Stefan Edberg (or Iceberg as he was called in jest) along with Boris Becker, dominated Wimbledon in the latter part of the 1980s. The diffident Swede’s style was made for the lawns of the All England Club, his deportment complementing the ambience of the sport’s traditional theatre, as impressively as his strokes.
The 6’2″ right hander was one of the major proponents of the serve-and-volley, arguable the greatest of all time. He reached 11 Grand Slam singles finals, winning six, twice claiming victory at Wimbledon, The Australian and US Opens. In his ATP World Tour profile, Bud Collins describes him as a stylistic misfit among the Swedish legion that rose in Björn Borg’s sneaker steps and image, Stefan Edberg was an extraordinarily graceful attacker.”
Along with John McEnroe, they are the only players to reach World No. One in both singles and doubles. Stefan also won all four Junior Grand Slam titles in 1983 – the only person to do so.
The French Open evaded him, but only just! He reached the final in 1989, losing in a close five setter to Michael Chang. He also won three Grand Slam men’s doubles titles.
Unfortunately, knee surgery sidelined him at this years Statoil Master’s Tennis Tournament on the ATP Champions Tour. But, luckily for me, he did turn up yesterday to watch and even more luckily, I had my sketch of him with me and he was happy to sign.