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Over the past 50 years, the likes of Bjorn Borg, Stefan Edberg, Mats Wilander, Thomas Johansson and Robin Soderling have graced Swedish tennis. However, not since 2011 has Sweden had a top male tennis player in Robin Soderling, who reached two French Open finals and other than Novak Djokovic the only player to beat Rafael Nadal on the Parisian clay. Fast forward to 2015, enter Elias Ymer. The 19 year-old won his first ATP World Tour Challenger title in Italy and recently came through the qualifying rounds of Wimbledon.
The son of Ethiopian immigrants, Ymer is quietly confident that he can restore tennis fortunes in Sweden and embraces the pressure and expectation. He already has a victory over fellow youngster Nick Kyrgios and lauded by David Ferrer as having a “brilliant future ahead.” Coached by former Spanish professional, Galo Blanco who was previously affiliated with Milos Raonic, Ymer is in good hands. Additionally, he is also part of Magnus Norman’s tennis academy, a former World No. 2 and respected tennis player himself.
The World No. 133, lists Americans Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson as his idols and looks to their killer instinct every time he walks out onto the tennis court. The likes of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic have started to take notice and even invited him to their training sessions. Along with the likes of Kyrgios, Kokkinakis, Tiafoe and Coric, Ymer will definitely be a household name for years to come. Swedish tennis is still in the doldrums, but they are quietly optimistic that they will have to no longer turn to semi-retired players to fill their ranks.