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"In order to be fast on court it's important to have a good physical condition. I think the key to my game is the speed that I am having on these slow surfaces" - Stefan Edberg on playing serve & volley on clay. Read the article

When Sweden ruled the tennis world...

by Mauro Cappiello


The front cover of "När vi var bäst" (When we were the best, p. 276, €26 - US$33, published by Offside)

A very interesting interview book will go out in stores in Sweden in mid October. Written by Mats Holm and Ulf Roosvald, "När vi var bäst" (When we were the best) narrates the Golden Age of Swedish tennis through the eyes of the three major protagonists of that era, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg.

According to the back cover of the volume, that is already available online, the book explains how a small country with 8 million inhabitants like Sweden could become the leading nation in tennis and an example to imitate worldwide. "While tennis was still an upper class sport in the world, Sweden became the country with the biggest number of tennis courts per capita".

There are already some anticipations about the book contents, that start from the epic of Bjorn Borg, the taciturn and mysterious Swede who became an icon of the 70's and turned tennis into a global sport, and end with the Kings of Tennis, the nostalgic senior event part of the Champions Tour held each year in Stockholm.

A focus is dedicated to the 1985 Australian Open final, the first (and only, so far) all-Swedish Grand Slam final in the history of tennis, between Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander. "I knew Mats was a difficult opponent, but I also knew that if I played well, I had the best chances to win - Edberg recalls in the book. - I was the one who dictated what would happen on court, while he was more cautious. I knew I had a weapon to outmaneuver him. And although we were good buddies so we were competitors in the world elite and ran our own race."

Expressen.se revealed that the book also contains a little bit of backstage behind the start of the relationship between Stefan and Annette, who was Wilander's former girlfriend. As always, Stefan didn't want to go deep in this story that he has always considered very private, never allowing questions from the media. "Sometimes in life you end up in these situations, and then you try to manage them as well as you can. Actually, it's nothing I want to talk about," he says in the book. Wilander, who was already dating with his future wife Sonia at the time, said he received the news of the love affair between Stefan and Annette through a phone call from Jocke Nyström. "It is clear that I was surprised, but it sounded reasonable. I knew Annette always thought Stefan behaved so-nice and good."

UPDATE! We contacted one of the authors on Twitter and asked him if an English edition of the book will ever be printed. Here's what Ulf Roosvald replied.

When Sweden ruled the tennis world...

 

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