from ATP Champions Tour.com
by Catherin Whitaker
Magnus Larsson, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander, Mikael Pernfors and Henri Leconte in the Kings of Tennis media conference
Swedish Legends Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg kicked off the Kings of Tennis in Stockholm in impressive style on Tuesday with spectacular straight sets wins over Henri Leconte and Mikael Pernfors respectively.
Wilander sunk Frenchman Leconte 6-4, 6-2 to take a firm grip on Group A on day one of the Kings of Tennis by Index International. The match was a replay of the 1988 French Open final, an encounter also won by Wilander in front of a baying Parisian crowd. Wilander explained that the memories of that day in Paris 25 years ago are still vivid.
'I do sometimes have flashbacks to that match in '88 when I play Henri,' he said. 'We've played so many times over the years that I have flashbacks every time I play him. We always play exactly the same way, and he's now even crazier than he used to be and I'm a little bit more relaxed than I used to be. We're friends now, which makes it fun.'
Meanwhile, in the opening Group B match of the tournament, Former World Number One Edberg put on a ruthless display to dispatch countryman Mikael Pernfors 6-1, 6-1.
'I think the scoreline says quite a bit,' said Edberg after the match. 'I played well and I was happy with the match and the way I played. I have to admit that Mikael was struggling a little bit but that's the way it is and it was a good start for me.'
The six-time Grand Slam winner also talked about his ambitions for the week in Stockholm.
'The aim is definitely to go one better and make the final here,' he said. 'Playing Magnus is always tough because he's the one that reads my game the best in the world because we practice so much together. But hopefully if I play the way I did today then I've got a good chance. It would be nice to make the final here at least.'
Earlier in the day John McEnroe spoke to the Swedish media ahead of opening his 2013 Kings of Tennis account against Mats Wilander on Wednesday evening. The defending Kings of Tennis Champion talked about his decision to return to Stockholm for a second year.
'It's always nice to leave somewhere on a high so I thought for a long time before I decided to come back here,' he said. 'But it was kind of irresistible. I have so many great memories of Stockholm, I love coming here. Obviously the time I played Borg for the first time at the Stockholm Open was special. It was both a historical event and a special moment for me. For me this is where Borg started out.'
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