Bjorkman & Wilander Send Team Sweden To Svaneholm Open Final

Lars DarebergJonas Bjorkman defeats Cedric Pioline on Thursday.

Team Sweden made sure to get off to a good start in front of its home crowd at the inaugural Svaneholm Open in Skurup on Thursday. The team took an unassailable 2-0 lead against Team France after the first day of action.

Swede Jonas Bjorkman won a key singles match against Frenchman Cedric Pioline 6-3, 6-2. While French captain Henri Leconte joined them on the court to entertain the crowd and try to get the fans on their side, Bjorkman was too strong for Pioline, using the quickness of the court to his advantage.

Bjorkman won four of the pair’s five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings. But Pioline won their most recent match on the ATP Tour at 2001 Stockholm in straight sets. Bjorkman rallied behind the home crowd, though, to give Team Sweden the advantage.

Later in the day, he partnered Swedish legend Mats Wilander past Leconte and Pioline 6-3 in an entertaining affair. There were plenty of trick shots in what was a tighter match than the score indicates, but the Swedes came out on top.

Each match counts for one point, and whichever team earns two of the three points moves to the championship match. So Team Sweden will face Team United States or Team World in the final.

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