I thought it would be fun to hear about the MTF'ers own tennis careers, when your tennis interest started, where you're from, if you've played or trained with some famous players, and so on.
Here's my story:
I was born 1979 and got a wooden racket of my father at my sixth birthday (got to thank him again). I started play at my street and soon began to practice at our tennis club Vaxjo TS (Wilander, Bjorkman, Gunnarsson etc)
It was such a great time to be a tennis player in the late 80s. Sweden then had insanely good tennis players. I got used to see ten to fifteen swedes in every GS tourney and more often than not someone made SF or better.
I was no star myself, but a pretty decent tennis player. Was ranked around 20 in Sweden at 15 years old. At 17 I lost motivation and started playing music and partying instead of practising tennis every day. The last couple of years I had Fredrik Rosengren (Norman, Bjorkman, Ancic) as a coach.
I still live in Vaxjo and work as a journalist (writing about music and film instead of tennis. but I would really like to report from Wimbledon or Paris some day
I play tennis mostly in the summertime. Sometimes Stefan Edberg is at the next court. Vinci lived and played here before and Ancic practised here when he still had Rosengren as a coach.
I'm so spoiled as a swedish tennis fan – and this time around is the worst time ever! Our best player is a headcase (Toad) and I'm still hoping for Pim-Pim and rooting for Vinci in challengers.
There's really no promising juniors either.
There has been tons of articles and analysis written about Sweden's decline in the tennis world. (Three of our last great players, Norman, Pim-Pim and Vinci, got their careers spoiled by injuries – that didn't help.)
I think alot of young swedish athletes choose other sports – like icehockey and football – instead of tennis. There is still so hard to become a top 100 player in tennis. Mattias Weinhandl, for instance (anyone know the swedish hockey player?) was a very talented tennis player, bot chose hockey.
Also, our tennis federation has absolutely no money. We have no challengers and practically no future tournaments in Sweden. That means the young swedes doesn't get any international practise. We also loose our best coaches to the international market.
But maybe all this is bull****. I think we have to be honest with ourselfs, there's 9 million people living in Sweden. We can't produce players like Borg, Edberg and Wilander all the time.
The crazy thing is how the heck we could have so many good to decent players from, say 1985, 'til 2000! Players like Tillstrom, Holm, Bergstrom, Pernfors, Sundstrom, Jarryd, Nystrom ... well it never ends.
Now we have practically nothing.
I still love tennis very much. My present favourite players include Federer, Gonzalez, Nalbandian and Safin (all of them are mentally gone most of the time
). I didn't like Nadal at first, but I now have the fully respect for the spaniard – I couldn't see him winning AO and Wimby a couple of years ago, but he proves me wrong all the time. I tend to start rooting for Murray as well.
Well, this was alot of yada yada. Sorry folks.
Anyway, tell me about yourself and your own tennis careers and tennis interests!