After a year [1983] filled with peaks and troughs McEnroe found himself challenged [in the Masters] for the champion's spot by both Wilander [who developed a nosebleed] and Lendl. On the day there's no doubt John would consider himself a better player than either of these two and so it turned out at the Masters. Wilander's still a pretender, although a nice one. His modesty is beguiling: can you imagine Ivan Lendl playing an important match with bits of cotton wool stuck up his nose? Mats doesn't have any kind of false pride it appears, either in his person or his trade. Over the past twelve months he's shown how prepared he is to learn to fashion a game for all surfaces. McEnroe considers that Mats can already volley better than Borg at the same age, and of course he has more than a touch of the great man's temperament. (Tennis (GB) February 1984)

Wilander has lost two finals to fellow Swedes early in 1984. Edberg beat him in Milan and Henrik Sundstrom beat him in Monte Carlo. But [at the ATP Championships, Cincinnati] he was in control against Jarryd, who couldn't get back into the match after losing the first set tiebreaker and then dropping his first service game of the second set. "To lose to such a good player as Mats Wilander is nothing to be ashamed of", Jarryd said graciously after the match, and with Wilander rounding back into top form, it's likely that more players indeed will be losing to him. (TENNIS, 1984)

After Mats Wilander won his first match of the 1983 U.S. Open, he rendered a curious prophecy. He laconically confessed that he gave himself little chance to win the tournament, horrifying a press corps that is unaccustomed to such frankness. Contemplating the incident, the 20-year-old Swede now remarks: "I said that the same as a newsman, or a coach, might say it. After all, only one guy can win. I analyzed my chances and I didn't feel like a good choice for the title. I was just trying to be honest." (Extract from article by Peter Bodo entitled "Mats Wilander: a classic champion from an unclassical mold." (TENNIS, September 1984)

"Mats is a very loyal person, maybe the best person among the players I know", says Swedish journalist Bjorn Hellberg. "Even after he won the French Open, he would still go home and play matches for his club in the Swedish league. That's the kind of guy he is. He likes that spirit of friendship. He always goes out to watch the matches of his team-mates, even in doubles. Mats is an extremely kind person." (As above)

It may be that Mats Wilander will never create as many headlines as Bjorn Borg, but Mats keeps on achieving things that his great predecessor never achieved - all in a quiet, understated sort of way. Wilander, of course, won the French Open at a younger age than Bjorn - in fact he is the youngest man ever to win in Paris - and in 1983 he became the first Swede ever to win the Australian Open. Now he can add another record to his list - that of becoming the first man in the 31-year history of the event to win the Trofeo Marlboro three years in succession. As with his other achievements that is no mean feat because the Super Series Grand Prix event, held every year at the charming Real Club de Barcelona, has long been one of Europe's foremost clay-court tournaments. (Richard Evans, World of Tennis 1985)

We all know when we've seen grace and style on a tennis court. It is a rare and breathtaking experience, especially in these days when tenacity and diligence and strength are the commodities that win matches. And winning is the name of the game, isn't it?No. It isn't for anyone who has ever seen Evonne Goolagong glide back under a lob, gently lift off the ground, raise arm and racket over her shoulder and send a delicate backhand volley at an impossible angle crosscourt. And it isn't for those of us who have seen John McEnroe flying through the air to pick off screaming line drives as if they were so many mulberries on a bush. And it isn't for those of us who have watched the glorious extension on Chris Evert-Lloyd's backhand or the last-second flourish that Bettina Bunge or Kim Warwick give to their strokes. And it isn't for us who have marveled at Ilie Nastase's faun-like capacity to move or watched Mats Wilander's feet from the ankles down..."Wilander has a slightness about him", [says Ted Tinling]. "He has feet like a kitten. For a topspin forehand guy he is very graceful." (Extract from "Ballet and Tennis: Pas de Deux?"; by Susan B. Adams. (WORLD TENNIS, 1984)

Nice guy Mats Wilander made the day for one of his biggest fans, an 80-year-old wheelchair-bound man who'd been sending him letters and clippings all year. To show his appreciation for the support, International Tennis Weekly reports, Wilander went to the man's home the day before the 1984 Davis Cup final in Sweden and gave him tickets so that he could see the matches in person. (TENNIS, March 1985)

With three Grand Slam singles already engraved in the tennis records Wilander has hovered at fourth or fifth in the world for almost two years. His place as the world's best 21-or-under needs no justifying. His approach to the game offers a valuable lesson to all who care to think. He manifests those immortal words by Kipling..."If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two imposters just the same". His firm adherence to a belief that "tennis is a game" is, arguably, the soundest reason why he never seems to choke. (C.M. Jones, World of Tennis 1985)

In 1984 he [Wilander] took longer to find his peak form, but finished the year on a high note with a second consecutive Australian Open title and another Davis Cup success as Sweden stopped the U.S. in the final with Wilander routing Connors in the critical opening match. He remained at no. 4 despite winning only three events and being beaten twice by countryman Sundstrom, once by Edberg, and by Cash in the second round at Wimbledon and in the quarter-final of the U.S. Open. However, he beat Connors three times without a loss and took a Grand Slam title for the third straight year. (Steve Flink, World of Tennis 1985)