Ordeal without mood: The late shift as punishment for Kerber and Co.

Late shifts can be many things in tennis, from the rushing spectacle to the dreary twilight hour. The so-called night sessions at Grand Slam tournaments, such a

Ordeal without mood: The late shift as punishment for Kerber and Co.

Late shifts can be many things in tennis, from the rushing spectacle to the dreary twilight hour. The so-called night sessions at Grand Slam tournaments, such as in New York or Melbourne, are similar to parties where the spectators are left out in the stands and, in the best case, transfer their energy to the tennis professionals at the bottom of the court. The next morning everyone can sleep well, for the winner of the previous evening it even continues only on the following day. In other competitions such as the Billie Jean King Cup, on the other hand, the late shift can become an ordeal, almost a punishment: hardly any spectators, zero mood, and the body of the players still limp from the work of the previous night. So this can not become anything with the sporting success, as the team of German tennis ladies had to experience in recent days.

Thomas Klemm Editor in the "Money & More" section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. I follow

"The start of the game was unfortunate," Angelique Kerber said late on Tuesday evening, after losing 3-0 to Switzerland with the German selection and being eliminated from the team competition. And this was only 22 hours after the 1:2 opening defeat against hosts Czech Republic was sealed and the German ladies did not get any sleep until around three in the morning at the earliest. Her body took "20, 30 minutes to get going after the short night," Andrea Petković said after her 4-6, 5-7 defeat to Viktorija Golubic. Barbara Rittner, Head of Women's Tennis in Germany, judged the circumstances more ungraciously than her top players. After the 10,000 spectators on the first day against the Czechs, at most 100 spectators at the high-class encounter with Switzerland on the second day, Rittner found that "really sad".

Responsible for the sadness was the world tennis federation ITF, which has not only given the traditional Fed Cup the new name Billie Jean King Cup, but also a different format. Instead of distributing the international matches over several weekends a year and allowing many teams to play atmospheric home games, since this year everything has been whipped through in a tournament format in one place within a week. Rittner does not like the new mode at all, Kerber relies on a "process" for the better.

A touch of optimism

The fact that the premiere of the Billie Jean King Cup will also take place immediately before the final tournament of the eight best tennis ladies in Mexico is the crowning glory, but it is due to the turmoil of the corona pandemic. That's why the big celebrities were missing in Prague, with the exception of three-time Grand Slam tournament winner Angelique Kerber and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, who fought a thrilling duel. Even though the Swiss won 5:7, 6:2 and 6:2 in the end, Kerber looked back on a successful season. "I'm back at the top of the top people," said the 33-year-old from Kiel, who won the tournament in Bad Homburg, reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and returned to the top ten of the world rankings this week.

Updated Date: 05 November 2021, 00:00

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