Wimbledon 2018: Stefan Olsson seeks second title

Swedish wheelchair tennis player back on his favourite Grand Slam surface

male wheelchair tennis player Stefan Olsson raises his fists in celebration at the net Stefan Olsson wants to add to his maiden Grand Slam title by winning again at Wimbledon © • Getty Images

Wimbledon holds great memories for Stefan Olsson. It is the place where the Swedish wheelchair tennis player won the first singles Grand Slam title of his career in 2017.

Twelve months after that triumph, Olsson wants to shine again on his cherished surface. “I think it could be possible [to defend the title] but it will be difficult with all the good rivals,” he said.

“The grass court season suits me really well. In fact, I loved it from the very first time I played on it.”

Olsson had reached the singles final at Roland Garros in 2010 and had won the doubles titles at the US Open in 2009 and Wimbledon at 2010.

The Paralympic men’s doubles champion knows that his opponents are not travelling to Great Britain’s capital city just to make up the numbers.

Shingo Kunieda, who became world No.1 again this year, has returned to old strengths after recovering from an injury and will be the man-to-beat. The Japanese will go for his 23rd Grand Slam title and his first at Wimbledon.

“I am sure it is possible to beat Shingo [Kunieda] but it is really difficult,” said Olsson. “I will have to play my best tennis on the grass to be able to do that.

“Apart from an extreme high tennis level, my tactics need to work as well. And maybe I will need some luck too.”

While the 31-year-old’s immediate plans involving reclaiming the singles throne, he also looks one step ahead. “Of course I dream of becoming world No.1 one day,” he said.

“Without the drive I have I wouldn’t be where I am now, but I need to put in even more hours on and off the court to become world No. 1 eventually.”

Wimbledon takes place between 12 and 15 July. The full schedule and results will be available online on the International Tennis Federation’s website.