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"The race for the world number one remains between Lendl and Becker. But I don't think I'm too far behind them" - Stefan Edberg after winning in Indian Wells in 1990. Read the article

Tillstrom brings end to Edberg's Wimbledon career

from Baltimore Sun.com
by Sandra McKee


Stefan Edberg and Mikael Tillstrom just after their second round match at Wimbledon 1996 (picture from voodemar.com)

WIMBLEDON, England -- As the sun set here this evening, so did Stefan Edberg's Wimbledon career. The two-time champion fell to countryman Mikael Tillstrom's faster, younger legs, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

"Stefan was always my favorite at Wimbledon," said Tillstrom, 24. "I wasn't bothered by the crowd support for him because I knew it would be that way. To beat Stefan Edberg at his last Wimbledon, when I hadn't played anything on grass before, this was very big, very special for me."

Edberg, 30 and the No. 12 seed here, arrived in the interview room a half-hour after his defeat looking disappointed but resigned.

"It's a tough one, but it has to end at some point," he said. "Today was the day and maybe not what I expected . . . . But I had a lot of support and I did what I could. You have to hold your head up... Once you've been a champion here, you should leave like one. You belong to this club once you've won here, so it's not like I'm leaving forever."

"Once you've been a champion here, you should leave like one. You belong to this club once you've won here, so it's not like I'm leaving forever"

Edberg said he would rather have finished his career on Centre Court, but he credited Tillstrom with playing a strong match. Rather than bemoan his loss, he focused on how good it has been to be here.

"I'm playing my last match, he's playing his first," he said. "Maybe he's taking over in my step. He did play well."

Top seed Pete Sampras says this is the "strangest Wimbledon I've been to in all my years coming here, with all these upsets."

There have been so many that HBO will recap from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. today the week that saw top seeds Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Kafelnikov, Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport disappear in early.

Tillstrom brings end to Edberg's Wimbledon career

 

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