On a brick wall which borders court n°18, a plaque recalls that here John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played the longest match in the history of professional tennis, eleven hours and five minutes of play between the 22nd and June 24, 2010. It went a little faster for Viktorija Golubic, beaten 6-3 6-4 in 1h39 in the second round of the women’s singles by the Czech Barbora Krejcikova. With the little Zurich player with a padded game, it is the last Swiss representative who disappears from the singles tables, after only four days.
Normally, the early elimination of Golubic, quarter-finalists last year, would have been a bad accounting deal. As there are no WTA points this year at Wimbledon, it’s just a sporting disappointment. But could she really do better against the 14th player in the world, champion of Roland-Garros in 2021 and more and more comfortable on the grass?
“Not easy against Viktorija”
“I don’t feel like I missed my match, I even played quite well, I think, estimated Viktorija Golubic in the interview room. In the first set, for example, it seems to me that I was more dangerous on his service games than the reverse. But the problem with Krejcikova is that she hurts on one or two racquet strokes and everything goes very quickly. She is able to put pressure on suddenly and it’s hard to react.
For her part, the Czech was pleased to have emerged without damage from a match that was possibly complicated for her. “Golubic is an excellent grass player. She has a superb hand, she knows what she’s doing, it’s very difficult against her and I struggled at the start of the match. The key for me was to put the rhythm in the exchanges and to seize every opportunity to put pressure on him.
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Thus, after having won her first service games quite easily and obtained a break point at 1-1 in the first set, Viktorija Golubic found it increasingly difficult to return the powerful forehand accelerations of the Czech. At 4-3, Barbora Krejcikova managed to take a game lead and concluded the round on her next service game.
Under pressure, Golubic struggled to win the next opener. She got away with it and even managed a break to lead 3-1, service to follow. Krejcikova reacted immediately: she pocketed four games in a row and took a decisive lead. Golubic was not unworthy, the exchanges were always disputed, with several break points on both sides but the Czech ended up winning the decision each time.
A stronger foundation
This match was a reflection of the journey of the representatives of Swiss Tennis in this Wimbledon tournament. The balance sheet is mediocre — seven first-round eliminations, just one win — but the content is more nuanced. Only Henri Laaksonen and Jil Teichmann, who do not have an excessive passion for grass, disappointed. Like Golubic, Stan Wawrinka came across stronger than him (Jannik Sinner). Belinda Bencic and Marc-Andrea Hüsler came close to winning and Alexander Ritschard did more than defend himself for his first Grand Slam appearance against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
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After three decades of shining with two players (Rosset-Hlasek, Hingis-Schnyder, Federer-Wawrinka), Swiss Tennis is striving to rebuild a pyramid which will undoubtedly rise lower but at a more solid base. Seven young girls and boys, including the Genevan Kilian Feldbausch, will take part in the junior events which begin on Saturday.
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