Appropriately, perhaps, for such a cosmopolitan city, Swedes, Australians, West Germans, French and even Americans found Brussels, for better or worse, a significant stop-off point as the 1986 campaign got under way. For Mats Wilander the significance was considerable. Not only was it the Swede's first Nabisco Grand Prix title of any kind since Bastad the previous July, but it was his first ever on a Supreme court, the most frequently used surface on the Pro tour. After beating the unseeded finalist Brod Dyke 6-2, 6-3, Wilander offered an explanation as to why it has taken him so long to come to terms with Supreme. "Technically, it doesn't help my game as much as the other surfaces because of the low bounce", he said. "It does nothing for my topspin strokes. It gives them no lift and just makes it easier for my opponents. " Both Jonathan Canter in the quarters and Joakim Nystrom, the man who knows Mats's game best, were able to exploit that problem long enough to win the first set against Wilander, but the top seed was enjoying one of those weeks when the ball was coming cleanly off his racket, and he ended up winning both matches 6-2 in the third. However, another five months went by before success in Cincinnati gave Wilander his next Grand Prix title, and by the time he asked the Pro Council for a two-month sabbatical after the U.S. Open, it was clear that Brussels had provided one of those rare weeks when he had managed to feel motivated about his tennis. (Richard Evans, World of Tennis 1987)

Wilander doubts that "players like me will be pushed out of tennis by bigger ones. Movement is just too important in the game...You turn into the right thing for your sport." (TENNIS, [May] 1986)

On 17th and 18th June I went to see two days of special tennis matches, organised by the Irish charity GOAL, for the relief of Third World famine. The players who took part were Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Joakim Nystrom, Tim Mayotte, Pat Cash, Brad Gilbert and Ireland's no. 1 Matt Doyle. The players seemed to enjoy themselves and the informality of the whole affair appealed to everyone, players and spectators alike. The audiences were thrilled as we don't often have the chance to see such world class tennis in Ireland. There are at least some players who will participate in events at no cost, to help the starving millions, rather than further their own tennis careers. It is hoped that this GOAL Challenge will become a yearly event as everyone enjoyed it so much, and the players have promised to return again next year. (Letter from fan, Tennis World, August 1986)

It was Swedish week at the ATP Championships, played at the splendid Mason, Ohio stadium near Cincinnati in August. Mats Wilander won the title for the third time, having appeared in the last four Cincinnati finals, and failing to win only in 1985. The semi-finals were almost a Swedish monopoly, too, but Jimmy Connors stopped the surge at the last minute by beating the fidgety but charming Kent Carlsson in the quarter-finals. He then played French Open finalist, Mikael Pernfors, while Wilander faced Stefan Edberg...Edberg seemed to die on the vine against Wilander, losing lamely 4-6, 3-6, and later admitting that bad calls had completely thrown his concentration. Both players had awarded each other points early in the match and their lack of confidence in the officiating took its toll on Edberg's delicate concentration. Connors pounded Pernfors 6-1 in their first set of a match which most pundits expected to be a fierce baseline battle. It became one in the second set, which Connors won    7-5, proving, at 33, that age is no barrier. Wilander's punishing, counter-punching groundstrokes, however, proved an insurmountable barrier in the final, which the Swede won easily 6-4, 6-1 in just 80 minutes. Connors never seemed to get going and Wilander played patient, if aggressive tennis, to run his opponent into the corners and claim his third ATP title. (Linda Pentz, World of Tennis 1987)

Nystrom and Wilander once tried the Eat to Win diet made famous by Martina Navratilova. "We wrote down everything we ate..." Nystrom says. "We could only stand it for a week. We got so bored, we started eating chocolate."  (Extract from article on Nystrom, TENNIS, October 1986)

Nystrom's loyal friendship with Wilander rivals his loyalty to his family. There probably aren't two other players ranked as high who are so close. That's one reason why Nystrom considers a highlight of his career the doubles victory he and Wilander scored against West Germany in last December's Davis Cup final, which was a key to Sweden winning the trophy for the second year in a row. (As above)

[In the Nabisco Masters 1986 round robin stage] Becker and Wilander played a superb match, full of German thunder and Swedish improvisation. Wilander looked a yard faster than the man who had lost listlessly to Mecir in the fourth round of the U.S.Open. That Becker won 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 was due mostly to his heavier weight of shot - on serve and off the ground - which he was able to summon when it most mattered. It was a fine example of two young men playing their own games to the best of their abilities. (John Barrett, World of Tennis, 1987)

After some splendid battles around the globe, the Davis Cup final of 1986 settled on one of the competition's most celebrated venues and provided a swan-song for Kooyong that will echo happily down the years. With Australian tennis about to move into new quarters, nothing could have been more fitting than for Neale Fraser to lead his team to a 3-2 victory over the holders, Sweden, in what may well turn out to be the last Davis Cup final ever played on grass...Sweden, holders for the previous two years, were obviously handicapped by the absence of Mats Wilander, who decided he could not concentrate on tennis a week before his marriage... (Richard Evans, World of Tennis 1987)