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Stefan Edberg: A Champion reflects

Eden
09-04-2008, 08:00 AM
Stefan Edberg: A Champion reflects

http://im.rediff.com/sports/2008/aug/26stef.jpg
Stefan Edberg

August 26, 2008

Seventeen years ago, the US Open showcased a maestro at work as Stefan Edberg put together a flawless display of tennis to defeat Jim Courier. The legendary sportsman reflects on the win, his rivalries and the state of tennis today.

It came as a surprise to many that Stefan Edberg had gone his first eight visits to the US Open without a title. But in 1991, the stars finally aligned for the Swede.

Edberg and American Jim Courier both entered their first US Open final on a roll. Edberg, ranked No. 2 at the time, was coming off a straight-sets semifinal win over long-time rival Ivan Lendl. Courier, who did not drop a set en route to the title match, had defeated defending champion Pete Sampras in the quarterfinals and sentimental favorite Jimmy Connors in the semifinals.

With the on-court temperatures eclipsing the 90 degree mark, Edberg put on one of the best performances in a US Open final. With a perfect display of serve and volley tennis, he completed a 6-2, 6-4, 6-0 masterpiece victory to capture his first US Open title.

Afterwards, Courier said, "I remember walking off of the court knowing there was no way I could have beaten him on that day. He played a nearly flawless match in every facet."

Edberg followed it up with a repeat title performance one year later in what would turn out to be his final Grand Slam title, but the 1991 championship remains his favorite US Open memory. "Lifting the trophy after beating Courier was the best match of my life," he says.

Courier, who would finish No. 1 in 1992 after Edberg held the top spot the previous two years, said about their rivalry, "I had many a fierce battle with Stefan inside the lines and I consider him one of the all-time gentlemen of our sport. Our match-ups were interesting ones as we had contrasting styles. He knew what I was going to do and vice versa and it was simply a matter of who executed better on the day as to who won."

http://im.rediff.com/sports/2008/aug/26stef1.jpg

But theirs wasn't the only classic rivalry Edberg was involved in during his outstanding career. The Swede played long-time nemesis Boris Becker 35 times, and also battled countryman Mats Wilander, Lendl, and Michael Chang at least 20 times each. Edberg says, "Thinking back, I was lucky to play in this era of great players."

From 1983-1996 when Edberg competed on the ATP circuit, he faced nine players who were current or former No. 1s at least nine times: Jimmy Connors (6-6), John McEnroe (6-7), Lendl (14-13), Mats Wilander (9-11), Boris Becker (10-25), Courier (4-6), Pete Sampras (6-8), Andre Agassi [Images] (3-6), and Thomas Muster (10-0).

Edberg, in remembering his own rivals, is highly intrigued by the rivalry between Rafael Nadal [Images] and Roger Federer [Images], which has taken center stage in the world of tennis.

"Wherever they play, they reach the final and they've had an incredible run," says Edberg, from his countryside home outside of Grimslov, Sweden.

"They have very few letdowns and I've never seen anything else like that. There hasn't been two guys dominating the game the way they've had, as much as they've done. This rivalry is great for tennis and the quality of matches are extremely high level. Now you need a new name or two, like (Novak) Djokovic, and it would be nice to see some new faces coming up."

Edberg, who won the ATP Sportsmanship Award so many times it was renamed in his honor in 1996, is impressed by the way Federer and Nadal have handled themselves during their lengthy stays at the top two ranking positions.

"What an incredible record to stay at the number one position for 237 weeks to one of the best players ever playing the game," he says of Federer's record reign at No. 1. "It's also a tribute to his sportsmanship as well.

"Nadal is a great player with incredible charisma and fighting spirit and he deserves the No. 1 ranking, especially after winning one of the greatest Wimbledon [Images] finals ever following the French Open win."

No stranger to playing in championship finals himself, Edberg won six Grand Slam singles titles - twice at Wimbledon (1988, '90), the US Open (1991-92) and Australian Open (1985, '87) - in addition to three Grand Slam doubles crowns.

During Edberg's run to his last Slam title at the US Open in 1992, the serve-and-volleying Swede defeated three straight opponents in five sets, including Chang in the semifinals in the longest match in US Open history at five hours and 26 minutes.

"That was by far the most difficult Slam tournament in my career," says Edberg, who capped it off with a four-set win over Pete Sampras in the final. "I beat Chang in a marathon and then had to come back the next day to play Sampras."

http://im.rediff.com/sports/2008/aug/26stef2.jpg

Edberg looks at today's game and says he's a little disappointed not to see any serve-and-volley players like from his era. "You have some bigger servers today but they don't follow-up going to the net. With Boris and Goran (Ivanisevic) you wouldn't get any rhythm and if you dropped your serve it was extremely difficult to come back and win the set.

"Being a serve-and-volleyer myself, it would be nice to have one, two or three. The guys are playing good, effective tennis today but it would be nice to have variation of styles. I played Chang and he would stay back. You look at Borg and McEnroe and they had different styles. That would be the only thing I wish � to see variation."

But Edberg continues: "Tennis is in pretty good shape right now and Federer-Nadal have played some quality tennis matches. It's also nice to see (Novak) Djokovic playing well and up there."

Today, the 42-year-old Edberg is a part-owner and board member of the Swedish investment company Case Assets Management, and lives in the Swedish countryside with his wife Annette and two children, Emilie, 15, and Christopher, 11.

And, while he'll be watching the action at Flushing Meadows closely, Edberg predicts that this year's US Open will come down to the Big 3 of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, with "Federer winning once again!"

Source: http://www.rediff.com/sports/2008/aug/26edberg.htm

TheBoiledEgg
09-04-2008, 02:02 PM
thanx :)

Pea
09-04-2008, 02:40 PM
Lovely read.

GuiroNl
09-04-2008, 04:14 PM
Thank you for posting this.

RogerFan82
09-05-2008, 01:26 AM
Gr8 article !!!!! :):)

Kolya
09-05-2008, 01:33 AM
Nice read as always.

finishingmove
09-05-2008, 01:36 AM
edberg is a cool guy

:wavey:

DhammaTiger
09-05-2008, 01:37 AM
Doris thank you for a wonderful article. He was not my top favourite because I don't like s/v tennis but I liked him for his sportsmanship.

fast_clay
09-05-2008, 02:20 AM
edberg invented tennis

Lillith
09-05-2008, 04:31 AM
Thanks for the article- he's still my al time favorite. And my last crush. :hearts:

the cat
09-05-2008, 10:40 AM
Eden, thanks's for the Stefan Edberg article. The 1992 U.S. Open that Stefan won was the toughest grand slam I've ever seen anyone have and still win. That was a truly great grand slam title defense for Stefan. :)

scoobs
09-05-2008, 10:53 AM
Always nice to hear from Stefan, a class act.

Becker's Volleys
09-05-2008, 02:19 PM
Great article. Becker was/is my all-time fave player, but Edberg's brilliance and class made for a captivating rivalry and they pushed each others game to a new level. Great bloke too.

JolánGagó
09-08-2008, 04:17 PM
I was usually bored to death by his game but nice read, thanx.

Hagar
09-08-2008, 04:36 PM
What's the secret of these Swedes? Edberg is looking so good at 42, and back in April I saw Björn Borg in an exhibition match... he looks absolutely hot and he's over 50...

wcr
09-19-2008, 04:54 PM
Edberg would make a great coach for Roger Federer.

Eden
07-16-2009, 09:59 AM
Listen to a recent interview with Stefan :)

A_OWtGaATAU

Manon
07-16-2009, 10:02 AM
Thanks Doris:yeah: ThE best tennis player ever if you ask me.

rocketassist
07-16-2009, 11:35 AM
Stefan rules. He would win so much more slams if he played now.

kooties
07-16-2009, 02:16 PM
:worship: Edberg!

Best looking Serve and Volley ever!

abol_tabol
07-16-2009, 03:09 PM
Thank you very much for this. Great interview. Great tennis player. Great person.

sierra91
07-16-2009, 03:13 PM
Thanks, Eden, for the wonderful interview.:yeah:

Edberg was simply magnificent and a joy to watch. The 1991 U.S. Open final, where Stefan put on a serve and volley clinic as he demolished Courier, remains one of my all-time favorite matches.:inlove:

Dini
07-16-2009, 03:31 PM
I love his comment about the short shorts. :haha:

rocketassist
07-16-2009, 03:35 PM
Thanks, Eden, for the wonderful interview.:yeah:

Edberg was simply magnificent and a joy to watch. The 1991 U.S. Open final, where Stefan put on a serve and volley clinic as he demolished Courier, remains one of my all-time favorite matches.:inlove:

His backhand volley is the most beautiful shot the game has seen.

Arkulari
07-16-2009, 03:38 PM
Stefan :hearts: :hearts:
one of the first players I fangirled about, when I was still a kid :lol:

Action Jackson
07-16-2009, 04:43 PM
Not a fan of the guy, but he was a champion.

doublebackhand
07-16-2009, 05:17 PM
thanks for sharing! edberg is a great champion on and off court.

i do remember his short shorts and loved them:inlove: lol

Shabazza
07-16-2009, 05:42 PM
Always nice to read about Edberg, my first favorite tennis player. :worship:
Man, those good old times when my family was rooting for Becker and me jumping with joy when Edberg won against him. :lol:

R.Federer
07-16-2009, 06:21 PM
Thank you for posting.

This guy, doesn't he age or something?! Still looks young.

Federer&Hingis
07-16-2009, 06:26 PM
And, while he'll be watching the action at Flushing Meadows closely, Edberg predicts that this year's US Open will come down to the Big 3 of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, with "Federer winning once again!":worship: :worship: :worship: :worship:

Source: http://www.rediff.com/sports/2008/aug/26edberg.htm

:devil:

DrJules
07-16-2009, 06:35 PM
"And, while he'll be watching the action at Flushing Meadows closely, Edberg predicts that this year's US Open will come down to the Big 3 of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, with "Federer winning once again!"

No mention of Murray despite being world number 3.

FedFan_2007
07-16-2009, 07:46 PM
I think Verdasco, Soderling and Tsonga are co-favorites.

Eden
07-16-2009, 08:08 PM
No mention of Murray despite being world number 3.

The printed article is from 2008 ;) I just used this thread in order to post a recent interview with Stefan as I didn't wanted to start a new one.

Rommella
07-17-2009, 12:15 AM
Stefan Edberg: A Champion reflects

... snip

During Edberg's run to his last Slam title at the US Open in 1992, the serve-and-volleying Swede defeated three straight opponents in five sets, including Chang in the semifinals in the longest match in US Open history at five hours and 26 minutes.

"That was by far the most difficult Slam tournament in my career," says Edberg, who capped it off with a four-set win over Pete Sampras in the final. "I beat Chang in a marathon and then had to come back the next day to play Sampras."

... snip

Source: http://www.rediff.com/sports/2008/aug/26edberg.htm


Now that is endurance. No one-day breather between the semi and final yet he wins it just the same.

Eden
07-19-2009, 06:35 PM
Here's another new interview with Stefan:

wSA2-LQTwQM

dam0dred
07-19-2009, 06:40 PM
Always nice to hear from Stefan, a class act.

*nods*

Jelena
07-19-2009, 06:51 PM
Always nice to read about Edberg, my first favorite tennis player. :worship:
Man, those good old times when my family was rooting for Becker and me jumping with joy when Edberg won against him. :lol:
I can imagine that. :lol: But nice to see there were also others in that time when everybody in Germany was rooting for Becker cheered for Edberg. I did that myself too. :angel:

oranges
07-19-2009, 06:57 PM
Somebody clone this man every ten years or so :inlove:

fast_clay
08-16-2009, 11:14 PM
today on bbc sportspage http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/tennis/8203266.stm




http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46211000/jpg/_46211506_ed3_getty2_226.jpg Edberg played an exhibition match against Jim Courier in LA last month

Stefan Edberg is a six-time Grand Slam champion, four-time Davis Cup winner and former world number one, and the Swede has taken some time out to answer questions from 606 users.
The 43-year-old retired in 1996 after a stellar career and now plays on the ATP Champions Tour, which has been in the Algarve at the Vale Do Lobo event over the last week.
You can catch him in action in December at The Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall.

Q: Stefan, as perhaps the best volleyer ever what do you make of the decline of the use of the volley in today's game?
captainFractured
A: "It's a good question. I think it probably goes in cycles. I know it's a game that takes a little bit longer to develop and it takes a lot of practice in younger years, that's how I developed my serve and volley game.
"I feel a little bit sad that it has disappeared, because it's always great to put a little bit more variation into the game of tennis."
Q: Which was your most memorable grand slam win and why?
AgnethaFaltskogIsTheGirlWithTheGoldenHair
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif

A: "Well I think the easy answer is winning Wimbledon the first time (1988) because of all the tradition. I had watched Borg win five finals, so to me that was a sweet one."
Q: Given how successful Swedish tennis has been in the past, particularly in the 1980s, what factors do you think have caused its decline?
NF
A: "Well, thinking back in the '80s we were very successful and we didn't really think about or know it at the time.
"But looking back now I think we were a lot of young guys around the same age, we worked very hard as a group, and we probably worked harder than most people from other countries.
"We were inspired by one another, we had luck with having a lot of good coaches, so I think that's all part of the reason why we were so successful."
Q: If you could replay one match from your career, which one would you choose - and what would you do differently?
RenataTomanovaFan
A: "Well, it's the French Open (1989) obviously, the one I didn't win. I played Michael Chang in the final and I had lots of chances in the fourth set, and I think maybe just replaying one point could have made a big difference, just to get the break that I needed in the fourth set."
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46211000/jpg/_46211507_ed_getty_282.jpg Edberg beat Boris Becker in five sets to win his second Wimbledon in 1990

Q: "What was the most difficult match you played?
invisibleCoolers
A: "I've played a lot of difficult matches but I think what I did find difficult in the beginning was actually playing Davis Cup. My first Davis Cup match was in doubles and I lost.
"Playing for a team and playing for your own country, I found that really hard in the beginning and it took some time to develop and to get rid of that first match. That was a tricky one to start with."
Q: Why did you always wear a watch when you played? Was it for sponsorship reasons or purely because you were the most stylish player around!?
DiegoBradman
A: "I think it was because of sponsorship at the time, otherwise I probably wouldn't have worn it. But it was a nice watch company and why not?"
Q: If you could take one shot from anyone's game in any era, what would it be?
singhsta2006
A: "Maybe McEnroe's touch."
Q: Who is the best player in your opinion who you played against?
herefordu
A: "In my era I've been very lucky to play against many of the best players: John McEnroe at his prime, Lendl at his prime, Sampras, who I probably would consider the best player of my era because he had a big serve, a good volley and he moved well around the court, so during my era I think he was the most complete player."
Q: I see that you support Leeds United at Football! Was that the Tomas Brolin effect or if not how did you come to support Leeds?
TopspinPhil
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46211000/jpg/_46211566_brolin_getty_226.jpg Edberg's fellow Swede Tomas Brolin signed for Leeds in 1995

A: "It goes further back than Tomas Brolin. I watched a lot of English football when I was young, about seven or eight years of age back in the early '70s, and they were a very successful team at the time so that's part of the reason."
Q: Someone said you play a fair bit of squash these days. Is that true? If so, do you think squash deserves to be included in the 2016 Olympics?
intoxicat
A: "I do play squash now. I started playing after my tennis career. I think it's a great game and I think it does deserve to be in the Olympics, that really would take it to a higher level. It's a good sport, I really enjoy it and I'm really hoping it will be there for the Olympics."
Q: Tim Henman is known to have modelled his game on yours, but who were your tennis (and sporting) inspirations growing up in Sweden?
ThePaw89
A: "For me I think Bjorn Borg was the big inspiration. I think to a lot of my generation he was the big hero. He had so much success and everybody was looking up to him."
Q: Of all the tournaments you played, which one was your favourite?
stefan222
A: "I always felt that I had a lot of favourite tournaments and obviously the ones you play well at always become your favourite tournaments for some reason.
"But I think coming into the Australian Open after a long winter back home in Europe in December, where it's dark and then suddenly coming to Australia where you fly into the summer and there's really nice, easy-going people. I always found that really nice."
Q: It's exactly 19 years ago, 13th of August 1990 - QF in Cincinnati. You played against Michael Chang. You had won Wimbledon and Los Angeles. And it was clear, if you won against Chang you would become number one in the world. Have you been more nervous then in the other matches? And after the match, did you feel like you have won a biggie, a Grand Slam tournament?
Hannes_Mayer
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/46211000/jpg/_46211508_ed2_getty_226.jpg Michael Chang beat Edberg in the Swede's only French Open final in 1990

A: "I remember that match against Chang. I don't know if I thought about the ranking that much at the time. I had big trouble beating Chang first of all. I was on a pretty good run at the time and I knew sooner or later I would get to the number one ranking.
"That's obviously something I'm very proud of because there's very few players who have actually reached the number one ranking in tennis and it's far more difficult than winning a Grand Slam because it's 12 months of really good tennis in order to get there."
Q: Stefan, what do you consider your most satisfying win and your most painful loss?
brooklynfan
A: "The most satisfying win has to come back to winning Wimbledon the first time and winning Davis Cup for the first time (1984).
"Obviously the toughest loss, it has to be the French Open (1989). It wasn't so tough at the time when I lost because I thought I would have more chances to win it, but obviously looking back it would have been sweeter if I'd won."

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/shared/img/o.gif
"...Murray's a good enough player to win a Grand Slam and he reminds me a bit of Ivan Lendl..."

Q: Having in mind Andy Murray's success at the ATP Masters 1000 Series, why do you think he hasn't been able to make the jump to winning a major? How big is that jump?
Lionel Hutz
A. "I think eventually he will crack it. He's a good enough player to win a Grand Slam and he reminds me a bit of Ivan Lendl. It took him quite some time before he won his first Grand Slam and it's taken Andy a little bit of time.
"He's up against some pretty tough opponents as well, he's got Federer, Nadal, Djokovic. With a little bit of luck, if he keeps on training and keeps his motivation, eventually he will win one. Whether it will be this year or next year is hard to tell but he definitely has a chance at the US Open."

Getta
08-17-2009, 03:12 AM
nice read, thanks.

Eden
08-17-2009, 07:45 PM
Interesting read, thanks for posting :) It's always nice to hear what Stefan has to say.

TheBoiledEgg
08-18-2009, 11:00 AM
cant believe there's no one at all that plays S&V at all these days.

Puschkin
08-18-2009, 11:07 AM
cant believe there's no one at all that plays S&V at all these days.
Yep. Melancholy creeping in. In a way, I am sorry for our youngsters here, they think Del Potro plays tennis. :o

Kolya
08-18-2009, 01:25 PM
Edberg :worship:

Hope he plays on the senior tour more often.

rocketassist
08-18-2009, 01:26 PM
The most aesthetically enjoyable to watch player of all time. :worship:

Dougie
08-18-2009, 03:19 PM
The most aesthetically enjoyable to watch player of all time. :worship:

Easily. Class act all the way.

Eden
08-20-2009, 09:43 PM
Stefan Edberg career 1983 - 1996

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

A84gOjY6ok4

Part 4

2juuKthVVgc

Part 5

boZIOXbxFLM

Part 6

rxEdD48UUvo

Part 7

y2MKbPtE3tE

Part 8

d0541w1AP5g

Part 9

4Td7lHthEdE

Eden
08-26-2009, 07:11 PM
Some more Edberg videos

Stefan Edberg Tennis Series 01

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02

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03

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04

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05

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06

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07

DtqyGhwEaSM


08

QWwaq3FttLM


09

mQNP1IcV0Bs

10

bBU6loARLsc

Eden
08-26-2009, 07:31 PM
11

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12

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13

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14

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15

6MaZbIT5sns


16

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17

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18

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19

Mt2MMJReBm4


20

JjVe23-MsYQ

star
08-26-2009, 07:35 PM
The most aesthetically enjoyable to watch player of all time. :worship:

A beautiful player. A beautiful man. A beautiful person.

In my mind, Stefan combined all that was good more than anyone since Arthur Ashe.

Eden
08-26-2009, 08:05 PM
21

JjVe23-MsYQ

22

J0eJIkgrQpA

23

65x2wkuJKxk

24

rdVQXxYN5nQ

25

9vZpMF4uGs0

26

PCTH--kIR4I

27

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28

-eH01qeOaEw

fast_clay
08-26-2009, 10:33 PM
ya gonna havta give me some time to work through those eden... :lol: ...have only just emotionally recovered from the lendl series...

star
08-26-2009, 11:15 PM
I had forgotten that little skip Edberg always took after hitting a winning volley. Nice. :)

Arkulari
08-27-2009, 02:06 AM
he's the first player I can remember, the first one I have memories of watching play, when I was a young kid :)

opeth84
09-09-2009, 01:56 PM
Good stuff Eden :worship: Thank you.

TheBoiledEgg
09-09-2009, 02:39 PM
this is tennis heaven

Echoes
09-10-2009, 03:36 PM
"Being a serve-and-volleyer myself, it would be nice to have one, two or three. The guys are playing good, effective tennis today but it would be nice to have variation of styles. I played Chang and he would stay back. You look at Borg and McEnroe and they had different styles. That would be the only thing I wish � to see variation."

"Tennis is in pretty good shape right now and Federer-Nadal have played some quality tennis matches. It's also nice to see (Novak) Djokovic playing well and up there."


Nice to have his opinion on that. :)


It's a good question. I think it probably goes in cycles. I know it's a game that takes a little bit longer to develop and it takes a lot of practice in younger years, that's how I developed my serve and volley game.
"I feel a little bit sad that it has disappeared, because it's always great to put a little bit more variation into the game of tennis."

That's surely true. But I don't really agree with him on saying it goes in cycle though I wish he was right. There's been S&V'ers in the 00's than in the 90's; less in the 90's than in the 80's; less in the 80's than in the 70's and less in the 70's than in the 60's.


And I don't think it's disappeared either (the best no longer do it, that's all).

Eden
06-21-2010, 07:17 PM
UR-ZKuXSha8

ShotmaKer
06-21-2010, 08:11 PM
thanks Doris :worship:

Eden
08-20-2010, 11:04 AM
29

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30

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31

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32

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33

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34

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35

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36

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37

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38

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Shirogane
08-20-2010, 11:21 AM
Stefan Edberg career 1983 - 1996

Part 1 - Part 9

Some more Edberg videos

Stefan Edberg Tennis Series 01 - 10

Series 11 - 20

Series 21 - 28

Wimbledon 1990 - Stefan Edberg's road to victory

Series 29 - 38


:worship: Thanks!

MacTheKnife
08-20-2010, 11:43 AM
Has there been a better back hand volley than Edberg's.. It was a thing of beauty.

TheBoiledEgg
08-20-2010, 10:18 PM
wish we could rewind the clock back 20 yrs
serve & volley tennis.......... :hearts:

fran70
08-21-2010, 04:12 PM
Thanks for the article. Edberg was a champion inside and outside the court. All my respects although I was not a big fan of him

Shinoj
10-10-2011, 04:42 AM
He was my first tennis favourite. I remember being a fan of him after he won the Wimbeldon 90. I always rooted for him. I saw his match defeating Sampras in the US Open, defeating Chang on the way. The match against Stich in the Wimbeldon was cruel, he was supposed to win that match. But by then he already had a great legacy. His volleying was so immaculate. He was a pleasure to watch. A great Champion.:worship:

Puschkin
10-10-2011, 05:36 AM
Has there been a better back hand volley than Edberg's?
No.

Shirogane
10-10-2011, 09:52 AM
Thanks for the article. Edberg was a champion inside and outside the court. Yes... also a champ... on the inside. :yeah: