Stefan Edberg will be awarded the “Golden Racket” 2023, the recognition that ever since 2006 the Federazione Italiana Tennis e Padel gives to tennis players who left a mark in the history of tennis. The ceremony will take place tomorrow on the Campo Centrale of the Foro Italico in Rome around 6.45pm local time – just before the start of the men’s match opening the evening session, scheduled not before
7pm. The award will be handed by one of the ambassadors of Italian tennis in the world: Nicola Pietrangeli, who will be assisted by FITP Vice President Isidoro Alvisi. Following the ceremony, the Sweden will be interviewed by former player and queen of Italian tennis, Flavia Pennetta, US Open champion in 2015.
THE LEGEND OF VÄSTERVIK – Former world number 1 and 6-time Slam champion, one time winner of the Nitto ATP Finals in 1989, 4 Davis Cups with the Swedish team, bronze medallist at the Olympic Games of Seoul 1988, as well as only player to achieve a Grand Slam in the Juniors, and only player other than John McEnroe to have been world number one in singles and doubles. This incredible list gives a sense of how extraordinary the talent of Stefan Edgerg was.
Elegant, fast, aggressive, spectacular, and maverick. The attacking tennis of Edgerg marked tennis in the 80s and 90s, changing drastically the model that Björn Borg imposed to his generation, with his long baseline rallies. With an impeccable style and a natural disposition to give a show without losing effectiveness on his tennis, Edberg made serve&volley his own, enriching his repertoire of shots with a marvellous one-handed backhand.
Craft and talent identified the player from Västervik, who is still remembered for his great fair play. As a proof of that, he had been awarded 5 times the title of sportsmanship of the season by the ATP, that these days has even taken his name.
NOT ONLY STEFAN BUT MARTINA TOO – Not only Edberg, another legend of tennis will be awarded the “Golden Racket” this year: Martina Navratilova will receive the award on May 20th, just before the women’s singles final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. A career that spanned from 1973 to 2006, with a short pause between 1996 and 2000, made Navratilova a living legend of tennis and beyond. Some of the records she still owns are unmatched by any other female or male player: most titles– 344-, most singles’
titles -167, and most doubles’ titles – 177. Her cabinet is rich of 59 Slam trophies – 18 in singles, 31 in doubles and 10 in mixed doubles. 9 of her singles titles came in Wimbledon. The champion from Řevnice has been world number one for 331 weeks, second only to Steff Graf who held the top spot for 377 weeks.