DID YOU KNOW? TENNIS TIT BITS
Many people love tennis but don't play it and don't have a clue what it takes to win a match. But they love the game anyway, possibly because they see a player that they admire and for that player, they follow the game.
I want to talk here about the greats of the game from the past, those who reached the greatest heights in the game, those who became No 1.
And I want to start with one of my favourite players, Stefan Edberg.
Stefan Bengt Edberg (born 19 January 1966) 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.
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 second player to achieve the "Junior Grand Slam". The other is Butch Buckholz, the founder of the Miami Masters (formerly the Players' Championships, popularly considered the 5th grand slam. Later that year as a professional, Edberg won his first career doubles title in Basel.
In 1984, Edberg won his first top-level singles title in Milan. 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 Open. Edberg also reached the French Open doubles final with Järryd in 1986 and consequently was World No. 1 in doubles in that year.
U.S. fans first took notice of Edberg's professional career when he won the U.S. Indoor in Memphis in February 1985. Edberg's first two Grand Slam singles titles came at the Australian Open. In December 1985, he defeated Mats Wilander in straight sets to claim his first major title. In January 1987, he defended his title by defeating Pat Cash in five sets to win the last Australian Open held on grass courts. Edberg also won the Australian Open and US Open men's doubles titles in 1987 (partnering fellow Swede Anders Järryd).
In 1988, Edberg reached the first of three consecutive finals at Wimbledon. 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 going up 2 sets to love and then being down a break in the fifth set. He played a great lob to get back the break and went on to break Becker in the 9th game before serving out for the championship.
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 (now called ATP Tour 1000). 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.
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 Open. 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).
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 Paris held on clay, winning matches against clay court specialists Thomas Muster (who he never lost to on the tour)in the opening round and Sergi Bruguera (who announced himself as a future grand slam champion by beating Edberg in the first round of the French Open in 1990) in the finals on Sunday, 21 September 2008.
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 Angeles, where tennis was a demonstration sport, Edberg won the men's singles gold medal. Four years later, at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, 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).
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 Fame in Newport, Rhode Island, United States.
Edberg won singles titles in 12 different countries: Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Qatar, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, 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 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 Open final, Edberg lost to Michael Chang in five sets.
Edberg's distinctive serve is used as the logo for the Australian Open.
Edberg was born in Västervik, Sweden.
He is married to Annette Hjort Olsen. They have two children, Emilie and Christopher. (Olsen was at one time romantically connected to Edberg's tennis rival Mats Wilander.
Edberg is a supporter of English football team Leeds United.
In the Open Era, Edberg is one of only 2 men (with Roger Federer) to have played 5 finals at the Australian Open.
He won 2 straight Australian Open as did Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Guillermo Vilas, Johan Kriek, Mats Wilander, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer. He reached the final of all grand slams and won 3, losing to Michael Chang at the French.
Others to reach the finals of all grand slams are Rod Laver, Ken Rosewall, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier, Andre Agassi,
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Read more about Edberg athttp://stefanedberg.org/