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Stefan Bengt Edberg (born 19 January 1966 in Västervikmarker, Swedenmarker) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player (in both singles and doubles) from Sweden. A major proponent of the serve-and-volley style of tennis, he won six Grand Slam singles titles and three Grand Slam men's doubles titles.

Career

Edberg first came to the tennis world's attention as a junior player. He won all four Grand Slam junior titles in 1983 to become the first-ever player to achieve the "Junior Grand Slam". Later that year as a professional, Edberg won his first career doubles title in Baselmarker.

In 1984, Edberg won his first top-level singles title in Milanmarker. Edberg also won the tennis tournament at the 1984 Summer Olympics when the sport was an exhibition event and partnered with fellow Swede Anders Järryd to reach the final of the US Openmarker. Edberg also reached the French Open doubles final with Järryd in 1986 and consequently was World No. 1 in doubles in that year.

Edberg's first two Grand Slam singles titles came at the Australian Openmarker. In 1985, he defeated Mats Wilander in straight sets to claim his first major title. Two years later, he defended his title (as the tournament was not held in 1986) and beat Pat Cash in five sets to win the last Australian Open held on grass courts. Edberg also won the Australian Open and US Openmarker men's doubles titles in 1987 (partnering fellow-Swede Anders Järryd).

In 1988, Edberg reached the first of three consecutive finals at Wimbledonmarker. In all three finals, he played Boris Becker in what became one of Wimbledon's greatest rivalries. Edberg won their first encounter in a four-set match spread over two days because of rain delays. A year later, Becker won in straight sets. The closest of their matches came in the 1990 final, when Edberg won in five sets after being down a break in the fifth set.

In 1990, an abdominal muscle injury forced Edberg to retire from the Australian Open final while trailing Ivan Lendl 5–2 (including two breaks of serve) in the third set. Edberg nevertheless took the World No. 1 ranking from Lendl on 13 August 1990 by winning the Super 9 tournament in Cincinnati. He held it for the rest of that year and for much of 1991 and 1992. Edberg spent a total of 72 weeks as World No. 1.

Edberg's final two Grand Slam singles triumphs came at the US Open, with wins over Jim Courier in the 1991 final and Pete Sampras in the 1992 final, who was just months away from being ranked No. 1 in the world.

Edberg's last Grand Slam singles final appearances were at the Australian Open, where he lost in four sets to Jim Courier in both 1992 and 1993.

In 1996, Edberg won his third and final Grand Slam doubles title at Australian Open with Petr Korda.

The only Grand Slam singles title Edberg never won was the French Openmarker. He reached the French Open final in 1989 but lost in five sets to 17-year old Michael Chang, who became the youngest ever male winner of a Grand Slam singles title.

Edberg was most comfortable playing tennis on fast-playing surfaces. Of his six Grand Slam singles titles, four were won on grass courts at the Australian Open (1985 and 1987) and Wimbledon (1988 and 1990) and two were won on hardcourts at the US Open (1991 and 1992).

Post-career competitive tennis

In September 2008, Stefan Edberg officially joined the Black Rock Tour of Champions, a tour for professional tennis players who have since retired from the ATP Tour. Edberg won his first tournament in Parismarker held on clay, winning matches against clay court specialists Thomas Muster in the opening round and Sergi Bruguera in the finals on Sunday, 21 September, 2008.

Distinctions and honors

  • Edberg also played on four Swedish Davis Cup winning teams in 1984, 1985, 1987, and 1994. He appeared in seven Davis Cup finals—a record for a Swedish player.
  • Since the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) computer rankings began, Edberg and John McEnroe are the only men to be ranked World No. 1 in both singles and doubles.
  • Edberg is the only player ever to earn both Player of the Year and Doubles Team of the Year. Edberg won Player of the Year in 1990 and 1991 and Doubles Team of the Year (with fellow Swede Anders Järryd) in 1986.
  • Edberg and Boris Becker are the only male tennis players ever to receive the United Press International Athlete of the Year Award (with Edberg having received the award in 1990).
  • Edberg was also a member of the Swedish teams that won the World Team Cup in 1988, 1991, and 1995.
  • At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angelesmarker, where tennis was a demonstration sport, Edberg won the men's singles gold medal. Four years later, at the 1988 Olympics in Seoulmarker, tennis became a full medal sport and Edberg won bronze medals in both the men's singles and the men's doubles.
  • During his career, Edberg won a total of 42 top-level singles titles and 18 doubles titles and appeared in a then record 54 consecutive Grand Slam tournaments (since then broken by Wayne Ferreira) .
  • He was ranked the World No. 1 for a total of 72 weeks.
  • Edberg was also a five-time recipient of the ATP Sportsmanship Award (1988-90, 1992, and 1995). In recognition of this achievement, the ATP renamed the award the "Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award" in 1996.
  • In 2004, Edberg was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Famemarker in Newport, Rhode Islandmarker, United States.
  • Edberg won singles titles in 12 different countries: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlandsmarker, Qatarmarker, Spain, Swedenmarker, Switzerlandmarker, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
  • Edberg is considered by Tennis Magazine as the 14th greatest player, counting both male and female tennis players, of the Tennis Era. Counting men only, Edberg ranks 8th.
  • Edberg was awarded the Svenska Dagbladet Gold Medal in 1990.
  • Edberg was a childhood hero of current World No. 1 Roger Federer.
  • Edberg is one of the few players who reached the final of all four Grand Slam tournaments, winning three of them. In the 1989 French Openmarker final, Edberg lead the match by two sets to one over Michael Chang and had numerous break points during the fourth and fifth sets. He eventually led the match by a break in the fifth set but could not win it.
  • Edberg won several Grand Slam matches after being down a break of service in the fifth and deciding set. Notable examples include the 1988 Wimbledonmarker semifinal against Miloslav Mečíř, the 1989 French Open semifinal against Boris Becker, and the 1990 Wimbledon final against Becker. In the 1992 US Open, Edberg did it in three consecutive matches, against Richard Krajicek in the fourth round, Ivan Lendl in the quarterfinals, and Chang in the semifinals. In all these examples except the 1989 French Open final, Edberg went on to win the title.


Trivia

  • Edberg was involved in a freak accident during the boys' singles final at the 1983 US Openmarker, when Richard Wertheim, a linesman, was struck by a ball hit by Edberg. Wertheim toppled backwards off his chair fracturing his skull as he hit the ground. Wertheim died of his injury.
  • Edberg is a supporter of English football team Leeds United.
  • Edberg is a part-owner and board member of the Swedish investment company Case Assets Management.
  • Edberg is married to Annette Olsen, one-time girlfriend of Mats Wilander. They have two children, Emilie and Christopher.


Records

  • These records were attained in Open Era of tennis.
Grand Slam Years Record accomplished Player tied
Australian Openmarker 1985-93 5 finals overall Stands Alone
Australian Open 1985-87^ 2 consecutive wins Ken Rosewall Guillermo Vilas Johan Kriek Mats Wilander Ivan Lendl Jim Courier Andre Agassi Roger Federer
(^No Championship in 1986)

Career Statistics



Quote

  • "If he hadn't lived," Edberg later said of Van Allen, "Michael and I might still be out there playing!"
    • Background : Jimmy Van Allen (famed for his invention of the tennis tiebreak) died on the same day in 1991 that Michael Stich narrowly defeated Edberg in a Wimbledonmarker semifinal 4–6, 7–6(5), 7–6(5), 7–6(2) where Edberg did not lose his serve.


See also



References

  1. Weeks at Number One
  2. Edberg Hits Back For First BlackRock Title BlackRock Tour Of Champions, 21 September 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2008.
  3. Champions Series Tennis - Player Profile
  4. Tennis.com - 40 Greatest Players of the Tennis Era, Retrieved 23 October 2008.
  5. "Tennis Legends Revealed"
  6. Stefan Edberg returns to play Tim Henman
  7. Stefan Edberg: A Champion reflects, Rediff India Abroad. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  8. An Astonishing Net Result, SI Vault. Retrieved 22 October 2008.


External links




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