from The Challenge (Arnesen-Tennis)
by Jonas Arnesen *
translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
(picture by Arne Forsells)
Today Stefan Edberg turns 50 years old. Big and hearty congratulations! But what else should I write that has not already been written or said about the sympathetic Västervik Son?
Six Grand Slam titles in singles, three in doubles, a total of 41 singles and 18 doubles titles, three Davis Cup victories, the Olympic bronze and 72 weeks as world number one.
That's a mini summary of his fabulous career that I have been privileged to follow as a journalist.
It started back in the early 1980s, when Stefan's father Bengt was kind enough to call the Barometern newspaper in Kalmar to tell his kid had played and how it had gone.
Usually it went well. Very well.
But Stefan himself was not so talkative. He hasn't been in recent years, either.
As a star in the spotlight in one of the world's largest sports, he managed to preserve his reclusive ways. Similarly, after the end of his career. When other former top players criticized - sometimes very loudly - their successors, Stefan kept quiet.
Sure, once you've sometimes wished that he would have burst in public, for example on how things have been managed in Swedish tennis over the years, but no, we will probably never get to experience the day when Stefan Edberg will go out and criticize someone.