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   Sunday, 27 January, 2002, 11:59 GMT
Swede win for Johansson
Australian Open winner Thomas Johansson
Johansson will lead Sweden into battle against Britain
BBC Sport Online's Caroline Cheese assesses the possible impact of Thomas Johannson's shock win at the Australian Open.

Thomas Johansson's first Grand Slam win has ensured that it will not just be the Swede who has a few sleepless nights over the coming weeks.

As Johansson watched a Marat Safin lob drop out to confirm his victory at the Australian Open, British Davis Cup captain Roger Taylor was probably the last to get out of his seat and cheer an unlikely victory.

When Great Britain drew Sweden at home in the first round of the Davis Cup World Group, the majority of British fans breathed a sigh of relief.

Their prospective opponents looked to be made up of a doubles specialist, a former top-10 player struggling for former glories and a consistent, but hardly world-class performer.

The route to glory
R1: J Diaz 6-1 3-6 7-6 6-4
R2: M Hipfl 6-4 6-1 6-4
R3: Y El Aynaoui 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4
R4: A Voinea 6-7 6-2 6-0 6-4
QF: J Bjorkman 6-0 2-6 6-3 6-4
SF: J Novak 7-6 0-6 4-6 6-3 6-4
F: M Safin 3-6 6-4 6-4 7-6

How the picture has changed over the last two weeks.

Jonas Bjorkman seems to have discovered his form in singles and Thomas Enqvist is beginning to find his feet again after injury.

And Johansson, never a Grand Slam contender in the past, has done what has proved well beyond Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski thus far.

In winning his first Grand Slam at the age of 27 and at his 25th attempt, Johannson has proved that the 'old guard' are not quite ready to hand over to the young guns.

But Johansson's victory is about more than just age prevailing over youth.

The Swede barely registered on tennis' Richter scale for the first five years of his career, a fourth round appearance at Wimbledon being his stand-out result.

A 1999 Master Series title in Montreal was a bright spot in an otherwise average year.

Last year, he cemented a place in the top 20 with a winning streak on grass but even then he was considered a dangerous floater in the Wimbledon draw rather than a serious contender for the title.

His career looked to be meandering towards a predictable conclusion and Johansson himself admitted after Sunday's win that he never expected to be standing on Rod Laver Arena as a Grand Slam winner.

Tim Henman
Henman failed to live up to his seeding

In reality, the Australian Open may be as good as it gets for Johansson, despite the scintillating tennis he produced against Safin.

Indeed, the Melbourne event has a habit of throwing up one-Slam wonders, with Petr Korda, Johan Kriek and Brian Teacher all upsetting the odds in recent memory.

Johansson was also blessed by the dismal performances of all the top seeds in his half of the draw, including Henman, and did not have to play anyone ranked above him until the final.

None of that will matter to Johansson, who passed every physical and mental test he was set over the fortnight, despite having scant experience of the latter stages of a Grand Slam event.

For the sake of British Davis Cup and Grand Slam hopes, let's hope Henman and Rusedski were taking notes.

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