Sweden defeat India in Davis Cup qualifier

Seven-time champions Sweden defeated India 3-1 in a rain-hit tie in New Delhi on Monday to qualify for the elite 16-nation Davis Cup World Group next year.

World number 14 Thomas Johansson brushed aside Prakash Amritraj 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the first reverse singles to give the Swedes an emphatic 3-1 win on the grass courts of the R.K. Khanna Tennis Stadium.

Referee Wayne McKewen of Australia agreed to cancel the inconsequential second reverse singles between Jonas Bjorkman and Rohan Bopanna to enable the Swedes to board an evening flight home.

The tie was forced to continue on Monday after heavy rain disrupted play late on Friday and washed out the entire second day’s play on Saturday.

Former Grand Slam champions Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi gave India a glimmer of hope when they clinched the doubles earlier on Monday with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 win over Bjorkman and Simon Aspelin.

But Johansson, who had defeated Bopanna in straight sets on Saturday, made short work of Amritraj to ensure victory for the Swedes.

Sweden, who last won the Davis Cup in 1998, were forced to qualify for the World Group after losing 2-3 to France in the first round in March.

India will spend another year in the Asia-Oceania Zone.