by Mauro Cappiello
Stefan Edberg with Bjorn Borg and Mats Wilander at the night of the number ones
A panel of journalists, tennis experts and former players named by Eurosport.se appointed the best Swedish tennis player of all time. From the start of December until the Christmas eve, a name each day was revealed, starting from the bottom of a top-24 ranking.
As no surprise, Björn Borg was the winner. With his 11 Major titles (5 consecutive Wimbledons and 6 straight French Opens, plus three French/Wimbledon doubles), Borg was not only the most successful of the Swedes, but also an inspiration for those who came in after him and the starter of the golden generation of the 70s-80s-90s that collected 24 Grand Slam titles and 7 Davis Cups in 24 years.
More interestingly, 7 Slams compared to 6 and a positive head-to-head record (11-9) were not enough for Mats Wilander to be placed in front of Stefan Edberg, who took the second spot.
On the page dedicated to Stefan, this motivation can be read for the choice. "Mats Wilander has certainly got one more Grand Slam title, but, speaking overall, Edberg had the longest and most successful career a Swedish tennis player has ever had".
The group of experts that drew up the ranking was made up by Björn Hellberg (sports journalist and member of the Swedish Tennis Museum board), Johan Porsborn (sports journalist and writer), Magnus Gustafsson (former top-10 player), Magnus Tideman (former player ranked 43 in the world), Rolf Norberg (tennis player in the '70s ranked number 90), Magnus Alsterback (journalist for Eurosport Sweden), Linus Sunnervik (sports journalist and reporter for Expressen), Andreas Käck (sports journalist for Aftonbladet), Henric Larsson (journalist for Eurosport Sweden), Petter Pettersson (journalist for Tv4 Sport) and Johan Landsberg (former doubles player).
It's also interesting to notice how Robin Söderling, who never won a Slam, was ranked a place ahead of Thomas Johansson, champion in Australia in 2002. Which proves the big impact in Sweden of Söderling's upsets of Nadal and Federer in the 2009 and 2010 editions of the French Open, that he ended as a runner-up.
Here's the complete ranking:
1. Björn Borg
2. Stefan Edberg
3. Mats Wilander
4. Robin Söderling
5. Thomas Johansson
6. Thomas Enqvist
7. Sven Davidson
8. Jonas Björkman
9. Anders Järryd
10. Magnus Norman
11. Joakim Nyström
12. Mikael Pernfors
13. Kent Carlsson
14. Magnus Gustafsson
15. Magnus Larsson
16. Henrik Sundström
17. Jan-Erik Lundqvist
18. Jonas Svensson
19. Ulf Schmidt
20. Joachim "Pim-Pim" Johansson
21. Lennart Bergelin
22. Nicklas Kulti
23. Christian Bergström
24. Peter Lundgren
- Book on history of Swedish tennis available in English
- Edberg and Järryd defeated in Båstad doubles exhibition
- Legends shine in Båstad
- Edberg: "Swedish tennis is still behind"
- The verdict on the future of our tennis: total darkness
- STE...fans grows up, becomes teen-ager!
- Post-Borg era, Swedish tennis influence is off the court
- Christopher Edberg wins before father's eyes
- ATP World Tour Uncovered on Edberg and Wilander
- Växjö becomes the first tennis university in Sweden
- Edberg backs Robson over decision to cut ties with coach
- Modern technology makes entry in Växjö tennis
- «Stefan, thanks for being an inspiration!»
- Atp Heritage: Stefan Edberg, 1990-1991
- STE...fans, 12 and counting!