Stefan Edberg, the golden boy of tennis and new Wimbledon champion, can no longer plod around unrecognised. "Actually, I don't want to be famous," he says. "Hard cheese, matey," retorts Sophie Mowat...
On winning Wimbledon
"It's just so hard to believe that I really won it. It was a fantastic feeling and it really hasn't sunk into my system yet. Wimbledon is something I've worked towards for a long, long time. This has been main target all year and now I've won it, all my hard work has paid off. That makes me feel very good. My parents watched the match on TV in Sweden and had a little celebration afterwards. I spoke to them from my flat when I arrived back from Wimbledon. They were delighted."
"Yes, I'm going to find it hard now that I'll be recognised. Before, very few people recognised me but having won Wimbledon will certainly change all that... but really, I don't mind! If people recognise me, then fine - and if they don't, it doesn't bother me. I'm not the superstar type at all. If you compare me to Boris (Becker), he's what you call a big star. He wants to be a big star and he acts like a big star. To tell you the truth, I'd rather not be known by anybody. Winning the title, though, means everything to me and I'll just have to cope with everything that goes with it as well as I can."
On nights out
Well I haven't been going out much recently, but we did have a good time celebrating after the final. I went out with a few friends, and Anette, of course (Edberg's girlfriend). What did we do? Oh, we ate an Italian meal in Victoria and then we went to Stringfellows, a London nightclub, and everyone was coming up and congratulating me, which was nice. Yes, I did drink some champagne... although some of the papers said I didn't! Only a couple of glasses, though. Actually, I ususally drink just mineral water. "To relax in my spare time, I like to watch a lot of movies, I like all movies. I enjoy a lot of pop music too, especially Dire Straits. I watch football, too, on TV at my flat. Who do I support? Leeds United."
On living in London
"I like living in London. I spend about two to three months a year here and I play loads of tennis. I think London is similar to Sweden, and I understand the language quite well, which makes it easier. Also, the weather's similar to Sweden, so it's not too different for me. It has good communications (??) too.
"I've been here three years now, working with Tony (Tony Pickard - Edberg's English coach). Maybe living here has made the English public adopt me as one of their own... I'm not sure, though. I still feel very Swedish. I'm always going to be Swedish. You can't change that."
On other tennis players
"Anders Jarryd (Stefan's old doubles partner) and I are great friends, and so is Mats Wilander. I know the press say otherwise, haha... but it's just not true (Anette, Stefan's girlfriend, used to go out with Mats). Boris Becker and I get along, too. No, we have nothing against each other. When we were delayed by the weather during the final, we had to be together in the changing room. I stayed at one end and played cards with Tony... but that is for obvious reasons.
"When I actually won the title, Boris came over and touched the cup and said to me, "I just want to see how it feels". That was a nice gesture, I thought.
"Jimmy Connors and I get along, as well. We practise a lot together and I think we both know each other's game well. Tennis does need personalities - like Jimmy's - but some do go over the limit. I play tennis to my best ability, and that's it. Actually, I don't want to be famous. I believe in myself and I'm a strong person, but when I'm playing tennis, I'm quite on court and just get on with it. Tha's just me. I'm not into the jet set lifestyle at all.
"Yes, I have changes a little. In my game I'm a little tougher then before, maybe through experience and everything. Dring the whole of Wimbledon, I never thought once about losing. I mean I slept very well the night before we finished the final, and I really believed in myself."
On Bjorn Borg
"I watched all the Wimbledon finals tha Borg has been in, and I think he's been a big influence on me - not really on my game, but as a person and on being a Swede. He's done a lot for Swedish tennis and he's done a lot for us people playing right now, because all of us grew up watching him in the Wimbledon finals. It's always going to be in my memory. I've won Wimbledon too now, so it's quite really funny! It was a great moment when Borg fell on his knees after winning Wimbledon."
On the future
"Am I thinking about marriage and all that stuff? No comment! I've known Anette for two and a half years and we were very happy, but I'd rather keep that side of my life private. Anyway, ANette has already had enough of the limelight! Yeah, she was very, very happy that I won. Of course, she watched me play the final! Anette usually travels with me, because tennis can be a very lonely sport.
"My future plans are pretty hectic. I've already done loads of TV and magazine interviews, pictures, promotion... a lot of hard work. If you win Wimbledon, all this will go on for the rest of your life. Now I'm just going to rest a little and then prepare myself for the US Open (the last major "Grand Slam" tournaments). Of course, I also have the Davis Cup to play in Sweden, which will be good as I can go home and see my family in Vastervik. Then the Olympics are coming up in Seoul.
"I'm also going to try and work to be number one in the world. It won't happen overnight, but I'll work at it and I try to peak my game. That's the next career step for me, and it's going to be a lot easier to practise now I've won Wimbledon.
"For the moment, though, I'm going to go on holiday with Anette - to somewhere in the sun. I'd love to tell you where, but I'd like to... well keep some things private."
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