Wilander on his contemporaries

Bjorn Borg: He is the first player we should all thank, because he was the one who revolutionised tennis. He became an icon. He was a quiet man. To us he was more than a tennis player, which is why we forget Rod Laver.

When you talk of the best tennis player in the world, I don't know whether it is Pete Sampras or Rod Laver. I would say Rod Laver for what he has achieved. There was no image attached to him at that time. Bjorn Borg made life a lot easier for us. He never went to play Australian Open except once. He still had 11 Slams, four US Open finals. So, you would forget Sampras and all these guys if Bjorn had gone to Australia regularly. Bjorn Borg is No.1 in my list, in terms of playing and in terms of image.

John McEnroe(6-7): He is the one player who never impressed me. He was an unbelievable player. Obviously, he was born with by far the best feel in the hand including Roger Federer. At the same time, he never trained hard. So, I am impressed by Ivan Lendl.

I love playing against John McEnroe. If he had worked hard as I did, we would have never had a chance to win anything. I think he chickened himself out.

Jimmy Connors (5-0): He was a lot older than me. My game wasn't to his liking. The point that I was impressed about John and Jimmy was that they played with 100 percent passion. They had the same passion as I had, but the difference being that I was able to hold it inside and they displayed it. It worked for them. It wouldn't have worked for me. Forget the things they did, like throwing the racquet. But I learnt from them the will and the passion to compete.

Ivan Lendl (7-15): Ivan Lendl taught me everything. When you are down, the best way to overcome your self-doubts is to get out and work twice as hard. Once you put the miles in your legs, you will, at some point, feel as if you deserve to win. And that helps, though not all the time.

Certain days when you are not playing well, you have to grab something. You grab physical strength. And that is what I did in 1988. I trained like him and became a lot stronger and was confident of beating anybody.

Stefan Edberg (11-9): We are good friends, and he comes from the same part of the world as I do. A great serve and volley player. Great attitude. Great mover. I think his movement on court is one of the best that I have ever seen. Was very quick, but not as quick as Bjorn. He was smooth and wide. Edberg was like me. He was able to do a lot with his game, without having a big game.

Andre Agassi (2-5): He has gone the whole way. He has gone from this to that, that to this. Now, he is the guy who plays with a lot of passion. Physically, he is phenomenal. Most of all, he hits the ball so well. He is not playing to win. Of course, he won't play if he feels that he doesn't have a chance to win. But it is very clear today, that he has the passion for the game.

Boris Becker (3-7): He is a little different. Very passionate. He didn't leave when he was at the top. A true professional. He has gone through some tough times. He is a product of modern times, both the good part and the bad part. Too much spotlight was the bad part. Too much media attention. They didn't destroy him, but they destroyed his life. Obviously, he is a strong guy and stood up to it all, with no help from the media in Germany or anywhere. He was strong enough to come back. He has had good times too. He is a great guy, likes to have fun.

Pete Sampras (1-2): You have to put him as the best player in the world. Level wise, it is very difficult to say if it is Pete Sampras or Rod Laver. They won a lot of majors. Or Bjorn Borg, for that matter. But if you talk about the level that Pete Sampras played at, I would have to say that, when he played well there was no way Roger Federer would have beaten him. Not yet!

Sampras would have been able to play Federer's serve. When Pete Sampras played at his best, it was different tennis. If Sampras is playing 90 percent and Federer is playing 90 percent, I would say Federer is a much better player. But so far, nobody has reached the level attained by Sampras.

Patrick Rafter (2-1): He would have done more for men's tennis than most players ever did. For tennis in general, he was a great ambassador. You know, obviously, a good player. A great player in many ways. He was a little bit unlucky, otherwise would have won more titles. He got the most out of his game. He played with fire and sportsmanship.

Yevgeny Kafelnikov (1-1): He looked like he was playing to win a little too much. Played too many tournaments and never gave himself enough time to practice. I would have liked him to care a little more about his game. I thought he would have been a very dangerous player for Pete Sampras.

In the beginning of his career, he was dangerous, but he never improved. Kind of stayed there and slowly went to the ground. If you are going to be talked about as one of the great champions, you have got to push yourself a little harder. He did work hard, but didn't give himself enough time to be better. He was happy where he was.