Sweden’s road back to tennis stardom runs through Ethiopia

Elias Ymer (Photo: Zimbio.com) -
Elias Ymer (Photo: Zimbio.com) –

The rebirth of Swedish tennis may have begun 12 years ago on a roadside in Skara, Sweden, a small town a few hours from the capital.

That’s where a pair of young boys named Elias and Mikael Ymer would trudge up and down while their father, a professional long-distance runner, urged them to follow in his footsteps. All 10 kilometers of them.

But they just weren’t seeing the appeal. “He wanted me and my brother to be runners, but I don’t like to run so much,” Elias said.

“He hated running,” confirmed younger brother Mikael, with a look that suggests he wasn’t that high on it himself.

Then one day, about half an hour from their house, a weary Elias decided he needed a bathroom break. Looking for one, the boys went into a tennis club up the road, where they spotted some people on the courts. For the then 8-year-old Elias, running around hitting a tennis ball looked a lot more appealing than running on the road.

Read more at: espn.com