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Kent Carlsson

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Title: Kent Carlsson  
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Subject: 1988 Grand Prix (tennis), 1987 Grand Prix (tennis), 1988 French Open – Men's Singles, 1987 French Open – Men's Singles, 1986 French Open – Men's Singles
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Kent Carlsson

Kent Carlsson
Country  Sweden
Residence Eskilstuna, Sweden
Born (1968-01-03) 3 January 1968
Eskilstuna, Sweden
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Turned pro 1983
Retired 1990
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $998,956
Career record 160–54
Career titles 9
Highest ranking No. 6 (19 September 1988)
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open 4R (1987, 1988)
US Open 1R (1986)
Career record 2–9
Career titles 0
Highest ranking No. 383 (13 July 1987)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open 2R (1986)

Kent Carlsson (born 3 January 1968 in Eskilstuna, Sweden) 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.

Playing career


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 tour

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 Raul 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.[7] 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 least amount of games dropped to win an International Series tournament[8] Carlsson said that this was his best tournament of his career.[9] 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.[10] 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[11]

After tennis

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".[12]

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.[12]

After retirement on the professionel tour. Carlsson was training Magnus Norman, Thomas Johansson, Niklas Kroon and Aki Rahunen.After living in Monaco, Carlsson has moved back to Sweden and is 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[13] and said "there is a great deal of satisfaction from taking a horse from the beginning".[13]

Career finals

Singles: 17 (9 Wins – 8 Runner-ups)

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)
(Swe) Mats Wilander 6-7 1-6
Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 22 July 1985 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay Ricki Osterthun 6–4, 6–4, 2–6, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 1. 7 April 1986 Bari, Italy Clay Horacio de la Peña 7–5, 6–7, 7–5
Runner-up 2. 28 April 1986 Madrid, Spain Clay Joakim Nyström 1–6, 1–6
Runner-up 3. 7 July 1986 Bordeaux, France Clay Paolo Canè 4–6, 6–1, 5–7
Winner 2. 22 September 1986 Barcelona, Spain Clay Andreas Maurer 6–2, 6–2, 6–0
Winner 3. 13 April 1987 Nice, France Clay Emilio Sánchez 7–6(7), 6–3
Winner 4. 8 June 1987 Bologna, Italy Clay Emilio Sánchez 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up 4. 6 July 1987 Hilversum, Netherlands Clay Mats Wilander 6–7(5), 1–6


Runner-up 5. 13 July 1987 Indianapolis, U.S. Clay Mats Wilander 5–7, 3–6
Winner 5. 11 April 1988 Madrid, Spain Clay Fernando Luna 6–2, 6–1
Winner 6. 25 April 1988 Hamburg, Germany Clay Henri Leconte 6–2, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 7. 1 August 1988 Kitzbühel, Austria Clay Emilio Sánchez 6–1, 6–1, 4–6, 4–6, 6–3
Winner 8. 8 August 1988 Saint-Vincent, Italy Clay Thierry Champion 6–0, 6–2
Winner 9. 12 September 1988 Barcelona, Spain Clay Thomas Muster 6–3, 6–3, 3–6, 6–1
Runner-up 6. 19 September 1988 Geneva, Switzerland Clay Marián Vajda 4–6, 4–6
Runner-up 7. 26 September 1988 Palermo, Italy Clay Mats Wilander 1–6, 6–3, 4–6
Runner-up 8. 10 April 1989 Athens, Greece Clay Ronald Agénor 3–6, 4–6


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

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