Stefan Edberg

STEFAN EDBERG (SWEDEN)

Born: 19/1/1966

Australian Open 1985,1987

Wimbledon 1988,1990

US Open 1991,1992

Stefan Edberg was one of the greatest volleyers of all time. He also had a magnificent backhand, which when on form was a beautiful stroke to behold. Edberg was not a great server, but he varied his delivery, often employing the kick serve, which gave him time to get to the net. He very rarely stayed back behind his serve. He glided round the court with an effortless ease and covered the net like a panther. Edberg was also renowned for his sportsmanship, often conceding key points in matches if he felt there had been a bad call against his opponent. Edberg began playing tennis at the age of 6, when he went with a friend to play at their local club in Sweden. Initially he wasn’t particularly keen on the game and considered quitting, but his talent had been spotted, and he was persuaded to play on. From there he never looked back. Edberg had already won the Junior Grand Slam two years earlier when he won his first Grand Slam title in the senior game at the 1985 Australian Open aged 19. After coming through an epic semi final 9-7 in the fifth set against Ivan Lendl, Edberg beat his compatriot Mats Wilander in straight sets in the final. The tournament was switched from December to January so there was no event held in 1986. Edberg defended his title in 1987 in the last Australian Open to be held at the old Kooyong Stadium on grass. He overcame home favourite Pat Cash in a tough five set final. Lendl beat him in the semis at Wimbledon. In 1988 Edberg lost in the semis of the Australian to Wilander but hit form at Wimbledon. After coming from two sets to love down to beat Miloslav Mecir in the semis, Edberg overcame Boris Becker in a four set final. In 1989 Edberg led Michael Chang two sets to one in the French Open final and had several break points in the fourth set before losing the set and the match. At Wimbledon he lost in the final to Becker in straight sets. In the final of the 1990 Australian Open Edberg was hampered by an injury and had to retire to Lendl. It was another Edberg/Becker showdown in the final of Wimbledon. Edberg looked to be heading for a straight sets victory when he led by two sets to love but Becker came back to level at two sets all and led 3-1 in the fifth set. It seemed Edberg had missed his chance but he broke Becker back and broke again to take the fifth set 6-4 and with it his second Wimbledon title. Defending his title the following year, Edberg lost in the semis to Michael Stich, despite not losing his serve in the match 4-6,7-6,7-6,7-6. At the U.S. Open Edberg hit a rich vein of form. After destroying Chang, Javier Sanchez and Lendl, he thrashed Jim Courier in the final with a faultless display of serve-volley tennis. Courier gained his revenge in the final of the 1992 Australian Open but Edberg showed all his fighting qualities at the U.S. Open. He was a break down in the final set in three consecutive matches against Krajicek in the last 16, Lendl in the quarters and Chang in the semis on route to a final encounter with Pete Sampras. Edberg came from a set down to win in four sets to take his sixth and last Grand Slam title. He made it through to the final of the 1993 Australian Open but lost to Courier and lost to Courier again in the semis of Wimbledon. He lost early at the U.S. Open to Karel Novacek. Edberg's game slipped in 1994 and he would frequently show signs of mental frailty in tight situations. After an early loss to Lucky Loser Dick Norman at Wimbledon in 1995, Edberg announced that 1996 would be his last on tour. He went out on a high. He beat second seed Chang at the French, sweet revenge for his 1989 final defeat. He lost in the fourth round to Marc Rosset. At the U.S. Open Edberg beat reigning Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek in the first round and went on to reach the quarters before losing to Goran Ivanisevic. Having started the year outside the top 50, Edberg finished the year ranked just outside the top 10. In 2000 Edberg attended the Champions Parade at Wimbledon.

© GRAND SLAM TENNIS ARCHIVE

HEAD TO HEAD Win-Loss: A.Agassi 0-1, B.Becker 3-1, S.Bruguera 0-1, P.Cash 3-0, M.Chang 4-1, J.Connors 0-3, J.Courier 2-4, G.Ivanisevic 1-2, R.Krajicek 2-0, J.Kriek 1-1, I.Lendl 5-4, J.McEnroe 2-1, C.Moya 1-0, T.Muster 1-0, P.Sampras 2-0, M.Stich 0-2, M.Wilander 2-3

Stefan Edberg's Grand Slam record

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