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NEWS Fed cup: Tammy almost achieves an amazing upset !
At the last moment, Sabine Appelmans played a surprise card, putting Tammy on court in the final singles rubber. And against the Belgian Babe… one Kateryna Bondarenko…
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Thanks to Yanina Wickmayer’s win, Belgium was in the lead in their Fed Cup match against the Ukraine. So Sabine Appelmans was entrusting Tammy with the difficult task of bringing home the 3rd point in her singles rubber against Kateryna Bondarenko, ranked 43rd in the WTA rankings.
But the pressure didn’t bother Tammy at the start of the match, and she put together some big attacking shots to hold every one of her service games. At 4 all, the pressure began to get to Bondarenko… Tammy took advantage and broke serve to lead 5-4 in the first set! She held her nerve in her own service game, and took the first set 6-4.
The second set got off to the best possible start. Tammy kept on playing a solid game, while Bondarenko gave an error-strewn performance. In no time, Tammy had a double break to lead 4-0, and was getting close to her first Fed Cup victory against a Top 50 player.
But Bondarenko pulled herself together and forced a number of errors from Tammy. She held her first service game of the second set and followed that up by getting her first break points of the match. Tammy saved several break points, but Bondarenko unleashed some powerful shots to fight back to 2-4. After that it turned into a nightmare scenario. Tammy’s serve deserted her, unlike Bondarenko who produced some big first serves. She piled up the winners, while Tammy’s attempts to go on the attack all ended in errors… Tammy lost the second set 4-6.
The third set got off to an exciting start. The younger Bondarenko sister had regained all her confidence, and at last she justified her standing as a Top 50 player. For her part, Tammy didn’t throw in the towel. But fatigue began to take its toll, and the loss of the second set was tough to come to terms with. In the third set, Tammy managed to hold her serve once, but she wasn’t able to resist Bondarenko’s fierce onslaught, and it was Bondarenko who took the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
This defeat is perhaps the hardest that Tammy’s had to face in her young career. But she’s shown her captain and the Belgian Tennis Federation that she’s already able to produce high-quality tennis, and that they can count on her for the future. The next Fed Cup match will be taking place in April.
Meanwhile, Tammy’s 2008 season will soon be under way with some ITF professional tournaments. Her first tournament should be in a week in Stockholm, but it’s possible that her ranking isn’t high enough for her to take part. More news on the site next week.