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20 April 2014

Switzerland maintain World Group II berth


By Giuliander Carpes

Photo: Hedeson AlvesTeam Switzerland celebrate victory

CATANDUVA, BRAZIL: The dream is over for Brazil. The South Americans were looking for an almost miraculous turnaround after an opening day when nothing worked out at their Fed Cup by BNP Paribas tie. They fought, got closer than ever to a place in the World Group II for the first time in their history, but in the end the Swiss ran out deserved victors. 

Switzerland started Easter Sunday looking for just another point to close the tie. However, it only came in the fourth rubber when Timea Bacsinszky had to fight to beat Paula Cristina Goncalves 75 62 in one hour and 46 minutes to reach an inexpungible 3-1 lead over Brazil and retain the Swiss place in the second tier of the competition for 2015. 

Bacsinszky proved herself to be the most consistent player of the whole tie in Catanduva. She won two matches without dropping a single set during the weekend and showed she was mentally prepared for everything that could come in Brazil.  

“I think we had just to stay calm from the beginning to the end. The Brazilian crowd likes to celebrate points like goals, we all know that. I told myself it was just a tennis match and it was important to enjoy playing in front of this crowd. It worked out”, said Bacsinszky.

The Swiss No. 3 kept the match under her control even if both players struggled to hold serve as they traded seven breaks in the opening set. Bacsinszky didn't lose her composure and took an opportunity to close the first set. Then she pressed home her advantage in the second set with an early break before adding another as security prior to serving out the win.

Despite defeat, it was a completely new day for Teliana Pereira and her team. After a clumsy performance in the opening rubber, she wiped the tears from her face and looked much more solid and comfortable on court during her match against Belinda Bencic on Sunday. She broke her opponent’s serve twice in the first set and closed the match 63 64 in one hour and 32 minutes after the 17-year-old Swiss made four unforced errors serving to stay in the match. 

“Yesterday was a terrible day, but today it was the real me on court. The key to win my match was overcoming all difficulties. It is a mark of my career. It wasn't a beautiful match, but I played with my heart because I needed to show the Brazilian crowd my commitment to this team. It doesn’t matter we lost the tie, it was a much happier day”, said Pereira in tears of joy this time. 

Brazil was hoping from the very beginning Bencic would feel the pressure of leading her team for the first time at such an early age. Eventually the Swiss showed her temper throwing her racquet on the floor and arguing with the umpire about some calls, the court conditions and the crowd behaviour.

The Swiss No. 1 made 26 unforced errors and only produced 14 winners, a very different performance from her first match of the tie against Goncalves.  

“Everybody has a bad day. I couldn't play well today, didn't find the rhythm. I am not happy with the way I played, but I should give her credits because she hold the pressure”, said Bencic, who came back on court for a dead doubles to end the tie.

The 17-year-old partnered Viktorija Golubic to beat Laura Pigossi and Gabriela Cé 62 62 just as night fell in Catanduva. 

Follow this tie as it happens: Live scores or Watch Live

Teliana Pereira (BRA) - 20/04/2014

Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA) - 20/04/2014

Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) - 20/04/2014

Captain Heinz Guendhardt (SUI) - 20/04/2014

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    • Team Switzerland celebrate victoryLaura Pigossi and Gabriela Ce (BRA)
    • Belinda Bencic (SUI)Paula Cristina Goncalves (BRA)
    • Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)
    • Team Switzerland celebrate victoryTelina Pereira (BRA)
    • Teliana Pereira (BRA)Teliana Pereira (BRA)
    • Teliana Pereira (BRA)Belinda Bencic (SUI)
    • Belinda Bencic (SUI)

    1 : 4

    Clube de Tenis Catanduva, Catanduva, Brazil

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