Children: Nick, 22; Julia, 20; Marcus, 17
What makes tennis a special part of your life?
For me, I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for tennis. Tennis brought me to the U.S., and this is now where I’m raising my family and where I will be for the rest of my life. My whole family knows that if I don’t get to play tennis on a regular basis, I’m not a very happy person. Tennis makes me happy, which, in turn, keeps my family happy. Tennis is not only the greatest exercise, but it’s also a great way to keep your mind sharp and your body healthy.
What are some of your favorite things about playing tennis?
Tennis is such a great sport, not only for getting exercise but also for making social connections and long-lasting friendships. Tennis is such a great strategy sport, and I believe you can use that type of strategic thinking in real life, as well.
What are some of your notable tennis accomplishments? Your son’s?
I reached the semifinals in the Swedish junior championships and was consistently ranked Top 10 in the country as a junior. I earned a full scholarship to Indiana State University (D1) and played No. 1 or No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles there for four years. As an adult, I have a 5.0 USTA rating and have been on teams that have reached the National Championships and the Midwest Championships.
Marcus has played varsity high school tennis all his high school years. He has been very successful in Midwest junior tournaments and is hoping to earn a university tennis scholarship.
What are your most memorable tennis moments, both for you and Marcus?
Marcus’ most memorable tennis moment is when it came down to his court to win Sectionals for the first time in school history, and he won!
I don’t know if I have a most memorable tennis moment because there are so many memorable tennis moments for me. Pretty much every time I played a match in college is memorable. I just really liked the excitement of going out to play, the butterflies I sometimes got and the thrill of trying to win for my team and for myself.
What has tennis taught you both?
Tennis has instilled the value of never giving up and to always keep working hard. It’s always possible to come back from an unfavorable position – it’s not over until it’s over!
It has also taught both of us that practice makes perfect. All it takes is willpower and effort to get better at something. We both remember when Marcus said that he would never be able to serve. We laugh about it sometimes. He’s a lefty, so his serve looked extra
Tennis has also taught us both that it’s necessary to fail to succeed. You learn so much from failing. Even though that’s a tough way to learn, it is the most valuable way to learn.
Is there any other interesting information that you would
My brother also played college tennis in the U.S. He played for the University of Mississippi, where he was an All-American and reached the semifinals in the NCAA Doubles championship. He also played on the ATP Tour and was ranked No. 48 in the world in doubles at one time. He currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon, where he runs a tennis academy. Also, my uncle has won the senior tennis championships in Sweden several times. So tennis is definitely our family’s sport!