by Mauro Cappiello
The second part of our English anticipations of "När vi var bäst", the book on the Golden Age of Swedish tennis, is focused on Mats Wilander.
Mats Wilander at the French Open in 1982
The excerpt from the chapter "Nice guys always win", that you can download at the link below, mainly deals with Sweden's second Davis Cup triumph, taken in 1984 at the Scandinavium in Gothenburg against the powerful American team of world number 1 John McEnroe and number 2 Jimmy Connors.
Revealing some interesting behind-the-stage episodes, authors Mats Holm and Ulf Roosvald identify the key of Sweden's growing success in team spirit. Against a US side undermined by internal rivalries and dislikes, the "gang of the nice guys", made up by three top ten players and an 18-year-old Stefan Edberg, had an unexpectedly easy way to victory.
Sweden was no longer a one-man team, as nine years before with Borg. Björn had shown the way to his followers, a group of buddies in which Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander had a role of "first among equals".