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OBITUARIES / Passings / Sven Davidson

1st Swede to win Grand Slam title

May 31, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Sven Davidson, 79, the first Swedish tennis player to win a Grand Slam tournament and a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame, died of pneumonia Wednesday in Arcadia, the hall announced. He was diagnosed with an initial stage of Alzheimer's disease a year ago.

Davidson, who was inducted into the hall last summer, was the Swedish singles champion from 1950 to 1960 and became the first Swede to win a Grand Slam title at the 1957 French Championships, the precursor to the French Open. He and partner Ulf Schmidt won doubles at Wimbledon in 1958.

Born July 13, 1928, in Boras, Sweden, Davidson was a member of Sweden's Davis Cup team from 1950 to 1961, with a win-loss record of 62-23 (39-14 in singles; 23-9 in doubles).

He moved to the United States in the 1970s.

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