Magnus Larsson

Born: March 25, 1970 in Olofström (Blekinge)
Height: 1.95 m
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
A highly skilled player known for his unconventional choices on the court, Larsson, similarly to other distinctive, very tall players born in 1970 (Marc Rosset and Richard Fromberg) possessed two significant assets: serve and forehand. In 1991, he showcased his potential by defeating the top two players in the world at that time, Boris Becker in Adelaide and Stefan Edberg in Monte Carlo, both in deciding third-set tie-breaks (he would defeat Becker again – in New York – to reach his first major quarterfinal). Excelling in winning deciding tie-breaks was a hallmark of his early years on the tour; however, his streak ended in Estoril ’93 when he lost to Karel Nováček, marking his first defeat after twelve (!) consecutive tie-break victories in decisive sets at the main level.
Larsson was a formidable threat to the best players of the early ’90s but had to wait until 1994 for his breakthrough moment. His journey to the French Open semifinal was punctuated by an incredible match against the tournament sensation Hendrik Dreekmann, in which Larsson saved six match points in the third set. This breakthrough allowed him a berth in the season-ending “Grand Slam Cup” in München, where he experienced his most memorable tournament. Following his contributions to Sweden’s Davis Cup victory against Russia, Larsson triumphed over two of the decade’s best players, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras, along with other top-tier competitors like Edberg and Todd Martin, earning a remarkable $1.625 million for his four-match performance. Due to this success, concerns arose that he might lose motivation, akin to David Wheaton‘s situation three years before.
In 1995, Larsson continued to perform well (at the time he had three times defeated Thomas Muster, who was in amazing form) positioning himself strongly for a “Masters” appearance until an unfortunate incident on June 15th drastically changed his trajectory. During an exhibition match against Jan Gunnarsson in Sweden, he suffered a broken leg, sidelining him for almost six months and causing a decline in his ranking. Despite returning to professional play for another eight years, his movement was somewhat restricted post-injury. Larsson remained a dangerous competitor mainly indoors, relying on a diverse serve (great angle at slice serve on deuce court) and a powerful forehand struck effortlessly.
After a six-year title drought, he secured his last ATP championship in Memphis ’00. A glimpse of a career resurgence emerged when he reached the Copenhagen final the following week, notably defeating a teenage Roger Federer 6-3, 7-6(6), from a 1:6 deficit in a tie-break. However, a recurrence of his broken leg necessitated surgery on his right knee on August 14, 2000, leading to nearly a year away from competitive tennis. His final period from 2001 to 2002 marked a gradual decline, culminating in an impressive performance in his last major (Australian Open ’03), taking the favorite for the title, Lleyton Hewitt, to five sets. Larsson comes from Olofström, an industrial town of only 7K inhabitants, yet the town known for the automotive industry, produced two Grand Slam semifinalists, the first was Gunnarsson as he reached the Aussie Open ’89 semifinal.
Career record: 310-221 [ 225 events ]
Career titles: 7
Highest ranking: No. 10
Best GS results:
Roland Garros (semifinal 1994)
US Open (quarterfinalist 1993, 97 & 98)
Davis Cup champion 1994 & 1997
World Team Cup champion 1995
Grand Slam Cup champion 1994
This entry was posted in Players. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Magnus Larsson

  1. Voo de Mar says:
    Activity: 1989 – 2003

    Five-setters: 9–9 (50%)
    Tie-breaks: 142–110 (56%)
    Deciding 3rd set TB: 25-12 (68%)… began with 12-0!

    Defeats by retirement: 4
    Walkovers given: 8

Leave a Reply