Swede of the Week

Young Swede nets win in Davis Cup thriller

Young Swede nets win in Davis Cup thriller
Elias Ymer in Sunday's match against Denmark. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT
Our Swede of the Week is a tennis wunderkind who not only kept Sweden in the Davis Cups finals, but did so by bashing a Dane and despite being the youngest Swedish tournament player in 32 years. Meet 17-year-old Elias Ymer.
Ymer became a hero in Swedish tennis circles this week after defeating Danish player Martin Pedersen in a four-set thriller that saved Sweden from relegation. Better still, Sweden came back in the best of five face-off against the Danes from 0-2, and Ymer's efforts in the fifth round meant Sweden could stay in the first division of the Europe/Africa zone.
The thriller in Helsingborg, southern Sweden, put Ymer on the map before his tennis career had even really begun, and the Swede took it all in his stride.
"It was a special feeling. I've had a few sleepless nights, but when I stepped out on the court I wasn't nervous at all," he told the Aftonbladet newspaper. "I started playing great tennis. I don't know where it came from, it just came. To knock someone out the first time I compete in the Davis Cup – it's mad."
Ymer became the youngest Swede to take the court in the Davis Cup since Mats Wilander's debut in 1981.
The right-hander was born in 1996 in Stockholm and is ranked 808th in the world singles rankings, but the low standing didn't slow him down as he jumped ahead two sets in the early stages, before eventually winning 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-5.  The win means Sweden holds a perfect 6-0 record against Denmark with the most recent clash coming in 1995. 
The Davis Cup has been a relatively strong arena for Sweden in the past, with the country ranked fifth on the list of all-time champions. Sweden has taken home seven titles between 1975 and 1998. Björn Borg holds the record for longest winning streak, after acing his way through 33 consecutive rubbers without a loss between 1973 and 1980. Sweden also has the record for the most number of comebacks from 0-2 down, with this week's effort their sixth of all time.
Sweden has a bye in the next round, and will face the winner of Ukraine and Romania in September next year.

Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who – for good or ill – has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

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