Saturday, July 21, 2012
Hercog vs Johansson in Swedish Open final
Polona Hercog beat Mona Barthel 61 63 to reach the final at the Sony Swedish Open 2012.
Hercog rallied from a break down early in the second set to beat Barthel in just 60 minutes.
"Mona's a rhythm player, hitting flat from both sides, so I had to mix up the rhythm and try to stay focused on every point," Hercog said. "The conditions were difficult with the wind today, but I fought hard and it all came together. I'm feeling more and more confident with every match, so I'm very happy.
"It's amazing - this is the only tournament I'm doing really great results at, two years in a row now. They really make you feel at home here. I think that's why I'm doing so well - you feel good, so everything comes together."
"In a way I'm surprised this is happening so fast, because I'm coming back from a very serious injury," she added. "I'm just happy to be back on court playing my tennis."
In the final, Hercog will face Mathilde Johansson, who defeated Johanna Larsson 64 64.
Johansson was broken in the opening game of both sets but regrouping each time to advance in an hour and 50 minutes.
"The courts are great, but when the winds are on it's tough," Johansson said. "My forehand is getting better but my backhand always saves me."
"Bastad has a surface that suits me well, so if there's a title for me to win it's here," said Larsson, who was a finalist here a year ago. "I had my goal set on reaching the final, so I'm obviously disappointed after losing right now."
Johansson addressed the crowd in Swedish afterwards.
"The spectators know I speak Swedish now so they might cheer for me in the final!" she said. "It has been really fun here. I had never played in Sweden before and now hopefully they know I'm a little Swedish too."
Johansson beat Hercog in their only previous meeting four years ago.
"Mathilde is a great player and very experienced," Hercog said. "She hits very strong from both sides, so I'll just focus on me a little more, work those legs and just go for every shot and not be afraid. I'm looking forward to the final - hopefully a lot of people come to watch. I hope I can show my best tennis again."
Photo Getty Images