Life is good for Stefan Olsson

Swedish Grand Slam champion talks fatherhood and Wimbledon title. 19 Aug 2017
a wheelchair tennis player clenches his fists in celebration at the net

Stefan Olsson is enjoying a remarkable 2017 after winning his first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon.

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By Andrew Cross | For the IPC

“It’s already been a great year, but looking to what is to come I can only say it can become even better."

Sweden’s Stefan Olsson missed the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, Australia for a good reason; he became a father at the turn of the year, meaning his duties were required at home and away from the tennis court.

“It [tennis life] changed a lot, from pretty much eating and sleeping tennis to actually just training hard and playing the matches, and then you can go home and be a Dad on evenings when I’m home,” he explained.

“So my focus changed for the better and I think that’s why I’m playing so great at the moment.”

If that was not enough elation for one year for the Swede, as July gave him another unforgettable moment when he claimed his first singles Grand Slam in 19 years at the All England Club, 12 months after being beaten in the final.

Olsson saw off the 2016 champion Gordon Reid in the quarter-finals before beating former world number one Shingo Kunieda to reach the final. In-form Gustavo Fernandez made it a battle in the final but Olsson claimed the deciding set 7-5 to win his first singles Slam.

“It’s overwhelming and I’m constantly happy, especially the way I did it, being down in the third set and then making the comeback for the win! They were tears of joy and an unreal feeling inside my bones.

“To be so close as I was last year and that I didn’t win; it could have been one of my last chances, then almost losing it this time, too, it was just a dream come true. And the overwhelming emotions then to have your whole family there watching, it makes you even happier!

“It stills feel like a dream and will take some time to melt.”

Fatherhood now plays a part in Olsson’s career as he searches for more glory in 2017. Now with a singles Grand Slam to his name, the 30-year-old has nothing to fear going forward.

“It’s already been a great year, but looking to what is to come I can only say it can become even better.

“I don’t have the answers about the possibility of a second Slam yet, but if I get fortunate enough I’ll definitely tell you. I think it’s gonna be pretty awesome.”