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"I think every person will experience moments like this. For 15 years I've been pursuing the tennis world, and have experienced all the bitter and the sweet. I will always remember you" - Stefan Edberg on leaving tennis. Read the article

Stefan's fan since 1988 - by Joni Granwehr -

by Joni Granwehr

I love this website! And I love Stefan Edberg: the person and the player. I remember the first time I watched him, really watched him play. I was at a July 4th picnic and the finals of Wimbledon were being televised in America. My interest in tennis was just beginning, and what a player to draw me into the game!

Stefan was like a gazelle; the way he moved on the court was like no other. He would win that match, of course. I can still see him, back against the backcourt, the smile, such a serene man. I began to follow his progress after the day.

I was like a school girl in 1991 when I attended my first US Open and got to see him practice. He walked by me, smiled, but unable to take time to sign autographs. I was in tears watching that most perfect of finals vs. Courier. The next year would be an even greater battle, but one he would emerge victorious.

At the '93 US Open, one of the best days of my life occurred. Stefan was practicing with Michael Stich, seemingly having a good time doing so. Stich left the court, signed some autographs, and left. Stefan headed off the court next. He stopped to sign some autographs, too, and I shook when he took my pen. I had been wearing a shirt I had made from a full-page adidas ad congratulating him on his "rerun" as US Open champ. The pictures were of Stefan holding the trophy in each of those years. He chuckled when he saw it, we had a brief conversation, and he walked away. To Stefan it was just a couple of words, to me, the most cherished conversation I ever had.

I saw him again in '96, his last year, as he demolished Krajicek in straight sets with the exquisite serve-volley style that to date, only Pat Rafter has emulated. And yes, I cried when I watched highlights of his final match in Stockholm, sad not only to see Stefan leave the game, but for serve-volley in general. No one will convince me that aces and hard-hitting baseline play are as exciting as watching the man whose feet seemed to float above the court, so graceful, so quick. It's been 5 years since his last match and I still miss him. In my mind, I can only hope we will one day soon see him on the senior tour. But if not, thanks for the memories, Stefan.

Stefan's fan since 1988 - by Joni Granwehr -

 

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