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Kent Carlsson (born 3 January 1968) is a former tennis player from Sweden. A seasoned claycourter, he won all nine of his ATP tour singles titles on the surface, including the 1988 Hamburg Masters. Carlsson achieved a career-high singles ranking of World No. 6 in September 1988.

Kent Carlsson
Internationaal tennis op het Melkhuisje in Hilversum, fin heren enkel, Carlsson , Bestanddeelnr 933-3862.jpg
Country (sports) Sweden
ResidenceEskilstuna, Sweden
Born (1968-01-03) 3 January 1968 (age 51)
Eskilstuna, Sweden
Height1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro1983
Retired1990
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money$998,956
Singles
Career record160–54
Career titles9
Highest rankingNo. 6 (19 September 1988)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open4R (1987, 1988)
US Open1R (1986)
Doubles
Career record2–9
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 383 (13 July 1987)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open2R (1986)

Playing careerEdit

JuniorsEdit

Carlsson was a successful junior winning the Kalle Anka Cup, which is a Swedish junior tournament through the under 11, under 13s twice and under 15.[1] He still holds the record for the most titles wins at 4 in front of Thomas Enqvist and Thomas Johansson who won it 3 times.[2] Carlsson was also a three time European Champion between 1981–83.[3] In 1983 he won the Orange Bowl over Emilio Sánchez and won the Roland Garros Boys' Singles title in 1984 without losing a set, defeating Mark Kratzmann in the final.[4]

Pro tourEdit

Carlsson played his first professional match in 1983 losing to Heinz Günthardt in Geneva. 1984 was his first full year on tour and made the 3rd round of Roland Garros losing to Andrés Gómez, who defeated him as well in the 1985 and 1986 Roland Garros events.[5] Carlsson won his first challenger title without losing a set in Neu-Ulm defeating Raúl Viver.[6]

After losing to Mats Wilander at Barcelona of October 1984, Carlsson did not play his first tournament until April 1985 in Bari, where he lost to Emilio Sánchez. Playing a mixture of ATP events and challengers, Carlsson made his first ATP tour final in Hilversum losing to Ricki Osterthun in 5 sets after having a 2 sets to 0 lead; he won his second challenger in Messina defeating Ronald Agénor.

Starting the 1986 season in April, Carlsson won his first title on the ATP in Bari by defeating Horacio de la Peña. He made two finals in Madrid, losing to Joakim Nyström and at Bordeaux, losing to Paolo Canè. Carlsson made his one and only appearance at the US Open losing to Pavel Složil in 3 sets, after that he won his second career title in Barcelona and made his Davis Cup debut against Czechoslovakia defeating Miloslav Mečíř 6–0, 6–2, 6–4, reversing his defeat by Mecir in the semi finals of Hamburg.

In 1987 Carlsson retired against Mečíř at Indian Wells with a knee injury which plagued his career and restricted him to playing mostly on clay and only 13 career matches on hardcourts. He came back and won two titles, both against Emilio Sánchez in the final, at Nice and Bologna. With the title in Bologna Carlsson only dropped 10 games for the tournament, 5 of which were in the first match. That is the record for the fewest games dropped to win an International Series tournament[7] Carlsson said that this was his best tournament of his career.[8] In addition to the two titles, Carlsson made two finals at Boston and Indianapolis which was played on green clay losing to countryman Mats Wilander both times. Carlsson won both his singles matches for Sweden against France in the Davis Cup quarter finals at Fréjus defeating Thierry Tulasne 6–1, 3–6, 6–1, 6–2 and Henri Leconte 7–5, 6–2, 7–5. Carlsson had another surgery in August after withdrawing from the event at St. Vincent.

1988 was Carlsson's best year coming back from knee surgery in April he won his first title of the year in Madrid over Fernando Luna without losing a set. He won the German Open without losing a set defeating Henri Leconte in the final making use of his heavy topspin off both sides, especially the forehand side.[9] He followed that up with a semi final performance at the Rome Masters losing to Ivan Lendl. Carlsson lost to Jonas Svensson in 5 sets at Roland Garros in the fourth round. Carlsson won 3 more titles after Wimbledon, at Kitzbühel defeating Emilio Sánchez, St. Vincent defeating Thierry Champion and his last career title at Barcelona defeating Thomas Muster. In Davis Cup Carlsson defeated Thierry Tulasne in a dead rubber at Båstad, he was also a finalist at Geneva losing to Marián Vajda and at Palermo losing to Mats Wilander.

After the successful 1988, Carlsson had more problems with his knees, but was able to make the final at Athens losing to Ronald Agénor and played his last professional match at Kitzbühel losing to Christian Saceanu. Then after another knee operation Carlsson announced his retirement in May 1990[10]

After tennisEdit

Carlsson was critical of the media who said that his father Lars-Göran pushed him too hard and in response to the criticism, said "it was wrong and on the contrary, he put the breaks [sic] on. I believed I was at my best, when I trained a lot and was never going to lose because of conditioning. I lost because my opponent was better on the day".[11]

During his early years playing tennis Carlsson used to travel around in a caravan and ate in the tennis hall restaurant to save money. He is also critical of many of today's players who he believes are too spoilt.[11]

After retirement from the professional tour Carlsson trained Magnus Norman, Thomas Johansson, Nicklas Kroon and Aki Rahunen. After living in Monaco, Carlsson moved back to Sweden and became a horse trainer for trotting races. He developed the interest as a teenager and it was natural for him to take this as a new career[12] and said "there is a great deal of satisfaction from training a horse from the beginning".[12]

Career finalsEdit

Singles: 17 (9 titles – 8 runners-up)Edit

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (0–0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0–0)
ATP Masters Series (1–0)
ATP Championship Series (3–0)
ATP Tour (5–8)
Result W-L Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Jul 1985 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay   Ricki Osterthun 6–4, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6, 3–6
Win 1–1 Apr 1986 Bari, Italy Clay   Horacio de la Peña 7–5, 6–7, 7–5
Loss 1–2 Apr 1986 Madrid, Spain Clay   Joakim Nyström 1–6, 1–6
Loss 1–3 Jul 1986 Bordeaux, France Clay   Paolo Canè 4–6, 6–1, 5–7
Win 2–3 Sep 1986 Barcelona, Spain Clay   Andreas Maurer 6–2, 6–2, 6–0
Win 3–3 Apr 1987 Nice, France Clay   Emilio Sánchez 7–6(9–7), 6–3
Win 4–3 Jun 1987 Bologna, Italy Clay   Emilio Sánchez 6–2, 6–1
Loss 4–4 Jul 1987 Boston, U.S. Clay   Mats Wilander 6–7(5–7), 1–6
Loss 4–5 Jul 1987 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay   Mats Wilander 5–7, 3–6
Win 5–5 Apr 1988 Madrid, Spain Clay   Fernando Luna 6–2, 6–1
Win 6–5 Apr 1988 Hamburg, Germany Clay   Henri Leconte 6–2, 6–1, 6–4
Win 7–5 Aug 1988 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay   Emilio Sánchez 6–1, 6–1, 4–6, 4–6, 6–3
Win 8–5 Aug 1988 Saint-Vincent, Italy Clay   Thierry Champion 6–0, 6–2
Win 9–5 Sep 1988 Barcelona, Spain Clay   Thomas Muster 6–3, 6–3, 3–6, 6–1
Loss 9–6 Sep 1988 Geneva, Switzerland Clay   Marián Vajda 4–6, 4–6
Loss 9–7 Sep 1988 Palermo, Italy Clay   Mats Wilander 1–6, 6–3, 4–6
Loss 9–8 Apr 1989 Athens, Greece Clay   Ronald Agénor 3–6, 4–6

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ (Swedish) "Kalle Anka Cup Finalists 1970–2007". Tennis Sweden. 19 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ (Swedish) "Nima vann Kalle Anka Cup igen". Svensk Idrott. 19 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Kent Carlsson profile". ATP. 19 June 2009.
  4. ^ "Kent Carlsson Junior Record". ITF. 19 June 2009.
  5. ^ "Head to Head Record Kent Carlsson vs. Andrés Gómez". ATP. 19 June 2009.
  6. ^ "1985 Player Activity". ATP. 19 June 2009.
  7. ^ "1987 Player Activity". ATP. 19 June 2009.
  8. ^ "Tenniskungen hyllad av profiler". Folket. 19 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Kent Carlsson vs. henri Leconte". Youtube. 19 June 2009.
  10. ^ (Swedish) "Kent Carlssons ess". Aftonbladet. 19 June 2009.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b Source[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ a b Source

External linksEdit