Sweden wait on Edberg's injury

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The Independent Online
Stefan Edberg, in the final season of his distinguished career, has fitness problems before Sweden's Davis Cup semi-final against the Czech Republic starting in Prague tomorrow. France host Italy in Nantes in the other semi-final, with the final due to take place from 29 November to 1 December.

Edberg, 30, injured an Achilles tendon at the US Open earlier this month when he was knocked out in the quarter-finals of his last Grand Slam appearance by Goran Ivanisevic after earlier putting out the British No 1, Tim Henman.

"It's hard to evaluate this early in training but overall I feel fine," Edberg said. "The foot still isn't 100 per cent, it's a day-to-day situation and I hope to play in the singles. That's why I am here."

Carl-Axel Hageskog, the Swedish manager, will monitor Edberg's progress but a decision may be left until shortly before today's draw.

Edberg partnered Anders Jarryd 12 years ago in the crucial doubles match which helped give Sweden a 4-1 victory over the United States in the Davis Cup final. This time he is scheduled to partner Thomas Enqvist, ranked No 14 in the world, in singles, with Jonas Bjorkman pairing Nicklas Kulti in the doubles.

The Czech Republic surprised the defending champions, the United States, 3-2 in the quarter-finals to claim their first semi-final place for 10 years.

Petr Korda, the left-hander who partnered Edberg to the Australian doubles title this year, and the consistent Daniel Vacek, head the Czech team on the fast Supreme surface at the Prague Sports Hall.

Yannick Noah, the captain of France, has retained the team who won their first two ties 5-0 for their match with Italy on the indoor carpet at the Palais des Sports de Beaulieu.

Cedric Pioline, ranked No 17 in the world, will play in the singles with either Guy Forget or Arnaud Boetsch. "I've made my choice but I'm leaving a door open," Noah said.

France have their best chance to win the Cup since Noah captained the team, inspired by Henri Leconte and Guy Forget, to an emotional victory over the United States five years ago.