No resurrection for Davis Cup team

Jönköping was the place to be on Sunday - and it's not often you can say that - as the local ice hockey team, HV71, beat Färjestads BK in the final of Sweden's Elite Series.

What must be the most protracted sporting contest to merit the name ‘final’ – best of seven matches, spread over a fortnight – began on March 30th, and only the most optimistic TV scheduler can have expected it to go all the way. But after six matches it was 3-3 and all the papers were predicting a tight decider.

In fact, HV71 won 5-0 to become Swedish champions for the first time since 1995.

On Good Friday, Aftonbladet came over all biblical: “It’s David against Goliath!” declared the paper, as Sweden’s best tennis players prepared to face the USA in the Davis Cup quarter final over the Easter weekend.

But after early losses there was to be no resurrection and Jonas Björkman and co were thoroughly walloped (4-1) by the Americans. “They never stood a chance against the world’s best,” explained the same paper, having learned a little humility.

With somewhat less fanfare than the chaps got the week before, the Women’s Allsvenskan football league kicked off at the weekend. Linköpings FC, Umeå and Hammarby all made a good start, but most of the coverage was reserved for Sara Johansson, the centre forward whose efforts gave Djurgården/Älvsjös a 2-0 victory over Karlslunds.

Expressen and Aftonbladet agreed that her performance should ensure her a place in the national team, which faces Switzerland in two weeks’ time.