So my last report from Essen. Sorry for the delay but I was too tired yesterday after coming home.
The final day was the coronation of a fantastic week. What can be greater than watching live a tournament with Mandy as the winner at the end? It was just awesome, thanks a lot Mandy.
I saw 5 wins of her, two by 2 sets, three by 3 sets with all kinds of combinations (from 6/0 to 7/6 she showed all possibilities
Remarkable is that in all her three set wins she had to fight back from break down in the final set, in two matches she even had to save match points. Especially this must be a great experience for her after some unfortunate losses in the last weeks.
Her opponent Richel Hogenkamp was obviously euphoric coz in the evening before she watched the Holland World Cup triumph against Spain in the hotel bar and was of course very happy. So I was curious to see how she would play the next day. Kev told us that Hogenkamp was the official favorite in the final? Maybe because Mandy hasn't so much match practice in this year.
The early bird catches the worm and Mandy was in the early morning at the location sitting at the terrace and drinking a cup of espresso. After this she had a small practice lesson with Tim and I had a very good feeling.
Warming up directly before match:
Mandy was starting the final very concentrated but I have to admit that Richel wasn't playing her best (several double faults, Ues). Mandy with some nice winners, at the end some problems to hold but finally breaking for winning the first set 6/2. She was clearly the better and dominating player.
In the second set she lost conentration a bit and Richel was getting stronger. Mandy was broken twice (she played not bad though!) and 0/3 down but then she started to fight again. She never gives up, she has a such a strong will, it's just fantastic. She comes back for a 4/3 lead but then couldnt hold her level and lost the second set 4/6.
But in this week she was experienced in playing three-setters and again her mental strength was deciding the match, besides she was the better player as well. So many viewers were wondering how can a player playing so well when the score was so close. I heard this more than once by the people. You cannot imagine how powerful and convinced she hits the ball at big points. I hope so much she takes this experience into the next tournaments, I'm convinced that this tournament will help her to raise her level furthermore as well against higher ranked opponents. But this might be not the problem anyway as we saw her fully competitive against players like Pliskova or Safarova.
In the final set she was 2/3* down after she had got broken first time in last set but then she won 4 games in a row for a 62 46 63 win. I loved her huge will to win a match, she is so strong! She was so happy at the end and I asked her for a personal photo with her trophy:
After her win she was celebrating a bit with her family (her grandfather was visiting the match!!!) and I had the opportunity to say goodbye to her, of course I was giving her my best wishes for Wimby and she was wishing me a good trip home
After the win with Tim:
It was a fantastic week! Cannot describe!