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"It's a special award and an honor for me. But I say to myself that I'm just too young to have that prize named after me. But I think in just a few years time the prize will be renamed after Roger Federer, because he's already got it so many times..." - Stefan Edberg on the Sportsmanship Award. Read the interview

Senior exhibitions and tournaments

Ivanisevic back to winning ways against Stefan

by Mauro Cappiello

A funny moment during the exhibition

The support of the home crowd didn't help Stefan Edberg overcome Goran Ivanisevic in the exhibition of the Kungliga Tennishallen in Stockholm. The Croat won in straight sets, with the score of 7-6, 7-6. It's the first senior victory for Ivanisevic on Edberg, after the two losses, both in tournament finals, at the Legends Live in Copenhagen in 2008 and in Zurich in 2010. Ivanisevic led 10-9 in their official meetings.

In front of a crowd of 3800, Goran exploited the power of his serve in the decisive moments of the two tie-breaks, as he had done in several matches won against the Swede during their professional careeers, particularly between 1992 and 1993. «I'm very tired, it was a tough match. But I hope that the audience thought it was entertaining», said the 2001 Wimbledon champion at the end of the exhibition. Edberg, despite the loss, didn't lose his smile: «It was funny to play in a great arena with this setting. Funny that so many came and watched, too».

Edberg had won both the previous senior head-to-heads against Goran by a little margin, always at the Champions tie-break. In Zurich he had even saved two match points. But this time there was nothing he could do to prevent his five years younger opponent to prevail.


Edberg-Ivanisevic, flashes from the past

by Mauro Cappiello

Stefan Edberg speaks at the trophy ceremony in Stuttgart 1992. He has just lost to Goran Ivanisevic

The elegant serve and volley player against the hard server. Through the years of their professional careers, Stefan Edberg and Goran Ivanisevic gave life to a rivalry that reached its summit on the fast indoor surfaces of the 90s. From the Roland Garros fourth round of 1989 to the Stuttgart indoor second round of 1996, 19 episodes of the eternal battle between classical and power tennis that saw Ivanisevic prevail in the end by 10 wins to 9. Tennis was shifting to the age of high speeds…

A fast start for the Swede, who left the young Croat just one, useless success in the first six meetings, a match at the best of three sets in the Davis Cup tie between Sweden and Yugoslavia that the Vikings had already lost when Stefan and Goran met. Edberg won two hard fought back-to-back semifinals in 1991 in Sydney and Tokyo with almost the same score: 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 and 4-6, 7-6, 7-5, two matches that were part of Stefan’s winning streak of 20 matches in a row that had started with his first triumph in New York.


Stefan bows to local favourite Haarhuis

by Mauro Cappiello

Stefan Edberg interviewed after the final against Haarhuis

There was no happy ending for Stefan Edberg in Apeldoorn. Paul Haarhuis, who had never beaten Stefan in five meetings on the professional tour including the final in Doha in 1994, has taken his revenge in front of his home crowd in a match that had no story. The 45 year old from Eindhoven, who was born right a month after Stefan, won 6-3, 6-3 in one hour and a quarter.

The turning point of the match came in the sixth game of the first set. With a little help from the luck, Haarhuis managed to break Stefan's serve and, from that moment on, the Dutchman never looked back. After closing the first set 6-3 he gained the early advantage in the second set, breaking the Swede again in the first game. A second break came to give Haarhuis a 5-2 lead and only when he served for the match Stefan managed to win a game on his serve.

But that wasn't enough to put the former number one in the match again, because in the following game he netted a backhand to hand his opponent the victory.

Stefan acknowledged Haarhuis was too good today in a post-match interview, in which he also thanked the big crowd for coming. Now he's already looking at the long awaited challenge against Goran Ivanisevic in Stockholm.


Too much Stefan for Lendl

by Mauro Cappiello

Only an hour and 20 minutes of play were enough for Stefan Edberg to beat Ivan Lendl in the second match of the AFAS Tennis Classics. So it will be the Swede who will play organizer Paul Haarhuis in tomorrow's final that will be held at 15.00 CET.

Stefan was never broken in a match that looked close only in the second half of the second set, when the six-time Grand Slam champion struggled to hold three successive rounds of serve. On 4-5 he was two points away from losing the set and taking the match to a Champions tie-break, but a game later he made the decisive break that gave him the match with a 6-3 7-5, the same score with which he outclassed Henri Leconte yesterday.

Edberg, in fact, had cruised through the first set that had lasted less than half an hour and had been more one-sided than what the score may suggest. An only break, made by the Swede on the score of 4-3, had been decisive here as well, but Stefan had proved to be more aggressive and more at ease with his game than a weary Lendl.

Now the final match against Haarhuis, the Dutchman who overcame Muster in the first match and, surprisingly, Richard Krajicek in the second. The local hero against one of the classiest player in the history of tennis. What a feast for the crowd in Holland!


Stefan wins on AFAS Tennis Classics debut

by Mauro Cappiello

UPDATE!!! Stefan won his first match at the AFAS Tennis Classics, beating Henri Leconte 6-3 7-5.

This week end Stefan Edberg is playing in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands in the 10th edition of the AFAS Tennis Classics. The exhibition tournament, organized by former doubles specialists Jacco Eltingh and Paul Haarhuis, features several stars from the tour of the 80s and 90s, such as Ivan Lendl, Andrei Medvedev, Henri Leconte and local favourite Richard Krajicek. Paul Haarhuis will also take part in the event.

Edberg's presence has been ensured since last May, but we have to say the organizers didn't do their best to promote the event. The official site and the Facebook page only have a Dutch version, so we came to know Edberg was there only at the last moment thanks to a Dutch fan, Gabriella Kraaiveld.

Stefan arrived yesterday night in Apeldoorn, a town some 80 kms south east of Amsterdam. He is with his wife Annette and with children Christopher and Emilie. His first match will be against Henri Leconte, on Friday 7th at 20.00 CET, so in about an hour. Tomorrow, the Swede will meet former rival Ivan Lendl at 14.30 CET.

You can follow the matches online at this link, but unfortunately you have to pay to get an account.

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