Alex Mann has written another player profile. This is one of the legends in tennis history, Stefan Edberg.
Stefan Edberg Player Profile
Let’s dive into the career of six-time major singles champion Stefan Edberg.
Edberg was born on the 19th January 1966 in the city of Va?stervik, Sweden.
The Swede’s junior career is unmatched.
In 1983, Edberg became the first person to win the junior grand slam, winning the Australian, French, Wimbledon and US Open in the same year. He is still the only player to have done this today.
After his magnificent junior career, high expectations were put on the Swede.
Fellow Swede and tennis legend Bjorn Borg made his last major appearance in 1981 and announced his retirement in 1984. After Borg’s shock retirement, Sweden were now looking for their new tennis superstar.
The Swedes didn’t have to wait long. In 1982, 17-year-old Mats Wilander defeated favorite Guillermo Vilas to win the first major title of his career.
With Edberg’s junior triumphs, it remained to be seen if he could continue his success on the men’s tour, joining Wilander as a Swedish great.
Edberg’s first breakthrough on the men’s tour was the 1984 Australian Open.
He reached the quarter-final stage, losing out to Wilander, who would go on to win his second major title.
Edberg quickly adapted to the professional tour, his first title in March 1984 against Wilander, before capturing his first major title in December 1985 at the Australian Open.
Edberg defeated two-time Australian Open champion Johan Kriek in the quarter-final, Slobodan Zivojinovic in the semi-final and once again, Mats Wilander in the final.
Sweden were not only witnessing success post-Borg, but a rivalry was developing between their top players.
Edberg Wilander Rivalry
Throughout their professional career, Edberg and Wilander played each other twenty times, with Wilander narrowly leading the head-to-head 11 to 9. The matchup between the two Swedes was intriguing.
On the one hand, you had Edberg. The master of the serve and volley, always looking to come forward and finish the point off at the net.
On the other hand, you had Wilander. The two-handed backhand grinder. A reincarnation of Bjorg.
The two met each other again in the 1987 US Open semi-final.
By this time, Edberg had captured his second major title at the 1987 Australian Open, defeating home favorite Pat Cash in five sets.
Wilander would get the better of Edberg again before losing out to Ivan Lendl in the final.
At the 1988 Wimbledon, a possible rematch between Edberg and Wilander was on the cards.
Wilander had won the first two major titles of the year the Australian Open, now played on hard courts, and the French Open.
Wilander was looking to become the first man to win the grand slam (winning all four majors in one year) since Rod Laver achieved this feat in 1969.
Unfortunately for Wilander, he lost in the quarter-final against Miloslav Mecir.
Edberg, however, served and volleyed his way past Miloslav Mec?i?r? in the semi-final to set up a clash with two-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker.
After heavy rain delayed play on the Sunday finals day, Edberg came through Becker on Monday to win his third major title.
Edberg became the first Swede to lift the Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy since Borg claimed his last title in 1980.
Edberg World Number 1
A year later, Edberg returned to the Wimbledon final and reignited his rivalry with Becker.
This time, it was Becker’s turn to take victory, as he defeated Edberg in three sets.
1990 was a mixed year for Edberg.
He reached the Australian final, losing out to Ivan Lendl before a surprise first-round loss at the French Open to future champion Sergi Bruguera (Bruguera would go on to win the French Open in 1993 and 1994).
In August of that year, the Swedish superstar eventually knocked Ivan Lendl off the top of the ATP rankings, reaching world number 1 for the first time.
Entering the US Open as top seed, Edberg had high expectations. Unfortunately, the Swede lost to Alexander Volkov in straight sets in the first-round.
Edberg would win two more major titles at the 1991 and 1992 US Open, defeating Jim Courier and Pete Sampras, respectively.
The Swede would make his last major singles final appearance in 1993, losing out to Jim Courier, and won his last major title at the 1996 Australian Open, partnering Petr Korda to win the men’s doubles.
Edberg’s success on and off the court continues to this day.
After his retirement in 1996, he returned to the tour in 2014 as the coach of Roger Federer.
The Swede guided Federer to three Masters 1000s titles and three major finals from 2014 to the end of the 2015 season, where the partnership ended.
Since 1996, the ATP has given out the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award to a player on tour who has shown fairness, generosity, and professionalism on and off the court.
Over the years, Edberg’s play, professionalism, and popularity as a tennis player and tennis coach have all contributed to his success as one of the best and most loved players ever.
Stefan Edberg’s racquet was the popular Wilson Pro Staff 85, painted to resemble the Pro Staff Six One Classic. Edberg was allegedly using the Chicago edition of the Pro Staff 85 and played with a bare leather grip.