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December 27, 2013 - 11:05pm

Federer hires ‘hero’ Edberg as coach

Roger Federer is adding Stefan Edberg to his team, part of a recent trend of top tennis players hiring ex-stars as coaches.

Federer, owner of a record 17 Grand Slam titles, said Friday on Facebook that six-time major champion Edberg “agreed to work with us for at least 10 weeks starting at the Australian Open.”

Federer refers to Edberg as his “childhood hero.” Severin Luthi will continue to work with Federer, too.

In October, Federer split with coach Paul Annacone after 3½ seasons together.

Federer finished 2013 ranked No. 6. It’s the first season since 2002 he didn’t reach a major final.

The announcement comes a little more than a week after Novak Djokovic hired Boris Becker as a coach. Andy Murray already had been working with Ivan Lendl.

V. Williams feeling fit, healthy for new season

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Venus Williams says she’s as fit and healthy as she has been in years and hopes to turn a dream into reality when she starts her season at the Auckland WTA tournament from Monday.

The seven-time grand slam winner arrived in Auckland from Los Angeles on Friday and said her aim was to reach the Auckland final.

Williams said “the other day I dreamed I had a win and I woke up and realized I hadn’t even played a round. I hope to go round by round and at least get to the finals — that would be awesome.”

The 33-year-old, who won her last final in Luxembourg in October 2012, said she had been working hard during the offseason.

“I feel like I’m coming into the season as fit and healthy as I have in many years, so for me that’s exciting and I have a positive outlook. My goal is to be like Serena Williams!”

Five expected on US speedskating team

KEARNS, Utah — Jilleanne Rookard won the 3,000 meters at the US Olympic speedskating trials Friday.

Rookard finished more than 4 seconds ahead of Anna Ringsred at 4:13.81. The top two are expected to be named to the Olympic team when it is officially announced on New Year’s Day.

Jonathan Kuck dominated in the men’s 5,000, winning in 6 minutes, 19.75 seconds, almost 6 seconds ahead of runner-up Emery Lehman. Patrick Meek was third and will likely join Kuck and Lehman on the Olympic team.

The trials are being held at the Utah Olympic Oval, site of speedskating during the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

By wire sources

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