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17 March 2014

Swedish legends honoured in Stockholm


Photo: Svenska TennisförbundetCommitment Award: Mr Stefan Dahlbo handed out the awards to Ulf Schmidt, Jonas Björkman, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander and Ove Bengtsson

Five of Sweden’s greatest players were honoured at the Kings of Tennis Event in Stockholm when they were presented with Davis Cup Commitment Awards. The President of the Swedish Tennis Association, Stefan Dahlbo, handed out the awards to Ulf Schmidt, Jonas Bjorkman, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, and Ove Bengtson.

Ulf Schmidt has played for Sweden on more occasions than any other player, representing his country in 38 ties between 1955 and 1964. He also holds the record for most rubber wins, with 66 victories from 102 rubbers and forms half of Sweden’s greatest doubles team, having partnered Jan-Erik Lundqvist to 16 doubles wins.

Jonas Bjorkman is another Swedish record holder. He represented Sweden for 14 years, more than any other player. Bjorkman helped Sweden lift the Davis Cup title on three occasions. Bjorkman was involved in key doubles victories in the 1994 and 1998 finals and led the team to victory in 1997, winning three rubbers in the final.

Mats Wilander also helped Sweden to three Davis Cup titles. As an integral part of each team, he won the opening rubbers of the 1984, 1985 and 1987 finals, ensuring Sweden got off to the best possible start each time and finished with the title.

Stefan Edberg has four Davis Cup titles to his name, having helped Sweden to victory in 1984, 1985, 1987 and 1994. He won the deciding fifth rubber of the 1985 final and won a thrilling first rubber of the 1994 final, defeating Alexander Volkov 8-6 in the fifth set.

Ove Bengtson helped book Sweden’s place in Davis Cup history as part of the team that claimed their first ever Davis Cup title in 1975. Playing alongside the legendary Bjorn Borg, Bengtson helped Sweden defeat Czechoslovakia 3-2 in the final.

Jonas Bjorkman, Sweden’s Davis Cup captain for their next tie against Ukraine on 4-6 April, said: "It is a great honour to receive this award along with these legends. It is great to be part of such company, and for me it was always a privilege to play in the national team. I also got to do it together with some of the greats, like Mats and Stefan. We got to meet some of the best players in history, and the Davis Cup victories are my greatest achievements in my career".

The Davis Cup Commitment Award, conceived as part of the ITF’s 2013 Centenary celebrations, is presented by the ITF to players who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in this prestigious competition.

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