FEDERATION CUP - Sweden vs Switzerland.
I arrived an hour early the first day and caught Patty training with some guy, and she looked quite good. Didn't see any trace of the other girls before the match began.
It was quite a small place for the game. Only a few meters free space behind the baselines, and the stands were close too. It was room for about 500 people, and I dare say that it was just about full all the time, giving a great atmosphere.
As the first match began, we all expected Patty to win fairly easily, but once the match began she looked quite disinterested. She didn't play with much aggression or fighting spirit, just keep hitting topspins back, and Sofia, who has a quite heavy game, kept pounding until Patty missed.
In the seconds set, Sofia started to look a bit tired, and perhaps a bit surprised to be winning so easily, but Patty still didn't manage to find the needed motivation, and Sofia won easily.
While Sofia has got quite a heavy game, she doesn't have the strongest serve and isn't very fast either, a 24th ranked player shouldn't lose to her. So, well fought Sofia, but Patty had a bad day.
Then it was Åsa agains Myriam. Myriam reminded me quite a bit about Sofia. She's quite solid, and doesn't look very athletic. She's a little quicker than she
looks though. She showed a pretty strong first serve, but it isn't too reliable, and her 2nd is very attackable. Alltogether, I was disappointed in Myriam. She showed a very one-dimensional game, just hit hard and flat all the time, and it didn't look like Åsa had much trouble keeping the ball in play until Myriam would miss, or be out of position where she couldn't play her game.
So, this was Åsa dominating and I was never nervous about the outcome. Myriam didn't look like she just won a big tournament at all.
So, 2-0 to Sweden after the first day. The weather had been great (and I got quite a few sunburns), and the audience had been terrific and got good value for their money.
I felt quite secure for this day, knowing Sweden only needed one win to win the whole match, and given how bad the swiss players had played the day before...
I arrived a little later this day, but still managed to find Myriam practising a little. She didn't look much better than the day before, and her coach was instructing her a lot on her ground strokes.
The first match, Åsa vs Patty was exciting. Both players play a little more top spin than the other two girls, so we got some longer duels. They also missed a lot, and at times Patty looked just as disheartened as the day
before. However, Patty served quite well (I don't think she hit a single DF in any of here singles), and Åsa wasn't quite as good as the day before. After a
long hard match, Patty won 8-6 in the third.
Then, the much expected teen duel between Sofia and Myriam. Since Sofia had been pounding Patty quite well the day before, and Myriam had shown very little also, most people expected Sofia to win. However, Sofia had a really bad day, missing just about everything, and Myriam painted the lines with heavy shots. The audience was shocked and how quickly it went, and I really expected double bagel. I believe Sofia was still a bit satisified with the win over Patty and couldn't reload, and her game suited Myriam a lot better than Åsa's. Actually, Sofia and Myriam played very similar, hard flats shots to put pressure on the opponent (while
both Åsa and Patty takes it a bit slower and construct the points more). However, Myriam was superior today, and as I said, she painted the lines. It's difficult to defeat someone who does that, but still, it didn't look very safe to me.
Then, the doubles. It was really exciting, tied for 2-2 and a doubles with two unexperienced pairs. And the weather didn't look to promising either...
The game started with a quick lead for the swedes, Myriam didn't look very comfortable out there, but it soon became obvious that it was Sofia who was the most lost out there. She spent most of the net time just watching, and I was surprised they didn't try to pass her more instead of hitting crosses towards Åsa who didn't miss that much.
Switzerland won the first set quite easily, and looked a lot stronger, but in the second set they started missing more, and Åsa really played well, making up for Sofia's inexperience. We saw some really nice volley duels and
it looked good for the last set.
Switzerland got a good lead in the last set 3-0 and game-point, but the Swedes fought back, with great support from the crowd who was really fired up by now.
The sky started to look dark, and the wind increased. The worse conditions and the crowd got the Swedes going, and especially Patty started to miss a lot
of easy balls. After a couple of saved match points, the swedes finally won as the rain started pouring. (It had rained a little during the last two games). The match point was an embarrassing overhead miss from Patty.
The crowd, while it was only 500, there wasn't room for more, so the atmosphere was great. It was a lot of people involved in the local tennis club, so it was
quite a cunning crowd. It supported the swedes a lot of course, especially in the end, but it was very polite and applaused good shots from the swiss players, and there was no ugly disturbing the players either, not even at the very end.
The players, it was quite a thrill to see them live for the first time. While she didn't bring her best game this weekend, Patty looked amazingly agile and
quick, and so did Åsa. I'm a bit disappointed in both Sofia and Myriam, they didn't look nearly as good as I had hoped, but they're still young and might improve.
...got any questions? Feel free to ask me