge a career in tennis. It is his first post-playing job outside of coaching and managing individual players.
Federer sent shockwaves through the tennis world when he announced his retirement in September, following two years spent on-and-off the sidelines as he struggled with an ongoing knee injury. His decision had a huge impact on the game as his Big Three rivals were at his final tournament to wave goodbye to his career, but arguably nobody was more affected than the Swiss star’s coaches.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had spent 14 months on the sidelines following his third knee surgery as he continued to attempt a comeback up until just a few weeks before he deciding to end his career, meaning Ljubicic and Severin Luthi kept busy despite Federer’s absence from the tour as they continued to coach him with the hope of a return.
While Luthi has remained working with Federer at his Uniqlo kids clinic appearances, Ljubicic had not found a new job in tennis until now as the former pro has been snapped up by the French Tennis Federation, who appointed him the head of their ‘Ambition 2024’ mission. The former world No 3 will start his new role from January 15, as France bids to find and nurture its future tennis talents.
“I am very happy to join the French Tennis Federation, one of the federations in the world that devotes the most resources to developing the potential of its young people,” the 43-year-old said, following the announcement of his new role. “France has a very rich, very promising breeding ground, and I put my experience at the service of this new challenge with total commitment and a strong desire to share the values that forge champions.”
Federer’s ex-coach will be responsible for overseeing France’s over-14s and will also work alongside some other retired pros in Nicolas Escude, Paul-Henri Mathieu, and Pauline Parmentier. The new Ambition 2024 programme has been created in hopes of securing some tennis talent ahead in time for the 2024 Paris Olympics, while the federation is hoping to boost the number of French players at the top end of the ATP and WTA rankings.