1954, at the Wembley Arena, Tage Flisberg had his chance to be the first Swedish player to become a World Champion in Single. At that time, Wembley was an ice hockey arena. The organizers had constructed a thin wooden floor over the ice. The low temperature made the player’s feet and legs freezing.
Tage Flisberg made it to the semi-final where Richard Bergmann waited. He was the world’s most physically fit and endurable player. His footwork was unprecedented, his reflexes fast and he made very few mistakes of his own.
The contrast to the wiry thin, heavy smoker, semi fit Flisberg could not have been greater. Anyway, “Flisan” brought out the heavy artillery immediately. Bergmann was pushed farther away from the table. Suddenly he ran straight into the back barrier and began to move the barriers to expand the game garden. Erik Extergren, the president of the STTA, rushed down from the stands to protest.
But “Flisan” grabbed him and said: – Calm down. The farther from the table I get him, the better it is! Bergmann did win one set but did in general not stand a chance against “Flisans” cannonade. The night after, the final game was to start at 7 pm. Tage Flisberg checked the order of the games. His final would be the last one. He asked Yugoslavian Zarko Dolinar, to help him with the warm up, and then he went to the movies to relax. TV was in place. They discover that there are two English pairs in the Women Doubles Final and demands that the order in which the games are played is adjusted so that they are able to broadcast the games. The organizers comply straight away and reorganize the schedule.
Meanwhile, Flisberg is at the movie theatre without a clue about what is going on. When he returns to the venue there is full chaos. Everyone is looking for him. The Men’s Singles Final is to begin the series of finals! He only just has the time to suit up, then it´s time for the game. Out in the freezing arena, the ill prepared Tage Flisberg loses the first two games against Japanese Ichiro Ogimura. However, he gets going and wins third set. Then Ogimura takes a five-minute break, which was allowed in those days. “Flisan” stands there, out on the icy cold wooden floor, starts to get cold, gets stiff and loses fourth set and the final. A major chance to write Swedish sports history was at that moment lost.