Lindstedt: What We Do Is Pretty Amazing
Robert Lindstedt, who turns 42 in a month, is not going anywhere. The Swede might be the second-oldest player inside the Top 100 of the ATP Doubles Rankings, behind only 45-year-old Leander Paes, but Lindstedt is not planning to retire anytime soon.
“It’s more fun now than it’s ever been,” Lindstedt said. “A year or so ago I realised it’s pretty amazing what we all get to do. We actually get to travel the world and do this. There’s a lot of pressure and a lot of training that goes into it, but everybody’s got to mature sometimes and I feel at almost 42, it’s about time I do it, too.”
The 2014 Australian Open champion has accomplished plenty in his career, ascending as high as World No. 3, winning 22 tour-level titles and lifting at least one trophy in each of the past 12 seasons. So why does he continue on?
“I question that myself at times, but you can always accomplish more,” Lindstedt said. “I chase titles at this point and it’s also a good feeling to be the old guy at tournaments and still win.”
Despite turning professional in 1998, before the likes of Denis Shapovalov and Alex de Minaur were born, Lindstedt is motivated by what he’s still able to do on the court. Just last year, Lindstedt partnered Dutchman Robin Haase to the quarter-finals of Wimbledon, where the duo succumbed in four sets to Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor. Lindstedt is currently No. 53 in the ATP Doubles Rankings.
“I want to continue to be able to win titles. I still feel I have a deep run at a Slam left in me,” Lindstedt said. “I thought Wimbledon last year was going to be it. We had chances in the quarters. But I still feel like I have that lift. I feel like when Venus and Jupiter are aligned perfectly, those are going to be my two weeks. And that’s really why I continue. It’s all about the big moments. It’s impossible for me to not train towards that.”
During the off-season, the Swede spent some time with Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan in Florida. The American twins have won 116 tour-level titles as a pair. So Lindstedt joked at practice: “I’ve hated them since ‘97, and that hatred has only grown ever since. They’ve stolen so much money from me, so many titles. We all know if they weren’t around, I would have had their careers… combined!”
“He’s had a very illustrious career. Three Wimbledon finals, he’s won a ton of tournaments with a bunch of different partners,” said World No. 1 Mike Bryan. “We’ve been playing him since the NCAA days back at Stanford, he was at Pepperdine. It’s been fun battling him for 20 years. He’s beaten us, we’ve beaten him. I’d like to think we’ve maybe won a few more times, but it was funny, we had those comments in December and he beat us in the first match of the year. He’s still playing some great, great tennis.”
“My 75th year on Tour is coming along okay,” Lindstedt said. “I had a very good pre-season, so my body feels better than it has in a long time.”
So long as he is healthy, Lindstedt has no reason to stop. The Swede is trying to finish his 16th consecutive season inside the world’s Top 100.
“I think an injury will go like, ‘Nah, you’re done’. It’s just too much fun at this moment. [My fiancee] Tina and I, we enjoy traveling and being on Tour, so I am going to do it as long as I can,” Lindstedt said. “Every single friend of mine back home who has played, they all say the same thing. ‘Robert, don’t stop. Don’t be an idiot. Don’t stop’.”