by Jonas Arnesen
Translated into English by Mauro Cappiello
In the spring of 1983, the Swedish Davis Cup team began the amazing journey that brought to seven straight finals. This weekend Sweden will be fighting to regain a place in the World Group. How did we get to this point? SvD.se tennis reporter Jonas Arnesen has followed the team closely for over 30 years and sees several reasons for the decline.
We wrote from a packed Scandinavium in Gothenburg in December 1988, when Sweden played the Davis Cup final for the sixth consecutive year.
Prior to the meeting with the Germans, Sweden had lost just two of the previous 22 ties, the team had the most successful and beloved stars in all categories of Swedish sports, and they were proud to be playing for their country.
Swedish tennis flourished, during the season Mats Wilander had won the Australian Open, the French Open and had become the first Swede to triumph at the US Open, Stefan Edberg had won his first of two Wimbledon titles and with the two men from Smaland the Swedes were the clear favorites against Boris Becker & Co..
After only two days the guests won, still the main setback was yet to come.