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Bergelin dies at 83; former tennis pro coached Bjorg

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Lennart Bergelin, who coached Bjorn Borg for 12 years and captained Sweden to its first Davis Cup title, died Tuesday. He was 83.

Peter Bengtsson, a spokesman for the Swedish Tennis Association, said Bergelin died from heart failure at a Stockholm hospital.

As a player, Bergelin won nine Swedish championship singles titles between 1945 and 1955, and the French Open doubles title in 1948. But he became more famous for his work with Borg from 1971-83, helping him win 11 Grand Slam tournaments.

"He was nearly like a dad to Bjorn Borg," Bengtsson said. "But you shouldn't forget that he was also a very good tennis player before tennis was as professional as it is now."

On his Web site, Bergelin described his years with Borg as "a remarkable time."

"It was hard work for both him and me, in combination with a lot of joy and laughter," he wrote.

Bergelin coached the Swedish Davis Cup team between 1971-76, and gave Borg his debut in the competition against New Zealand's Onny Parun in 1972. Borg was only 15, but won the match.

"Despite his young age, I simply didn't have anyone else. He was already the best in the team," Bergelin wrote.

Bergelin was also the Swedish captain when Borg, Birger Andersson, Ove Bengtsson and Rolf Norberg won the country's first Davis Cup trophy in 1975.