Top 8 Swedish tennis players of all time
It is no secret that Swedish tennis has gone through a prolonged barren spell in terms of Grand Slam trophies.
The Swedes were the primary rivals to the dominance of the United States of America in the 1970s, 1980s and to an extent the 1990s too. During the years from 1974 to 1992, Swedish men combined for a total of 24 Grand Slam trophies of the total of 74 that were played during the period. That is just one number less than what the mighty Americans won.
During this dominant spell, a Swedish athlete emerged as the winner at least once in 17 of the 19 years. Sweden also managed to win the Davis Cup on four different occasions.
Apart from the instance of Rod Laver winning the Calendar Slam in 1969, the Swedes combining for all four Grand Slam titles in 1988 is the only other instance in the Open Era where a single nation has dominated the Slams in a calendar year.
It is remarkable to think that a country which dominated tennis for such a long periods, has now been without a Grand Slam singles champion for the past 16 years and counting.
Here, we take a look at 8 of the greatest Swedish tennis players of all time:
#8 Robin Soderling
The last Swede to be ranked inside the ATP top 10 was Robin Soderling.
Soderling will forever be remembered for his remarkable win over the imperious Rafael Nadal on the clay courts of Roland Garros in 2009. Prior to this match, Nadal had never lost at the French Open, and few would have given Soderling any chance against the great Spaniard.
But remarkably, in what tennis legend Martina Navratilova has described as the 'greatest upset in tennis history', Soderling won the match in four sets. He was the first player to beat Nadal on clay in a best-of-five-sets match.
Soderling again made the final of the French Open in 2010, but he couldn't repeat his heroics of the previous year and fell to Nadal in the summit clash.
Soderling's win at the Paris ATP Masters 1000 in the year 2010 was his first and only ATP Masters title. A mononucleosis ailment kept him out of the sport from 2011, eventually forcing him to retire.