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"People talk much more about Lend and Becker, but I can sneak up from behind and that's a position I like. I would like to reach that No. 1 spot at least once in my career. Just to see how it feels" - Stefan Edberg on his targets. Read the interview

Edberg, the damned

from Tennis de France (issue of March 1991) 
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello

A nice gift for Lendl. Two match points! Edberg had two match points in the fourth set of his semifinal against Lendl. To be "sure", the Swede made a double fault on the second. A nightmare!

What black idea came across Stefan Edberg's mind when he served his second match point in the semi-final against Lendl? At that moment, after 2 hours 56 minutes of play, he led 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 5-4. He had missed the first opportunity by putting a difficult low volley just on the net cord, but an excellent serve had given him a second. He then served his eighth double fault. The fifth of the set. The sixth at the tenth point of the tiebreak gave Lendl the fourth set. An hour and six minutes after his second match point, Edberg returned to the locker room of Flinders Park, once again beaten.

Winner of the last two Australian Opens played on the grass of Kooyong, Stefan Edberg seems pursued by bad luck on the Rebound Ace of Flinders Park. In 1988, Mats Wilander had stopped him regularly on his way to his Little Grand Slam. But in 1989, a back strain suffered in the fourth round against Cash forced him to withdraw from his quarterfinal against Muster. And last year, he was dominating the final against Lendl, when, after a set and a half, a tear in his abdominal coming from his dream semifinal against Wilander, had begun to tug him and pushed him to retirement.

This year, Edberg did not give up. He simply handed Lendl the gift of a victory that seemed his when he led 2-0 at the beginning of the fourth set. It was then that his service began to betray him.

Changed after the troubles of the previous years, armed with a shortened motion, the world number one's serve had already shown a few reliability problems during the previous rounds against Poliakov, Cash or Courier. One may wonder if it will not become a permanent concern.

Edberg, the damned

 

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