from Dagens Nyheter
by Nils Palmgren
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
Stefan Edberg with Robin Soderling and the 2016 winners of the SE foundation schoolarship: Maria Petrovic, Ross Weibull and Cajsa Henneman
At the Stockholm Open the crowd cheers a 18-year-old Michael Ymer. But the reality for Swedish young tennis is anything but light. This year not one of the national teams managed to qualify for the European Championship games. “There is total darkness,” says the outgoing Davis Cup captain Fredrik "Fidde" Rosengren.
The place is the Royal Tennis hall's VIP section, and the scene will take the former world number one Stefan Edberg on the stage. Among the former Swedish star’s mingling crowd there are players and even those who never became anything, plus parents, coaches, sponsors and representatives from the Tennis Federation.
It’s the 20th anniversary of the Stefan Edberg Foundation and this evening he will hand out 25,000 crowns (€ 2,577) to two 14 year olds and 50,000 crowns (€ 5,155) to two 16 year olds. To assist him former world number four Robin Soderling and Sofia Arvidsson, with a number 29 best ranking. Both have themselves received money from Stefan Edberg's hand.
“I wanted to give something back. Tennis has given me so much,” explains Stefan Edberg on the background of his foundation. “Sure, you can always write a check and say ‘go ahead, do something.’ But I wanted to do something more long term. From 2017, the scholarship totals will also increase to 50,000 and 100,000 crowns (€ 10,310), respectively. It is very costly to travel and start playing tennis today. Above all, the cost starts to escalate in the 16 year old category and therefore we want to give something extra,” says Stefan Edberg.