Delray Beach’s Alpstar Austria Billie Jean King Cup team entered the qualifying round for the Billie Jean King Cup from Gainbridge Finals as stark underdogs. And at least in the first singles match, the United States lived up to their role as favourites. Because Julia Graber clearly lost her opener at the Delray Beach Tennis Center on Friday (local time) in two sets. The woman from Vorarlberg (WTA 78) was only able to challenge the young American star Coco Gauff (WTA 6) in stages, and in the end she had to admit defeat 1: 6, 3: 6 in 63 minutes of play. Then Sinja Kraus tries to be second to the sensation: Viennese (WTA 153) is challenging current world number three Jessica Pegula in the fight for a 1-1 draw.
Grabher is “fully involved” after a nervous start
The first day of the match in the US state of Florida began with a delay: due to a thunderstorm warning, teams and spectators were required to leave the center court and seek shelter after the official performance. After about 45 minutes, the national anthem could be played and Graber and Goff got into their first duel. The current Austrian seed did not get off to a good start. After eight minutes, the score was 2:12 points and 0:3 in the games. Dornbirner caught herself, however, scoring several nice points victories and even had two break opportunities at 1:3, but could not use either of them due to return errors. This was followed by a double break to 1: 5, after a deficit of 0:30 Goff, who lives in Delray Beach and therefore has a two-home advantage, still leads her 1: 0.
In the second round, Grabher maintained a good run from the start. Although she had to give up her double fault serve to go 1:2, she fought back the break with some strong points. But she could not make up for another service loss to reach 2:3. On the contrary: in the end, the double break resulted in losing the match. “Of course I’m disappointed because we’re leading 1-0,” Graber said. “I started nervous and didn’t get into the match very well. It was very aggressive from the start, and I found it difficult to get into the game. But then I really felt that it was getting better with each match. The matches were really tough in the first set. 1:6 looks pretty clear then, And I don’t think it was ever that clear.”
“I still enjoy it”
Also in the second set, Grabher “had so many chances – even when she was 1-0 on her serve”, that she had no chance of breaking, but could have been on the inside a lot more. “You have to use that against a big player, you won’t get a lot of chances. Unfortunately I didn’t use the ones I got as much as I would have imagined,” she said. “I think I was already fully involved, but unfortunately the important points have gone your way.” However, Grabher, who is currently in the world’s top 80 for the first time, found something positive: “I still enjoy it. It was a great atmosphere and atmosphere to play tennis. It’s really fun here and I hope Senja will do better now and I will have Another chance tomorrow.”
2023 Billie Jean King Cup Delray Beach Qualifier Round:
USA – Austria 1-0
Coco Gauff – Julia Graber 6:1, 6:3
Jessica Pegula Singa Krause
Jessica Bigola, Julia Graber
Coco Jove Synga Krause
Danielle Rose Collins / Katie McNally – Sinja Krause / Melanie Klavner
Program at Billie Jean King Cup USA – Austria
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