Sunday, 23 April 2017

Fed Cup semis evenly poised

A disappointing under reporting of the Fed Cup semi finals has occurred this week, and a lot of the blame can be assigned to the media which is obsessed with Rafa Nadal's attempt to win his 10th Monte Carlo title.

However the lack of the teams top players to put their hands up and represent their countries at the business end of the Cup is most disappointing.
Especially so the defending champions the Czech Republic.  Nowhere to be seen are the world number three Karolina Pliskova or the nation's second ranked player Barbora Strycova.

Instead, the responsibility for leading the team into another final is resting partly on 17 year old Marketa Vondrousova, who while admittedly is in form, having won a title last week in Switzerland, should not be given such a load as this to bear.

Coco Vandeweghe had the experience and power to win the first match of the tie, against Vondrousova, and that put the pressure on Katerina Siniakova to level proceedings on Day One.
Ranked 38, Siniakova is the top ranked Czech player in the tie, but at only 21 it is a big tag to wear.  She lived up to the task, defeating Shelby Rogers in impressive fashion.
No Venus Williams or Madison Keys for the US team which also may have diminished interest for reporters.

The other semi final is contested between Belarus and Switzerland.  Normally Belarus would have the excellent services of Vika Azarenka, but of course she is busy with her new born as will be Serena Williams in the not too distant future.
So credit must go to the back up players who have not only placed Belarus in the final four but have given them a 1-1 start after Day One of their tie.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich, ranked 96 (the highest of the Belarus team here) began proceedings with a memorable win over Viktorija Golubic in the first rubber, a match lasting almost three hours.
Timea Bacsinszky struck back as expected, but didn't have things all her own way against 18 year old Aryna Sabalenka.  Sabalenka hit 21 clean winners to 8 but her poor first serve percentage and 50 unforced errors gave Bacsinszky sufficient room to gain the extra break in each set.

No comments:

Post a Comment