Tillstrom brings end to Edberg's career here Former champ bows to younger countryman

June 28, 1996|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,STAFF WRITER

WIMBLEDON, England -- As the sun set here this evening, so did Stefan Edberg's Wimbledon career. The two-time champion fell to countryman Mikael Tillstrom's faster, younger legs, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

"Stefan was always my favorite at Wimbledon," said Tillstrom, 24. "I wasn't bothered by the crowd support for him because I knew it would be that way. To beat Stefan Edberg at his last Wimbledon, when I hadn't played anything on grass before, this was very big, very special for me."

It was a much more pleasant story for No. 10 seed Michael Stich, a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, 6-7 (7-5), 6-1 winner over Shuzo Matsuoka.

Edberg, 30 and the No. 12 seed here, arrived in the interview room a half-hour after his defeat looking disappointed but resigned.

"It's a tough one, but it has to end at some point," he said. "Today was the day and maybe not what I expected . . . . But I had a lot of support and I did what I could. You have to hold your head up . . . . Once you've been a champion here, you should leave like one. You belong to this club once you've won here, so it's not like I'm leaving forever."

Edberg said he would rather have finished his career on Centre Court, but he credited Tillstrom with playing a strong match. Rather than bemoan his loss, he focused on how good it has been to be here.

"I'm playing my last match, he's playing his first," he said. "Maybe he's taking over in my step. He did play well." In the last match of the evening, Pam Shriver teamed with Rosalyn Nideffer for a come-from-behind victory over Monica Seles and Betsy Nagelsen, 4-6, 6-4, 9-7, to advance to the second round of the women's doubles competition.

Week that was

Top seed Pete Sampras says this is the "strangest Wimbledon I've been to in all my years coming here, with all these upsets."

There have been so many that HBO will recap from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. today the week that saw top seeds Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Kafelnikov, Monica Seles and Lindsay Davenport disappear in early.

Moving on

Top seed Steffi Graf moved into the third round with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Nathalie Baudone; men's No. 4 Goran Ivanisevic advanced with a 7-5, 6-4, 6-4 victory over France's Pierre Bouteyre; and Englishman Tim Henman, who upset Yevgeny Kafelnikov, moved into the third round with a 6-1, 6-7 (7-3), 6-0, 6-1 victory over countryman Danny Sapsford.

Women's No. 16 Martina Hingis won 6-1, 6-1 over Rachel Viollet.

Add to upsets

The No. 8 women's seed, Davenport, 20, joined the upset victims here with a 6-3, 6-2 loss to Larisa Neiland, who is about to turn 30.

Shop, shop, shop

Along with a new No. 1 court being constructed here has come something of a shopping mall, everything from a food court to a drug store to a new official Wimbledon merchandise shop.

The most expensive item in the Wimbledon shop is a nine-carat gold charm bracelet with racket, sun visor, tennis shoes and ball that goes for 537 pounds (about $830).

The cheapest items in the store are socks and wrist bands at five pounds ($7.70) and a key ring at six pounds ($9.25). The best seller in this most English of English shops is the good old American baseball cap at 12 pounds ($18.50).

Pub Date: 6/28/96

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