Stefan Edberg champion of the 1991 US Open
by Lennart Törnblad
Translated into English by Markus Zacharski
Double US Open Champion Stefan Edberg is exclusively talking for Sportal
During US Open Stefan Edberg is going to look what is happening in Flushing Meadow. Two times the elegant serve and volley player from Västervik was able to raise the US Open cup towards the American sky.
In 1991, he outclassed Jim Courier in the finals and won 3:0, and in 1992, the Swede beat another American, Pete Sampras, with 3:1. Furthermore, Edberg won the doubles tournament together with Anders Jarryd in 1987 and was altogether playing 14 US Open during his successful career.
Edberg soon became known as a role model on court, and to scold the referee or the opponent was totally unknown to him. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the Fair Play Trophy landed in the Swedish gentleman's arms five times in total.
After that someone thought that one could relabel it as well. So what could be more adequate than Edberg Sportmanship Award? And so it went on. Certainly, Stefan has enormous experience of tennis life on highest level and he never forgets how it was to play and win Grand Slam tournaments.
What is so special with this tournament?
It doesn't equal any of the other Grand Slam Tournaments. You really have to learn to play here and this takes time. Particularly, it is disquietness during the matches. The crowd is never silent and, of course, it is worst when Americans are on court. The yankees are enormously patriotic. The volume is usually highes during the evening's matches so you have to play deaf and concentrate.
Circumstances may also change very intensely?
When you have a match in the afternoon temperature in the shade can reach 35 degrees and furthermore, humidity is often very high. During an evening match that can be completely different. Temperature is dropping substantially and often there are strong winds. The sharp differences affect both rubber base and balls. Then it is difficult to change over and the game becomes very different. Sometimes it feels like playing a completely different tournament.
They play on Deco Turf at the US Open. An allround base that suited me quite well. I could easily play serve-and-volley and they're also using quite fast balls that helped my style of play. Nowadays, they made the court somewhat slower. This regards every tournament which had a very fast base.
Who will win this year?
Roger Federer is somewhat favourite in my opinion. Rafael Nadal hasn't been that successful here (lost in the quarters against Youzhny last year) so I believe more in Novak Djokovic if he hasn't topped his form too early. These are the ones. I can't see any other who could upset them.
And the Swedes?
Thomas Johansson has a big capacity but isn't in the same form as he was when he won the Australian Open some years ago. And Jonas Björkman has always the power to brace himself when it comes to Grand Slam. To achieve the semifinals in last year's Wimbledon was impressive. So I hope and believe that thay may be present in the second week.
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