Bammer Edges Halep, Austrian Not Done Yet
Published July 13, 2011 12:00
BAD GASTEIN, Austria - She was a point from the end of her career but with one big crosscourt backhand she made sure she would live to fight another day. In her first match of the last tournament of her professional career, Sybille Bammer outlasted one of the best teenagers in the world on Wednesday, beating Romania's Simona Halep in just under three hours, 46 75 76(6).
Bammer broke through in 2007, reaching the Top 20 - all the more impressive considering she is one of a rare breed, a mother-on-tour (her daughter, Tina, was born in 2001). But the former No.19 is now No.148 in the world; she planned to stop after Wimbledon, but after gaining entry into an event this week on home soil in Bad Gastein, she decided to extend her career just a little bit longer.
It seemed to be the right decision. The 31-year-old Bammer rallied from 64 42 down and saved a match point down 6-5 in the third set tie-break to defeat the No.6-seeded, 19-year-old Halep in two hours and 52 minutes. At No.59, Halep is the No.2-ranked teenager in the world (after No.56 Bojana Jovanovski).
"Because I thought I was going to stop after Wimbledon, I was playing here to have fun, and I was just playing point by point," Bammer said. "In the second set I started making less mistakes and it got closer and closer. I kept fighting for every point. At the end I was nervous because I was 5-2 up in the tie-break and wasn't expecting to win today, but I think I got a little bit lucky."
Halep's loss means seven of the tournament's eight seeds fell in the first round. The only seed to make it out of the first round nearly fell in the second round on Wednesday but battled through - Ksenia Pervak, the No.8 seed, saved six match points to squeak past Slovenian qualifier Nastja Kolar, 46 76(8) 62.
Most of the seeded exodus happened on Tuesday, with Top 2 seeds Julia Goerges and Jarmila Gajdosova among the victims. They got on the board with a win in doubles on Wednesday however and a big one too, upsetting top seeds Natalie Grandin and Vladimira Uhlirova, 46 75 105. They even saved a match point as Gajdosova served at deuce down 5-4 in the second set.
Goerges, the top seed and defending champion in singles, was particularly disappointed with the previous day's loss. "It was one of the weakest matches in my career," she said of her 61 26 61 loss to Pous-Tio. "I tried everything but nothing worked. A week ago I had a dental operation and got pills against the inflammation. These make me a little bit tired. Anyway it was a really bad day."
Another notable doubles scoreline saw Klaudia Jans-Ignacik winning her first match as a married woman, as she and Alicja Rosolska, the No.4 seeds this week, dispatched Sarah Borwell and Katalin Marosi, 61 46 108. Read more about Jans-Ignacik's July 2 wedding in Poland by clicking here.