On this day: Sweden shines at home to beat USA in Davis Cup final



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On this day: Sweden shines at home to beat USA in Davis Cup final

Sweden claimed the first Davis Cup crown in 1975 thanks to Bjorn Borg, who claimed 15 victories from 17 rubbers that season! The blue-yellow squad was back at its best in the 80s, winning three titles in four years between 1984-87 and lifting another trophy in 1994 following a tight victory over Russia in Moscow.

In 1996, France defeated Sweden in one of the most thrilling Davis Cup finals ever, and the Swedes were back in contention in 1997, playing all four ties on the fast indoor surface in front of the home fans that carried them towards the sixth Davis Cup trophy.

After a commanding victory over Switzerland, the Swedes were on the verge of exit in the quarter-final against South Africa before Jonas Bjorkman grabbed sets four and five versus Grant Stafford in the deciding fifth rubber to propel his country into the semi-final.

There, Italy stood no chance on the indoor carpet surface in Norrkoping, sending Sweden into the final against the USA. Two years earlier, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Todd Martin led the USA towards a 4-1 semi-final triumph in Las Vegas.

Now, Gothenburg was hosting their next clash between November 28-30 on an indoor carpet surface. After 1964, the USA lost only three Davis Cup finals before this trip to Sweden, where they suffered one of the hardest Davis Cup defeats, losing 5-0 for the first time since 1973 against Australia in Cleveland!

Jonas Bjorkman was the player to beat in front of the partisan crowd, moving from outside the top-60 to finish the season in the top-4 and gather momentum. Jonas kicked off the action with a 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Michael Chang in two hours and 53 minutes.

The Swede claimed a tight opening set before losing ground a bit in the second, restoring the order in sets three and four to send his country in front before the clash between Magnus Larsson and world no. 1 Pete Sampras.

In 1997, Sweden defeated the USA to claim the sixth Davis Cup crown.

The American claimed the first set, losing the second in the tie break and suffering a nasty calf muscle injury in his left leg early in the third set, leaving the court in a wheelchair and allowing the Swedes to move 2-0 in front.

Sampras went to Sahlgrenska Hospital for a magnetic resonance imaging test and couldn't help his country in the remaining rubbers, forcing the captain Tom Gullikson to go with Todd Martin (ranked outside the top-1000 in the doubles) and Jonathan Stark in Saturday's doubles rubber.

No team had managed to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the Davis Cup final since 1939, and the Americans were not capable of changing that, with Jonas Bjorkman and Nicklas Kulti beating Martin and Stark 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to secure the decisive point for Sweden and celebrate the sixth title.

The Swedes broke Stark in the opening set's ninth game when Martin's volley landed long, delivering another break at 3-3 in set number two before Kulti closed the set with another excellent hold three games later, moving the hosts a set away from the title.

The Americans came back from a 3-1 deficit in set number three, but it wasn't to be for them after Martin got broken in game seven, allowing Bjorkman to seal the deal with a hold at 5-4 and push Sweden over the top.