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TENNIS

Swedes forge ahead in Davis Cup

Robin Söderling boosted Sweden's semi-final hopes in the Davis Cup World Group after dominating Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 in Gothenburg on Friday.

Ahead of Saturday’s possible doubles decider Sweden now lead last year’s finalists 2-0 after Thomas Johansson beat David Nalbandian 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (7/2), 6-2, 7-6 (7/0) to give Sweden the early lead on Friday.

The 32-year-old Johansson required nearly four hours to beat Nalbandian, seven years his junior, in a match where the first two sets were hotly-contested.

Nalbandian dominated the first set tiebreak after they traded breaks during the set, using his powerful service to good effect. However Johansson managed to level the tie at a set apiece mainly thanks to him finding his own service form.

Johansson rained down a total of 33 aces to Nalbandian’s 18, and thrashed the Argentinian in the fourth set tiebreak 7-0.

Söderling had an easier path to tread than his compatriot, taking just two and a half hours to claim victory over his teenaged rival.

The first two sets were almost carbon copies. Both were well-balanced and punctuated with an almost equal amount of unforced errors, and both were won

7/4 by Söderling in the tie break.

However the third set saw the 22-year-old Söderling move up a gear, sending the ball from side to side and giving 18-year-old Del Potro plenty of running to do.

The Argentine, a replacement for Guillermo Canas, battled hard to save two match points but was eventually outplayed by the more experienced Swede.

On Saturday Sweden have a chance to book their semi-final place even before Sunday’s concluding two rubbers when Jonas Björkman and Robert Lindstedt face David Nalbandian and Sebastian Prieto in the doubles.

SPORT

Björn Borg’s son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut

Four decades after Swedish tennis legend Björn Borg won a fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, his 16-year-old son Leo Borg is reportedly set to make his debut at the tournament.

Björn Borg's son Leo set to make his Wimbledon debut
Leo Borg's Wimbledon debut is yet to be officially confirmed. Photo: Hanna Franzén/TT

According to reports in British tabloid The Sun and Swedish tabloid Expressen, Borg will be awarded a wildcard to play in the Wimbledon junior event.

“Leo is very grateful about getting a wildcard for the qualifiers to junior Wimbledon,” Björn Borg told Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.

“It will be an incredible experience and useful practice for the future,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Wimbledon tournament did not want to confirm the decision, only saying that wildcard announcements and the main draw for the Juniors tournament would be made next week.

If confirmed, Leo Borg’s Wimbledon debut comes 39 years after Björn Borg defeated American rival John McEnroe, winning him his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title.

The iconic match has been called one of the greatest matches of all time and the story was adapted for the screen in the 2017 feature film Borg vs McEnroe, where Leo, bearing a striking resemblance to his fatther, played a younger version of Björn Borg.

During the 1970s and early 1980s Björn Borg won a total of 11 Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledons and six French Opens.


Björn Borg after winning his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title in 1980. Photo: Scanpix/TT

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