BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: Under the sun in Parque Roca, Sweden stormed back from 0-2 down after the first day to defeat Argentina 3-2 and secure a spot in the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group play-offs. Argentina now face a World Group II relegation play-off.
Sofia Arvidsson and Johanna Larsson played both singles rubbers, as well as the doubles rubber. First, Arvidsson gave Sweden hope after a torn ligament caused Paula Ormaechea to retire when trailing 75 67(6) 3-2 after 2 hours and 44 minutes. Johanna Larsson followed with a convincing 63 62 victory over Florencia Molinero. In the decisive doubles clash, the Swedish couple collected the final victory over Mailen Auroux and Florencia Molinero 64 64.
Sweden trailed 0-2 after the opening day saw wins for Argentina in both singles rubbers. Ormaechea overcame Larsson 63 60, while Molinero defied the rankings with a 63 26 61 win over Arvidsson.
The first match of the day ebbed and flowed. And in that rollercoaster ride, Ormaechea was lost in the worst way possible when she was forced to retire with a torn ligament.
The first set was taken by Arvidsson, breaking her opponent serve for the second time in the last game, after recovering from a break down. That seemed to encourage the Swedish girl, who took a quick advantage of 4-0 and 5-1 in the second set. But Ormaechea refused to give in, and, with a great effort, came back to win the second set 7-6 in the tie break.
Unfortunately for her, Ormaechea could only resist so much. The Argentine No. 1, full of tears, tried to remain on court. She even gave away two games to get medical treatment when she was leading 2-1. By that point, however, she was beyond the help of treatment. Ormaechea took the Argentine team’s advice and retired. It was a sad scene to see her crying in front of the bench and the crowd and saying: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m really sorry”.
“I’m so sad, because I couldn’t finish the match. But I gave all I had, this is the best I can take from today”, said Ormaechea, still feeling blue. “I had my chances. I had levelled the match and was leading 2-1 in the third, but at that point, my body said ‘no more’ and that was the end. I felt more pressure than yesterday, I knew I had to close the tie, and Sofia played much better than yesterday, so it was difficult for me. But suffering through these kinds of moments is something that makes me grow as a player”, she added.
That injury was a turning point in the tie. Afterwards, world No. 71 Johanna Larsson stepped confidently onto the court and secured her match against Florencia Molinero in two sets and, pairing Arvidsson, defeated Auroux and Irigoyen in impressive style.
The whole of the Swedish team dove in champagne after a great day. “Champagne tastes great”, said Larsson, while Arvidsson simply said: “Champagne tastes like victory”.
“It was a great turnaround. The whole team did a great job today. We weren’t happy after yesterday and we all knew it was going to be a big hill for us to climb, but we decided to fight, we managed to win and it’s amazing”, analysed Arvidsson.
Right beside her, Larsson showed her white smile while eating a sandwich to recover from having played two matches in a row: “When you’re winning it’s always easier to keep going. I think we had a little revenge from yesterday”.
Lars-Anders Wahlgren took a lot of experience from his first weekend as a captain. “We had a good meeting last night, we had a good meeting this morning and a good practice session. We felt really positive, we wanted to have our revenge and the two girls succeeded unbelievably on the court and also off the court, because we have a great team”, he said.
To view match statistics click here: Live scores
Johanna Larsson and Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) - 10/02/2013
Captain Lars-Anders Wahlgren (SWE) - 10/02/2013
Paula Ormaechea (ARG) - 10/02/2013
Captain Bettina Fulco (ARG) - 10/02/2013