WIM47 - 20010629 - LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM : Jonas Bjorkman of Sweden plays a volley during his third round match against Swiss Roger Federer at the All England Tennis Championships in Wimbledon on Friday, 29 June 2001. EPA PHOTO EPA/MARTYN HAYHOW |
Old Swedish stager Jonas Bjorkman has dusted off his racquets five years after his ATP retirement to lend a hand in doubles at the Stockholm Open.
The marketing director for the event took his duties to the extreme in drumming up interest for the event in the one-time capital of tennis three or more decades ago.
Back in the day, Sweden produced player after player, starting with Bjorn Borg, running through Mats Wilander and Stefan Edberg right up to Robin Soderling, the only man to ever beat Rafael Nadal at the French Open. But Soderling’s career all but ended with a 2011 bout of glandular fever – now Sweden’s best is not even ranked inside the top 400.
Bjorkman stepped into the breach as he teamed with current doubles player Robert Lindstedt, who is coming off an unhappy and short-lived partnership with Daniel Nestor. Bjorkman, 41, was quick to point out that his arrangement was merely a one-off, to deflect any useless speculation of a comeback.
“It’s not a comeback, just here in Stockholm. Robert is one of the best in the world and I hope he can carry me on his shoulders. The aim is to win the title,” said the winner of all four grand slam doubles titles.
Another Swede also made a brief comeback appearance as former top 10 competitor Joachim “Pim-Pim” Johansson stepped onto court for the week. He stepped off again after qualifying success and a first round win, going down in the second round to Canadian Milos Raonic in what turned into a respectable battle of serve.
Johansson, 31, had to end his promising career due to a shoulder problem and once set a record with 51 aces against Andre Agassi at the 2005 Australian Open.
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