Photo by Manuel Queimadelos / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis
On Thursday at 10 a.m. EST, Team Canada presented by Sobeys will officially begin its journey to the 2021 Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten held simultaneously in Madrid, Innsbruck and Turin. A total of six groups of three countries will compete over the next few days to crown the best men’s tennis nation. Canada (6th) is in Group B and will have to beat Sweden (14th) and Kazakhstan (12th) to advance to the quarter-finals.
In our new content series called “Across the Net”, we will introduce you to each of the teams that Canada will be facing between now and the end of the tournament in order to set the table for the matchups and analyze the competition in detail! Today, we look at the very first challenge facing our Canadians: Sweden!
No. 1 Player: Mikael Ymer (World no. 93)
Sweden’s top-ranked player is only 23 years old and his name is Mikael Ymer. The youngest player in the delegation, this is already his ninth Davis Cup appearance and he boasts an excellent record of 11 wins and 4 losses in singles. In 2021, he had success on the ATP Tour. Most notably, he was a finalist in Winston-Salem, becoming the first Swede to achieve the feat since Robin Söderling (2011), who ironically is the current captain of the Scandinavian team. He also reached two quarter-finals (Kitzbühel and Gstaad) and reached the third round of two Grand Slam events (Australian Open and French Open), beating two Top 30 rivals in the process: Gael Monfils (no. 15) and Hubert Hurkacz (no. 30). He will definitely be a player to watch during the competition!
No. 2 Player: Elias Ymer (no. 171)
Mikael will not be the only member of his family on the Swedish team. He will have the support of his older brother Elias (25). Elias, currently ranked no. 171 in the world, has 8 wins and 12 losses in 12 Davis Cup appearances. This season, he has put in solid performances in multiple Challenger tournaments and surprised everyone by reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open before losing to the powerful Diego Schwartzman (7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2). Elias has the potential to make waves in Madrid. In 2015, he became only the second player in the Open Era, after Canadian captain Frank Dancevic, to successfully play his way through qualifying and earn a spot in the main draw all four Grand Slam events that season.
No. 3 Player: Jonathan Mridha (no. 511)
A native of Stockholm, Jonathan Mridha will join forces with the Ymer brothers for the singles matches. This will be his fourth appearance on the team and he has already played a prominent role for his country. In the September 2018 qualifying matches, he helped Sweden to a 3-2 win over Switzerland by defeating Sandro Ehrat 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(4). In 2021, on the ITF circuit, he was crowned champion of the $15,000 Frederiksberg event and played in three additional semifinals ($25,000 Lima, $15,000 Vejle and $15,000 Pune).
No. 4 Player: Andre Goransson (no. 64 in doubles)
The Swedish team will be completed by doubles specialist Andre Goransson. He made his Davis Cup debut in 2019 when Sweden posted a 3-1 win over Israel. Goransson could also muddy the waters this week as he has had some convincing results in doubles in 2021: an appearance in the Wimbledon quarter-finals alongside Casper Ruud, a finalist in Belgrade with Rafael Matos and the Istanbul Challenger champion with Davis Pel.
Complementary Information from the ITF
Capitain: Robin Söderling (10 career ATP titles as a player)
Fun Facts: Sweden is fifth on the list of most Davis Cup wins with seven titles between 1975 and 1998. They hold the record for the most comebacks (6) from 0–2 down. Bjorn Borg has the best winning streak: 33 consecutive wins between 1973 and 1980.