from ATP World Tour.com
The ATP Heritage programme, a special by the ATP World Tour website celebrating the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the computer rankings, recalls Stefan Edberg's two seasons as year-end world number one with a short interview to the Swede, who talks about the meaning of such an achievement.
Stefan Edberg was one of the greatest serve-and-volley exponents in tennis history, a possessor of an elegant backhand and a cool and analytical mind. Like John McEnroe, he reached the top in singles and doubles.
Edberg first captured the attention of the tennis world in 1983, when he completed a junior Grand Slam of the four major championships. Before the age of 19, the Swede had won his first ATP World Tour title and also the singles competition as a demonstration sport at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Edberg was the eighth player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings to become No. 1 on 13 August 1990, following a quarter-final win over Michael Chang in the Western & Southern Open at Cincinnati. With his coach, Tony Pickard, Edberg remembers, "We had a little champagne that night. It was unusual. We just had a little."
"I don't think I thought about the year-end No. 1 ranking much," said Edberg. "For two or three years I was a Grand Slam champion, but not the No. 1. I didn't realise the importance of it until late in my career."
Edberg narrowly failed to finish in the Top 5 of the Emirates ATP Rankings for 10 straight years. He captured six major titles from 11 finals – including three memorable duels against Boris Becker at The Championships, Wimbledon, in 1988-1990. Overall, he won 41 singles crowns.
The Swede was also the 13th player to rise to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings on 9 June 1986. He spent a total of 15 weeks at the top of the team game, clinching 18 doubles trophies.
"The best thing about it is telling your kids you were No. 1," said Edberg. The Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award was renamed in his honour, upon his retirement, in 1996.
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- Stefan interviewed by the BBC
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