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Sports digest: Spain dominates Swedish Open

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15:28 CEST+02:00
b>Sports digest is The Local's weekly look at what's making the news in Swedish sport.

Tennis

Spain's David Ferrer cruised to the fourth ATP title of his career on Sunday after brushing aside compatriot Nicolas Almagro 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the Båstad clay court tournament.

The world number 15 and second seed here was participating for the first time in Båstad and took just over one hour to dispatch his rival.

It was his second title this season after Auckland.

The 25-year-old Ferrer made light work of his 21-year-old opponent and friend Almagro, whose game was riddled with unforced errors.

Ferrer, speaking to the Swedish media, said he was pleased with his overall performance throughout the tournament.

"I would like to thank all the people who supported me this week. I am happy because I played very well this week. I was very focused. I am sorry of course for my friend Nicolas because he didn't play his best tennis during this final," he said.

"I like this tournament. I've really enjoyed this week."

Swedish veteran Jonas Björkman crashed out of the tournament in the second round after losing 6-4, 6-2 to the eventual runner-up. Spain's Carlos Moya managed to dispatch two Swedes, starting with Thomas Johansson in round two and then knocking out Robin Söderling in the quarter finals.

Football

Another Swede joins Manchester City

Hans Backe has become deputy to Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson, the English Premiership club announced Saturday.

Backe, a compatriot of Swedish former England coach Eriksson, steered Copenhagen to three Danish titles.

Eriksson also made his second signing as City manager Saturday, Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes joining from FC Sion for an undisclosed fee.

Backe, who also managed Greek giants Panathinaikos, will return to Sweden with City on the club's two-match pre-season tour which starts Sunday.

Eriksson said: "I've known Hans for a very long time, and I offered him this job but because he has been a manager I didn't know if he would accept.

"He's won three titles with FC Copenhagen, managed in Austria and Turkey, but he accepted the offer and I'm very happy. He has a lot of experience, he knows a lot of players from around the world and he's a very good coach."

City's backroom staff has also been boosted by the arrival of Tord Grip, Eriksson's long-term sidekick, who was also part of his England staff.

Eriksson, who today took a City XI to Doncaster for a pre-season friendly, told www.mcfc.co.uk: "Tord will link between the seniors, youth, the Academy, scouting, he'll be my right hand man - a little bit of everything."

Fernandes's arrival follows that of striker Rolando Bianchi, an 8.8 million pound signing from Italian side Reggina. He made 32 starts for Sion last season and is captain of Switzerland's Under-21 side.

***

Ullevi pitch to be dug up

The pitch at Gothenburg's Ullevi stadium is to be completely replaced, after being damaged by a truck event.

According to Göteborgs-Posten the job will take five days and will be carried out after the Gothia Cup football tournament.

The cost of the change is reckoned to be around a million kronor. The council, which owns the stadium, is said to be in discussions with Ema Telstar, which organised the truck show, over some kind of contribution.

Ullevi's playing surface has prompted strong criticism recently.

"I didn't know it was permitted to play on hay," said Elfsborg manager Magnus Haglund after his team played Gothenburg team Gais in June.

The first match on the new grass surface will be between IFK Göteborg and Örebro on July 31st.

AFP/TT/The Local

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