Grand Slammers narrates the Golden Age of Swedish tennis through the eyes of the three major protagonists of that era, Björn Borg, Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg.
The book explains how a small country with 8 million inhabitants like Sweden could become the leading nation in tennis and an example to imitate worldwide.
While tennis was still an upper class sport in the world, Sweden became the country with the biggest number of tennis courts per capita.
It starts from the epic of Björn Borg, the taciturn and mysterious Swede who became an icon of the 70's and turned tennis into a global sport, and ends with the Kings of Tennis, the nostalgic senior event part of the Champions Tour held each year in Stockholm.A focus is dedicated to the 1985 Australian Open final, the first (and only, so far) all-Swedish Grand Slam final in the history of tennis, between Stefan Edberg and Mats Wilander. Edberg recalls in the book:
I knew Mats was a difficult opponent, but I also knew that if I played well, I had the best chances to win. I was the one who dictated what would happen on court, while he was more cautious. I knew I had a weapon to outmanoeuvre him. And although we were good buddies so we were competitors in the world elite and ran our own race.
The book also contains a little bit of backstage behind the start of the relationship between Stefan and Annette, who was Wilander's former girlfriend. As always, Stefan didn't want to go deep in this story that he has always considered very private, never allowing questions from the media. He says in the book:
Sometimes in life you end up in these situations, and then you try to manage them as well as you can. Actually, it's nothing I want to talk about.
Wilander, who was already dating with his future wife Sonia at the time, said he received the news of the love affair between Stefan and Annette through a phone call from a mysterious Jocke Nyström.
It is clear that I was surprised, but it sounded reasonable. I knew Annette always thought Stefan behaved so nice and good.
Ulf Roosvald, born in 1970, is a Swedish journalist, writer and long-time contributor to the acclaimed football magazine Offside. Mats Holm is a Swedish journalist, lecturer and writer, born in 1960. After academic exams in psychology and journalism Mats worked as a freelance reporter for several years.
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