Mikael Pernfors

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Mikael Pernfors
Country  Sweden
Residence Höllviken, Sweden
Born (1963-07-16) 16 July 1963 (age 51)
Malmö, Sweden
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Turned pro 1985
Retired 1996
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $1,363,793
Singles
Career record 140–114
Career titles 3
Highest ranking No. 10 (22 September 1986)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (1990)
French Open F (1986)
Wimbledon 4R (1986, 1987)
US Open 4R (1989)
Other tournaments
WCT Finals SF (1989)
Doubles
Career record 41–47
Career titles 1
Highest ranking No. 32 (11 July 1988)
Last updated on: 16 April 2012.

Mikael Pernfors (born 16 July 1963) is a former professional tennis player from Sweden. He reached the men's singles final at the French Open in 1986, and won the 1993 Canada Masters in Montreal.

Career[edit]

Pernfors was born in Malmö.

Pernfors played a topspin-heavy baseline game with a double-handed backhand, like his countrymen Björn Borg and Mats Wilander, but he lacked their consistency and relied on a crowd-pleasing game full of variety, liberally employing the drop shot and the topspin lob.

Before turning professional, Pernfors played tennis for the University of Georgia in the United States and became the first player since Dennis Ralston two decades earlier to win back-to-back NCAA singles titles in 1984 and 1985.

In 1986 Pernfors reached his first (and only) Grand Slam singles final at the French Open. He defeated Boris Becker in the quarter-finals and Henri Leconte in the semi-finals. In the final he lost in straight sets to World No. 1 Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–2, 6–4.

Pernfors played for Sweden in the final of the Davis Cup in 1986. He won one singles rubber against Paul McNamee in straight sets and lost the other to Pat Cash in five sets – after winning the first two – as Australia beat Sweden 3–2. The following year at Wimbledon he again lost a two-set lead, falling to Jimmy Connors 1–6, 1–6, 7–5, 6–4, 6–2 after having led 6–1, 6–1, 4–1, and afterwards 3–0 in the fourth set. [1]

In 1988, Pernfors won his first top-level singles title at Los Angeles, defeating Andre Agassi in the final. His second came just a month later in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In the fourth round of the Australian Open in 1990, Pernfors faced John McEnroe during a match in which McEnroe became the first player to be disqualified under a new Code of Conduct that had recently been introduced in tennis. McEnroe was apparently unaware that under the new rules three code violations would result in disqualification (instead of the previous four), and Pernfors won the match by default after McEnroe attempted to intimidate a lineswoman, smashed a racket, and then verbally abused the umpire. Pernfors lost in the next round, the quarterfinals.

Injuries limited Pernfors' performances on the tour in the first few years of the 1990s. He came back strongly in 1993 to win the most significant title of his career at the Canadian Open (part of the Tennis Masters Series), where he defeated Todd Martin in the final 2–6, 6–2, 7–5. A few weeks later he pushed Wilander to five sets in the second round of the U.S. Open, falling 7–6, 3–6, 1–6, 7–6, 6–4.

Pernfors was the recipient of the ATP Tour's Most Improved Player award in 1986, and its Comeback Player of the Year award in 1993.

Pernfors retired from the professional tour in 1996 after a career in which he won three top-level singles and one doubles title. His career-high singles ranking was World No. 10 in 1986. His career prize-money earnings totalled $1,363,793. In addition to Becker, Agassi, McEnroe and Martin, Pernfors holds victories over Wilander, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Thomas Muster, Sergi Bruguera and Michael Stich.

Since retiring from the tour, Pernfors has been a regular competitor in seniors events.

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (0–1)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1986 French Open Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 6–3, 6–2, 6–4

Masters Series finals[edit]

Singles: 1 (1–0)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1993 Canada (Montreal) Hard United States Todd Martin 2–6, 6–2, 7–5

Career finals[edit]

Singles: 5 (3–2)[edit]

Wins (3)
Legend
Grand Slam (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (1)
ATP Tour (2)
Outcome No. Date Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 26 May 1986 French Open, Paris, France Clay Czechoslovakia Ivan Lendl 3–6, 2–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 15 February 1988 Memphis, USA Hard (i) United States Andre Agassi 4–6, 4–6, 5–7
Winner 1. 19 September 1988 Los Angeles, USA Hard United States Andre Agassi 6–2, 7–5
Winner 2. 3 October 1988 Scottsdale, USA Hard United States Glenn Layendecker 6–2, 6–4
Winner 3. 28 February 1993 Montreal, Canada Hard United States Todd Martin 2–6, 6–2, 7–5

Doubles: 3 (1–2)[edit]

Wins (1)
Legend (Doubles)
Grand Slam Title (0)
Tennis Masters Cup (0)
ATP Masters Series (0)
ATP Tour (1)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1. 13 July 1987 Stuttgart, Germany Clay Sweden Magnus Tideman United States Rick Leach
United States Tim Pawsat
3–6, 4–6
Runner-up 2. 15 February 1988 Memphis, USA Hard (i) Sweden Peter Lundgren United States Kevin Curren
United States David Pate
2–6, 2–6
Winner 1. 8 May 1989 Charleston, USA Clay Sweden Tobias Svantesson Mexico Agustín Moreno
Peru Jaime Yzaga
6–4, 4–6, 7–5

Singles performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 SR W–L
Grand Slams
Australian Open A A NH A A 3R QF A A A 1R 0 / 3 6–3
French Open A A F 1R 1R 1R A A A A 1R 0 / 5 6–5
Wimbledon A A 4R 4R A 2R A A A A A 0 / 3 7–3
US Open 1R 1R 2R 1R 3R 4R 1R 1R 1R 2R A 0 / 10 7–10
Win–Loss 0–1 0–1 10–3 3–3 2–2 6–4 4–2 0–1 0–1 1–1 0–2 0 / 21 26–21
ATP Masters Series
Indian Wells Tournaments Were Not

Masters Series Events

Before 1990
A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Miami 1R A A 3R A 0 / 2 2–2
Monte Carlo A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Rome A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Hamburg A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Canada A A A W A 1 / 1 6–0
Cincinnati A 2R A 1R A 0 / 2 1–2
Stockholm A A A 2R A 0 / 1 1–1
Paris A A A A A 0 / 0 0–0
Win–Loss 0–1 1–1 0–0 9–3 0–0 1 / 6 10–5
Ranking 434 165 12 33 19 48 175 240 234 29 940

External links[edit]


Awards
Preceded by
Boris Becker
ATP Most Improved Player
1986
Succeeded by
Peter Lundgren