Stefan Edberg in Båstad
by Göran Stenberg
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello (with Google translator)
Every summer tennis legend Stefan Edberg talks and plays with people genuinely interested in tennis. The aim is to raise money for youth tennis.
Båstad. The rain pours down over the tennis facility. At the main entrance of Laholms TK there are Ingemar Ingmarson and other participants who will play doubles with some of yesterday's tennis pros. Stefan Edberg is the most credited. It is also him who is the host.
«Stefan Edberg Foundation has been around for almost 15 years. We invite companies during the week. We play and watch tennis, for those who want it there will be a round of golf too».
The aim is to raise money for the foundation. In the current situation, there are about seven millions in cash and up to now it has awarded four millions to promising young tennis players in the form of scholarships.
What do you say that the Swedish second player in the rankings (Filip Prpic) is placed at number 303?
«It's alarming. There are some things to do. We've probably hit the bottom. There are many talents, like Daniel Bertha and Ellen Allgurin, but then we go down the ages».
Stefan Edberg saw most of the matches in the World Cup.
«It would seem the most fun to watch in TV. It was a good setting and Spain had a fantastic team».
ATP has named its award for sportsmanship after you, "the ATP Tour's Stefan Edberg sportsmanship award", what do you think that so many players shot hard in the World Cup?
«It is so involving in football, and it is very much about emotions running high. But of course you get upset, it's all basically about to cheat and get an advantage».
Have you ever filmed?
«Well, I've had many video cameras...»
John Tydén, business lawyer who wants to play with the tennis legend, has inadvertently brought with him his grandchildren's racquet.
«You can borrow one of mine, but it is not so easy to play», says Stefan and picks up one of his heavy Wilsons.
Stefan Edberg has still custom made rackets which are both heavier and with a different weight distribution from those sold in the sports stores.
His best memories of tennis are Kalle Anka tournament in Bastad, the victory in the Junior World Championships and the first Wimbledon title.
«But the greatest is to have been the best in the world two years in a row and I played 52 Grand Slam matches in a row without damage».
Is the doubles loss in the DC-finals in Melbourne in 1986 the worst tennis memory?
«It has been blown away by the wind. 1989 French Open final was a nice memory until I lost to Chang. I had a 2-1 lead in sets and break points to take the third, thought I had it under control, but...»
Stefan does not lack offers from the senior tour and exhibition matches, but declines the most.
«I was in Zurich in the spring and then I will be at the Paris indoors in the fall. I have my family and my work to think about. My squash game has been limping the last few years, but I am going to start training more in the fall».
And Stefan Edberg's career after tennis has gone pretty well.
He is very involved with real estate and owns many houses in central Växjö, including around the square at the residence. His management company, Case Asset Management, manages more than 3 billions. Last year was its best ever and it reported a profit of 13.7 millions.
«This year also looks to be good. I usually do not give tips, but it is interesting with corporate bonds. It is a good investment with low risk, an alternative to bank account, I usually say. The stock market gets worse and worse».
You have teenage children, how's it going?
«It's sport for both. Physical education and employment is important at that age. Christopher plays tennis and soccer, Emilie is doing figure skating. They have fun, there is no elite bet, but they are good I think».
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