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Sweden Completes Davis Cup Win

December 6, 1998

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Sweden finished off its second straight Davis Cup victory Sunday, splitting the last two singles matches with Italy for a 4-1 triumph.

Magnus Gustafsson needed just 68 minutes to defeat Italy’s Gianluca Pozzi 6-4, 6-2, before Diego Nargiso salvaged some pride for the hosts by beating Magnus Norman 6-2, 6-3 to avoid a sweep.

Sweden had clinched its third trophy since 1994 and seventh overall on Saturday by adding a straight-set doubles win to Friday’s two singles triumphs.

With the outcome clear, Italy sent Nargiso on as a substitute for Davide Sanguinetti on Sunday.

Pozzi played in place of Andrea Gaudenzi, the country’s top player, who retired with a strained right shoulder in the fifth set of his opening singles match against Norman.

After beating the United States 5-0 last year, the Swedes were bidding to become the first country to register back-to-back finals sweeps since the Americans did it against Romania and Germany in 1969-70.

Italy, which upset a second-string U.S. squad in the September semifinals, won its lone Davis Cup in 1976 and has now lost in its six other finals appearances.

Gustafsson, rated No. 31 by the ATP, was the highest ranking singles player here.

It was the first final in the 99-year history of the Davis Cup without anyone from the top 30.

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