from ATP Champions Tour.com
by Catherine Whitaker
Stefan Edberg dashed the hopes of defending champion John McEnroe in the final of the Kings of Tennis in Stockholm on Friday to lift his first ATP Champions Tour title since 2010.
With two masters of the serve-and-volley on court the capacity crowd inside the Waterfront Congress Centre in Stockholm were treated to some exhilarating tennis from a pair of players who, between them, have a collection of 13 Grand Slam singles titles.
Edberg seized early control of the match, breaking the McEnroe serve and racing to a 3-0 lead. McEnroe's soon fought back though, levelling and 3-3 before being broken again by the ferocity of the Edberg return-of-serve. The Swede served out the first set 6-4, and the second set was to follow a similar pattern. Though McEnroe weathered an early storm once again, his will was eventually broken and the Swede was able to seize a crucial break of serve and close out the match 6-4, 6-3.
'I am so thrilled with this title,' said Edberg. 'That was such a close match, there were moments when I felt it could get away from me so I'm so pleased to come through.'
Edberg also paid tribute to Swedish legend Bjorn Borg, who watched his victory from the stands.
'With Bjorn there in the crowd it feels so special,' said Edberg. 'He is an inspiration to all Swedish tennis players and I am very proud to have won this title with him watching.'
McEnroe, who won the title in Stockholm in 2012, was magnanimous in defeat.
'Stefan played amazing, he deserves this title,' he said. 'I felt like I had my chances out there, I had a couple of good runs. But then I got a little bit tight, and then next thing I knew I was battling again. But that's the way it goes, I gave it my best.'
McEnroe too was delighted by the presence in the crowd of his old rival Borg for the final.
'This was such a special night, being watched by my great pal Bjorn, Mats, all these guys that are my idols and my friends,' he said. 'The only thing that wasn't great about tonight was that I didn't win.'
'I had a great time and there's been a lot of great tennis this week. Hopefully the fans felt the same way. The crowds were amazing and there's been a great energy. I love coming to Stockholm because they love their tennis here.'
McEnroe's next event will be the Champions of Tennis in Edinburgh from the 20th to the 23rd of June.
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