by Mauro Cappiello
The third part of our English anticipations of "När vi var bäst", the book on the Golden Age of Swedish tennis, is focused on Stefan Edberg.
In this last excerpt of our "trilogy", Mats Holm and Ulf Roosvald take us back to Stefan Edberg's final Grand Slam triumph, the 1992 US Open.
The chapter called "Artist in a hairshirt" emblematically starts with a Tony Pickard quote. At the beginnings of his collaboration with Stefan, Tony was very unhappy with his pupil's hangdog mood every time things started to go the wrong way.
Winning his sixth Major trophy in gutsy style, the Swede showed he had learned his coach's lesson.
The book focuses on the last three matches of that tournament, that notoriously Edberg won coming back from a break down in the decisive set three times in a row. The authors report his feelings and memories about each of those memorable battles.
A great attention is given to the quarter-final against Ivan Lendl, a match Edberg looked able to dominate in three sets, should have won in four, and was about to lose, before finally clinching it in the decisive tie-break one day later, when the fifth set was played after the night suspension.
Left the court with the negative memory of four match points missed, Edberg was able to erase all his bad feelings and start fighting again with an emotional involvement he had hardly shown before.
"There was nothing for it but to pack and head out. I was annoyed at having missed a chance, but thought too that a continuation in daylight, under new conditions, could work in my favour. As we travelled home in the dark I thought about my missed chances – and started laughing. I thought to myself: ‘It is what it is. This is my match.’ I slept well that night."
Another epic win against Chang, the longest match in the history of the Open taken in spite of a heavy load of double faults, gave Edberg a second New York final. Pete Sampras was suffering from stomach ache, but Edberg's fuel indicator light was already blinking, which made his final success even more impressive.
That tournament turned out to be a swansong not only for Edberg, but for Swedish tennis as well. Three more Davis Cups could only hide for a few years the slump that had already started.
|"När vi var bäst" |
by Mats Holm and Ulf Roosvald
published by Offside
pp. 276, kr225 (€26 - US$33)
Purchase the book in Swedish»
- Book on history of Swedish tennis available in English
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