ftom Atp Champions Tour.com
by Catherine Whitaker
Thomas Enqvist blasted past defending champion Stefan Edberg 6-2, 6-3 to claim the Kings of Tennis crown at Stockholm’s Waterfront Centre on Friday evening.
Enqvist looked in ruthless mood taking to the court for his first ever final at the Stockholm event. The 40 year old employed his strength and power to great effect, forcing Edberg to retreat behind the baseline and delivering brutal blows from both wings. The first set was Enqvist's in under half an hour, and despite Edberg mounting spirited resistance, his defences were finally breached at 3-3 in the second set, the one break of serve proving decisive in securing victory for the younger swede, his third of the week against former World No. 1s.
"I’m super-happy to win this title," said Enqvist. "I’m from Stockholm so I have a lot of friends and family here. It was always very special to play the Stockholm Open and now to get to win this event in my home city is just as special."
Enqvist was also keen to pay tribute to his opponent, a player who has long been one of his idols.
"It’s always an honour for me to play Stefan," he said. "Today I think I played really well. It’s a pretty fast court and the balls are pretty quick and on top of that I served well, so it all went well for me tonight and I’m happy to get the win."
It is a ninth ATP Champions Tour title for Enqvist, the last coming in Rio de Janeiro in December 2012. The win places him joint top of the ATP Champions Tour rankings alongside Delray Beach Open champion Andy Roddick.
After the match, Edberg reflected that it was Enqvist’s power that had proved the decisive factor in the final.
"It was a tough match and Thomas played very well," he said. "He didn’t give me many chances and I got off to a slow start. I felt like I had a few chances in the second set but overall he deserved to win, he was just too powerful for me tonight."
Next up for Edberg is a trip to Miami to join his charge Roger Federer in the hopes of coaching him to success at the Sony Open Tennis next week.
"Unfortunately I don’t think I’ll make it out to Indian Wells in time, but I will be out in Key Biscayne to be with Roger there," said Edberg. "I’m really enjoying working with him and he still has a passion for tennis. I believe he still has another Grand Slam in him."
In the match to decide third and fourth place, Spanish Davis Cup Captain Carlos Moya claimed the spoils 6-3, 6-4 against France’s Henri Leconte.
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