Swiss player wins first title on home soil

Victorija Golubic claimed a home victory at the Gstaad WTA tournament on Sunday, the Zurich player fighting back for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 defeat of third seed Kiki Bertens.

Swiss player wins first title on home soil
Victorija Golubic picks up the Gstaad trophy. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

The world number 105 won the first title of her career in just over two hours as she overhauled her more experienced Dutch opponent.
Golubic denied 26th-ranked Bertens a second title this season after her win in Nurnberg.
Golubic lost the first set but won the second, which was littered with six breaks of serve.
The 23-year-old Swiss went down a break in the first game of the final set but immediately broke back. She concluded victory as she broke Bertens in the tenth game as the Dutch player sent a return out.
Bertens was plagued by six double-faults as an event which had been rained off for three mid-week days finished on schedule in bright sunshine over the Alps.
Bertens was unable to save any of the seven break points she faced as Golubic took command at key moments; the Swiss lost her own serve five times.
“It's fantastic to win at home,” said Golubic. “Kiki is always so tough to play. I was impressed with her play in Paris (where she beat Gstaad top seed Timea Bacsinszky in the quarterfinals).”
Bertens praised Golubic for an “unbelievable week”.
“We had a lot of trouble with the weather and scheduling, but she came through for the win. Victorija played a great match today when it counted.”
Golubic showed much more skill through her tennis than with a traditional alpenhorn.
The three-metre long mountain wooden musical instrument is used as part of the trophy ceremony in the alpine village.
This was the first women's event staged in Switzerland since the last edition of the Zurich Indoors in 2008.

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Is this the end of the road for Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer?

Roger Federer is talking optimistically about returning to his "highest level" after knee surgery, but does tennis have to start adjusting to a future without the Swiss star?

Is this the end of the road for Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer?
Is it the end of the line for Roger? Photo: Martin BUREAU / AFP

The 20-time Grand Slam winner announced on Wednesday that he would be sidelined until 2021 after his second operation in a matter of months.

Federer remains upbeat, tweeting: “I plan to take the necessary time to be 100 percent ready to play at my highest level.”

In some ways 2020 is a good season to miss after the coronavirus ravaged the tennis schedule. Writing Federer off in the past has proved dangerous.

He returned from a six-month injury lay-off to claim the Australian Open in 2017, winning his eighth Wimbledon crown later that year.

But he will be 40 in 2021 and is now heading into uncharted territory.

Despite his groaning trophy cabinet, there are two factors that will motivate Federer to keep going — the risk of losing his grip on the men's Grand Slam title record and a missing Olympics singles gold medal.

Rafael Nadal has 19 majors, just one shy of Federer's mark and Djokovic has 17.

Spain's Nadal will be fancied to draw level with Federer at the French Open, rescheduled for September, while few would bet against Djokovic winning in New York weeks earlier.

In April, Federer said he was “devastated” when Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II. Last year he fell agonisingly short at the All England Club, failing to convert two championship points on his own serve against Djokovic.

The Wimbledon grass probably remains his best chance of adding to his Grand Slam collection — he has not won the US Open since 2008 and his only title at Roland Garros came in 2009.

Even though Federer has slipped from the very pinnacle of the game, he is still a major threat to Nadal and Djokovic.

'Golden' ambitions

Last year, the world number four had a 53-10 win-loss record and he reached the semi-finals at the Australian Open in January in his only tournament this year.

Federer, who is still six ATP titles short of Jimmy Connors' all-time record of 109, has one glaring omission from his CV — the Olympic title.

The Swiss won doubles gold in Beijing in 2008 with compatriot Stan Wawrinka but lost in the singles final to Andy Murray in London four years later.

The postponed Tokyo Games will almost certainly be Federer's last opportunity to complete a career “golden” Grand Slam — he will turn 40 on the day of the closing ceremony next year.

Tennis will feel the loss of the elegant Federer keenly when he walks off the court for the last time.

Djokovic and Nadal have been the dominant forces in recent years but the Swiss remains the biggest draw and last month topped Forbes' list of the world's highest-earning athletes.

His last appearance on court was in front of nearly 52,000 fans — touted by organisers as a world record for tennis — at a charity match against Nadal in Cape Town in February.

Federer is nearly always the crowd favourite wherever he plays and has proved a perfect ambassador for the sport since he won his first Grand Slam title in 2003.

He certainly expects to be back and competitive next year.

“I will be missing my fans and the tour dearly but I will look forward to seeing everyone back on tour at the start of the 2021 season,” he tweeted.

The avalanche of support from his adoring fans showed they would miss him too, but they will have to get used to a time when he is gone for good.