11.07.2019 - Gstaad, Switzerland
The first day of the Swatch Major Gstaad was pretty amazing, wasn’t it? World and Olympic champions won and lost matches, home teams delighted and frustrated the fans and some upsets shocked whoever followed the tournament in the mountains close enough.
Do you what the best part of it is, though? A fantastic first day just set the stage for what promises to be an even more special second one with some of the top teams in position to continue their winning streaks while others could very well say goodbye to the most tournament of the sport.
There will be a lot to catch up with and if you have to choose, here are our suggestions:
Who? Saxton/O’Gorman v Bourne/Crabb
Where? Sidecourt 4
When? 9am CEST
Why? This North American affair will reunite two teams who made the headlines during last week’s World Championships but are now facing risk of early elimination. The Canadians posted one of the impressive upsets in Hamburg when they downed Americans Lucena and Dalhausser in pool play, but they dropped their first match in Gstaad, a three-setter, to a Swiss team. Bourne and Crabb went all the way to the semi-finals to finish fourth at the World Champs but couldn’t handle Austrians Doppler and Horst in their opening match in Switzerland. Whoever loses again is out, it’s that simple.
Who? Beeler/Krattiger v Kantor/Losiak
Where? Center Coury
When? 10am CEST
Why? The Swiss are no short in motivation as they play at home, but their first-round setback to world champions Stoyanovskiy and Krasilnikov has put their campaign at risk in Gstaad way sooner than they had imagined. To survive in the tournament and reach the elimination round, Beeler and Krattiger will have to defy the odds and beat Kantor and Losiak for the first time after a pair of losses over the last two years in which they weren’t even able to win sets. The Polish have been an elite team on the World Tour for a long time but haven’t been at their best since Losiak fractured his foot in May and it’s hard to believe the Swiss would have a better opportunity to take them down than this one, so they’d better take it.
Who? Ludwig/Kozuch v Makroguzova/Kholomina
Where? Center Court
When? 11am CEST
Why? Ludwig and Kozuch cruised past the qualifier and had a promising start in the main draw as they stole a set from Rebecca and Ana Patricia, but they couldn’t keep the same pace and let the Brazilians turn the match around. Now they are facing risk of elimination and this is not a position you want to be at when facing the Russians, who showed at the World Championships they’re not afraid of sending favorites home after they knocked Brazilians Agatha and Duda out of the tournament in Hamburg. Maggie’s presence at the net will be pivotal to contain the Makroguzova’s physicality and allow Laura to do her backcourt magic.
Who? Hermannová/Sluková v Heidrich/Vergé-Dépré
Where? Center Court
When? 2pm CEST
Why? Joana and Anouk had a sound three-set victory over Germans Borger and Sude and they could be the first Swiss team guaranteed in the Round of 16 if they take the Czechs down. Herman nova and Sluková are better-rested as they didn’t play at the World Championships but the defender’s condition is still somewhat of a question mark after she suffered a toe injury. Her return was as solid as it gets, but how she reacts when challenged by Joana and Anouk’s strong game will probably dictate the outcome of this match.
Who? Pavan/Humana-Paredes v Carol/Maria Antonelli
Where? Center Court
When? 6pm CEST
Why? The new world champions were tested in a stronger way than they’d have imagined in their first game back in Gstaad but they responded properly bouncing back from a shaky first set to win in three. Their second match in the Swiss Alps is expected to be an ever tougher test as Carol and Maria Antonelli are arguably one of the most consistent teams in the world. If Sarah can dominate the net as she did for the most part of last week in Hamburg, the Canadians should be fine, but the Brazilians have the better record among them, having won three of the four previous meetings.