Enqvist Talks All Things Swedish Tennis
by ATP Staff|
Speaking last month during Kings of Tennis in Stockholm, Thomas Enqvist talked about the past and present of Swedish tennis, as well as Robin Soderling's ATP Champions Tour debut.
You’ve been a regular at this event. Talk about the Kings of Tennis.
This is our sixth year hosting this event in Stockholm and it’s right in the middle of the city. With the tennis tradition that Sweden has, it makes sense for us to have a Champions Tour event with the players we have from our country, as well as very strong players like John McEnroe who have connected with the fans here. For me personally, this is my hometown, so I’m very happy to show my friends around and be a part of it.
We have an ATP World Tour tournament, but this is still a very good way to promote Swedish tennis and remember that we were once a very strong tennis nation. Reminding people of that could be a good way to promote interest in the sport here. We do a lot of things during this tournament that also promote Swedish tennis, so that’s a good thing as well.
What was it like sharing the court with Robin Soderling this year?
We had a fun doubles match with Mark Philippoussis and Jonas Bjorkman and we were all so happy to see him on the court. He hasn’t been able to play in front of a crowd since 2011. Having to stop at the peak of your career, No. 4 in the world, especially when you’ve been working for this your entire life, is very hard. I had a feeling that he really enjoyed it. It was a good first step for him and he said that he felt fine the next day, so hopefully we can see him again soon on the Champions Tour.
What are your thoughts on Elias and Mikael Ymer?
They’re the biggest hope we have in Swedish tennis at the moment. Elias has struggled a bit in the past year, but he has a lot of good potential. Mikael has a lot of talent and has had some good results lately, but needs to be careful because he has some problems with injuries. We really need some players to break through so we can get publicity around the sport, and so the kids here have role models that get them interested in tennis.