Stefan Edberg with Magnus Larsson on the roof of Scandinavium
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Swedish high hopes
From Davis Cup.org
GOTHENBURGH. The pre-match hype for the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas semifinal tie between USA and Sweden is already in full flow. Old Swedish Davis Cup legends literally took to the roof of the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg, where the semifinal is due to take place.
“We have invited some of Sweden’s old Davis Cup-heroes to play tennis at a high level. This is our way of underlining the fact that it will be tennis of absolute world class standard here in the Scandinavium arena in Gothenburg, on the 21-23 September,” said Leif Nilsson, vice CEO of Göteborg & Co, the city’s official marketing and destination company.
The players that took part in the ‘top’ tennis spectacle were Stefan Edberg, Magnus Larsson, Jan Apell and Magnus Gustafsson, all of whom had a successful and decorated Davis Cup history. Also there were Carl-Axel Hageskog, the old Davis Cup-team captain and the current and assistant captain, Jocke Nyström. Edberg and Larsson beat, Gustafsson and Apell in two tiebreaks, 11-9, 9-7 in a highly competitive match.
“It was a unique experience to play on this roof and I think it went tremendously well”, said Stefan Edberg. He went on to talk about Sweden’s chances in the semifinal against the strong US line up. “The US-team is indeed very good, but Sweden has shown its capacity in previous games, defeating American teams before in the Scandinavium,” Edberg commented.
There is sure to be a lot of local support for the Swedish team with tickets for the first day's play almost sold out.
Davis Cup fever increases in Gothenburg
by Peter Bengtsson
Translated into English by Markus Zacharski
06.09.2007 On Thursday, four former Davis Cup players played tennis on high-level in Gothenburg. On Scandinavium's ceilings, Stefan Edberg and Magnus Larsson met Magnus Gustafsson and Jan Apell in aim of promoting next Davis Cup semifinal against United States in Gothenburg from the 21st to the 23rd of September.
The duo from Växjö (Edberg/Larsson ann.), coached by one of the greatest Swedish coaches Carl-Axel Hageskog, won in two straight road-strip tiebreaks, 11-9, 9-7.
Göteborg's team was assisted by current Davis Cup captain Jocke Nyström on the bench, but the result was less interesting for the day.
Marketing of Davis Cup semifinal to be held in a couple of weeks was the reason to hold the match.
Edberg certified that the victory in 1984 DC final was one of his career's biggest experiences, when he, 18 years old, participated in his first of seven World Group finals.
Sweden defeated then USA that fielded world's number one John McEnroe and world's number two Jimmy Connors in singles. The Americans also had in McEnroe and Peter Fleming the world's best doubles team. Nevertheless, the result was 3-0 to Sweden after two days.
Sweden have met USA in Scandinavium in another final, 1997. Then Magnus Larsson played an important role. "I thought it would be harder to play on the roof but this was fun", Larsson said who also decided the semifinal in Scandinavium 1994.
Magnus Gustafsson played a final on away ground against Italy in 1998 and Jan Apell played doubles against Russia in Moscow final in 1994.
About Sweden's chances in the next match against USA, the whimsical and always diplomatic Calle Hageskog said: "It's a 50-50 game, but we are little favourite considered we play home".
Before the big media event on Scandinavium's ceilings, the organizers stated that the tickets for Friday's singles are almost sold out and that the sales for the other two playing days are accelerating.
Simon Aspelin's doubles success at US Open with victory over the Bryans is just an extra bonus.
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