Tennis Prose




Jan/21

11

Biofile: Stefan Edberg Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Status: Tennis Hall of Famer won two Australian Opens (1985, 1987), two Wimbledons (1988, 1990) and two US Open titles (1991, 1992).

Ht: 6-2 Wt: 170

DOB: January 19, 1966 In: Vastervik, Sweden

Childhood Heroes: “Bjorn Borg. He was always interesting to me. He did very well at the time. A great athlete, a great sportsman. That’s why I liked him. And being a Swede of course [smiles]. Ingemar Stenmark (won two Olympic gold medals in skiing).”

Early Tennis Memory: “Big thing for me was winning the junior tournament in Sweden. The Donald Duck. It’s very big in Sweden. When I was eleven. I was unseeded and unknown and I won it. No one had heard of me. No one expected me to win. It was so great, was so excited.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Family. Golf. Other sports.”

Pre-Match Feeling: “Most of the time pretty comfortable. Sometimes a little nervous on big occasions – which is a good sign. As long as I know I’m in good physical shape, then I know I’m okay.”

Childhood Dream: “To be something in sports. I ended up being that so I guess I’m pretty lucky.”

First Famous Person You Met Or Encountered: “I had the opportunity to practice with Borg when I was fifteen or sixteen. One of the things I remember about that experience was Borg wanted to run to pick up balls so the practice would move more fluently [smiles].”

Favorite Meal: “Spaghetti with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, veal parmigian, potatoes. Mineral water.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Special K.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Cookies and cream.”

Musical Tastes: “Dire Straits, most music on the radio. When you can hear what they are saying. And a little bit of melody too.”

Greatest Sports Moment: “Winning Wimbledon the first time will always be (defeated Boris Becker 46 76 64 62 in 1988).”

Most Painful Moment: “When I had to default (in the third set because of a stomach muscle injury) against Lendl in 1990 Grand Slam final (Australian Open). That was painful in two ways. It hurt and I had to surrender the match (46 76 52 retired). And losing the French Open final (1989 to Michael Chang 16 63 64 46 26). Maybe that was worse [smiles].”

Closest Friends From Tennis: “Anders Jarryd.”

Toughest Competitors Encountered: “John McEnroe. At his best he was pretty tough. In ’83 and ’84. He was just very confident when he walked onto the court. And he was lefty too. I had trouble playing him. I thought he was the toughest.”

Funniest Players Encountered: “A lot of guys. Hard to pick out. The Australians are really nice people.”

Little Known Fact: “I was only in one fight in (my) life. I was about nine or ten. In school. I don’t remember how it started. There was no punches or anything. I just took him to the ground.”

Favorite Athletes To Watch: “Nick Faldo. He’s really concentrated on what he’s doing. When you see him you can tell he’s very focused. Leeds United. Soccer team in England. I like watching them play. Sweden’s national hockey team. I watch them play in the World Championships every year. They’ve won it a few times.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “People who are honest and work hard. That’s the criteria. That’s the basic idea of life…working hard and honesty and being nice to people around you. Pretty simple.”

Future Ambitions: “I’d like to get into something else that would keep an interest in me. Be a busy person. Don’t want to sit on my back. Something in tennis probably.”

How Would You Like To Be Remembered: “There’s a lot of kids out there who look up to you. Hopefully I could be a good example. To be remembered as a sportsman and a champion. That’s all I can ask.”

Career Accomplishments: ATP re-named its Sportsmanship Award after Stefan Edberg in 1996; Was ATP no. 1 in singles and doubles; Won three doubles Grand Slam titles and was part of four Davis Cup winning teams; Won the 1984 Olympic tournament and won bronze in 1988 in singles and doubles; Won 41 ATP singles and 18 doubles titles, 801-270 match record.

You can read more Biofiles at Scoop’s site www.mrbiofile.com

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3 comments

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 11, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    I did this Biofile with Stefan Edberg in 1994 in the old US OPen locker room, I just went up to him at his locker one afternoon during the tournament and asked if I could ask him some questions. No set up by media or usta, just spontaneous. He agreed to! It was a big moment, because to Biofile big tennis champions was hard at a major where they are so busy and so in demand by everyone. Plus I was only writing then for a small newspaper in NJ. I remember Agassi was standing nearby and listening to the interview. Agassi won it that year, this was during his Brooke Shields days. But I will be forever gratful that Stefan Edberg did this Biofile.

  • catherine · January 12, 2021 at 8:29 am

    ‘Leeds United’

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 12, 2021 at 9:01 am

    Thankyou Catherine for that edit. It’s funny, yesterday Harold also sent a comment but while it was very complimentary for the site he also made some distasteful comments so I did not approve it. Of course we all miss the way the site used to be, the outstanding banter and interaction, but the world goes on, or the mad mad mad world goes on. The site is doing better visitor traffic than ever for the last year, readers still love it but of course comments are less. And I’m still energized to create quality content and experiment with new ideas/features. You and Andrew, even good Harold, Hartt, Gans, Matv are missed, hope you are all well through these crazy times.

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