Emotional Lindstedt Honoured In Stockholm Retirement Ceremony
Robert Lindstedt won 23 tour-level doubles titles over an illustrious 23-year career. On Thursday, Lindstedt and countryman Andre Goransson lost in the quarter-finals of the Stockholm Open to mark the end of the Swedish star’s ATP Tour career.
An emotional Lindstedt was joined during the retirement ceremony by fellow Swedes Thomas Enqvist, Jonas Bjorkman, Robin Soderling and Simon Aspelin.
“It’s amazing. I don’t know if I’m going through some sort of shock or something, but it’s a big part of my life and some of these guys are my best friends,” Lindstedt said during a special ceremony on Friday. “It was really nice that the tournament and the ATP did something nice for me and it means a lot to me. I’m going to always remember that.”
The fans will always remember Lindstedt, too. Not only did the former No. 3 player in the FedEx ATP Doubles Rankings earn impressive achievements on the court, but he also endeared himself to fans with his quick wit and competitive spirit.
“Something that I am actually proud of is how I’ve managed to deal with setbacks, all the injuries I’ve had and that I’ve managed to find the energy to do rehab and just accepting that this is the situation,” Lindstedt said. “Every time I’ve gotten an injury, I’ve alway come back and kept winning. Not as much as I want, but just the fact that as my fitness coach Ali Ghelem tells me, he says I have most grit than most guys he’s ever worked with.”
Lindstedt still performed well late in his career, claiming his final title in 2019 aged 42. Some of his greatest accomplishments include lifting the Australian Open trophy in 2014 and helping lead Sweden to the World Team Cup title in 2008. But he also had some near misses, including losses in three consecutive Wimbledon finals alongside Horia Tecau from 2010-2012.
“I’m forever going to miss it, but it also hurts in the end when you lose more that you feel like you should. You feel like you deserve to win more than you are, which obviously, there’s no such thing as deserving in sports,” Lindstedt said. “There comes a time when all of these factors come into a decision and for me it’s been pretty clear that after this year, I’m done.”
The 44-year-old still hopes to play Davis Cup at the end of the year for his country, but this was his final ATP Tour event.
“It’s both a natural process and the body eventually giving up on you. There comes a time when you just can’t take the pain anymore,” Lindstedt said. “There just comes a time when you weight your options and you feel like, ‘Yeah, I don’t really have this in me’.
“Looking back at my career, I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished. I went a different way obviously than most guys, but it was the only way I knew how to.”