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ISRAEL

Stockholm courts Israel Davis Cup match

Officials in Stockholm are hoping the capital can replace Malmö as the host of Sweden's forthcoming Davis Cup match against Israel after the southern city ruled that the game should be played behind closed doors.

The Swedish Tennis Association and Stockholm city council have entered into talks about the possibility of moving the match to the Kunliga Tennishallen arena in Stockholm.

“We have a major interest in this and I have spent the weekend trying to examine the possibilities,” Stockholm Vice Mayor Madeleine Sjöstedt (Lib) told TV4.

The match was scheduled to be played from March 6th to 8th at the Baltiska Hallen venue, which can hold 4,000 spectators.

Police had said the match could go ahead and that the public could be admitted. But the chairman of the Malmö sports and recreation committee, Bengt Forsberg (SocDem), led a vote to have the game played without spectators.

“We have made a judgment that this is a high-risk match for our staff, for players and for officials,” he told The Local last week.

The Social Democrat and Left Party-led motion was passed by five votes to four, with politicians fearing an outbreak of violence in the wake of a high profile campaign to have the match stopped as a result of Israel’s war in Gaza.

The Swedish Tennis Association had sold the rights to host the match to Malmö, but the city has said it is amenable to handing the event over to Stockholm, not least because a match played in front of empty stands is likely to cost Malmö two million kronor ($230,000).

“We’re going to take a serious look at whether there is a possibility of playing in front of a home crowd. If it can be done we’d be very grateful,” Henrik Kallén, Secretary General of the tennis association, told TV4.

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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