by Mauro Cappiello
Filip Bergevi with Stefan Edberg in Zurich
Blond and shy, Filip Bergevi doesn’t look much too different from most of the Swedes that flooded the ATP Tour in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Just ten days ago he turned 18 and, at the moment, he’s one of the most promising Vikings. We reached him through Facebook in March. He was in Zurich, where he played “junior-senior doubles” along with Stefan Edberg. In this interview we wanted to discover more about one of the future protagonists of Swedish and, hopefully, world tennis. And, last but not least, to have his impressions on Stefan…
Filip, tell us what kind of experience is playing with some of the tennis legends in the same event.
Of course it is a great experience and a lot of fun. To play with a legend and a player that has been no.1 in the world is amazing.
In the Zurich tournament you played doubles with Stefan Edberg. When you were born, he was already in the final part of his professional career. Did you have the chance to see a tape or a DVD of his important matches?
I have just watched some clips on Youtube, but never a match. His serve and volley is very good and he is one of the smartest players I have seen. I think he would do good even today in one or two matches, but I don't know in a tournament.
Are the three legends of Swedish tennis (Borg, Wilander, Edberg) still a source of inspiration for the young in your country?
I don't think so. Everybody has heard of them, but nobody has seen them play.
Was it the first time you met Stefan Edberg or did you already know him before? Tell us about your first meeting with him.
I have met him before. The first time I met him was when I won his grant (the scholarship given every season by the Edberg Foundation to the most promising Swedish juniors. Bergevi won it last year, ann.). I played with him but we didn't talk so much the first time. Then we played in Zurich in doubles: he is a great partner and gave me some small advice.
Sweden produced lots of tennis champions and good players for thirty years, since Borg until the first part of the 2000s. Today, you have only Söderling and, with him out for the mono problem, the tennis situation looks pretty dark for Sweden. Why do you think your country is struggling to find good players at the moment?
I think the problem is Sweden is a small country and tennis is getting bigger and bigger around the world. Tennis is very popular among the young, but football and some other sports are more.
When did you start playing tennis? Was it your choice or were you brought in by one of your relatives?
I started when I was 5. My uncle is a tennis coach, so the first time I played with him.
Does a young player have a good support from the Swedish federation?
The young players that are no1 and 2 in the country have a good support up to 18, then you have not that good support.
Being a junior promise, do you feel the pressure of expectations in Sweden?
Not that much. I think it's fun to play and I like pressure.
Tell us about your style of play. Is there a player in today’s game who really inspired your way of playing? Who is your idol (if you have one…)?
I have a good serve and trying to work on my forehand. I'm not watching that much tennis, but I think Isner’s game is a little bit like mine.
Do you have the dream of winning a particular tournament?
My dream is winning a Grand Slam. But for this year I aim at playing in the Grand Slam and be in the top 10 juniors.
Thanks for your time, Filip. We do hope you’ll be Sweden’s next multiple Slam winner, the first after Stefan Edberg!
- "I didn't envy Boris"
- Swede is the king, but do they care?
- Edberg beats McEnroe in thrilling Stockholm final
- Stefan Edberg wins Kings of Tennis 2013
- Edberg & Wilander win opener
- Stefan Edberg back to the Ostkustens Pärla
- Stefan Edberg says Murray can win Wimbledon again
- Stefan interviewed by the BBC
- Edberg: from dream to reality
- Stefan talks about his passive arena in Växjö
- On the ball in the Western Algarve
- "My first time in Turkey"
- "With Roger and Rafa, we saw the golden age of tennis"
- It was better before
- Many fond memories for Stefan