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Game, Schett and match

 

If certain sections of the media are to be believed then Barbara Schett is the new Anna Kournikova.

 

It seems that even the Wimbledon officials were in agreement as they switched the Austrian's first round encounter with Maja Matevzic from Court 18 to Court One on Tuesday.

 

But despite the south London evening sunshine, Schett failed to demonstrate the same crowd 'pulling power' as Kournikova.

 

True it was after 1810 BST by the time her match begun, but the seats would surely have filled up quicker had a certain Russian been on court.

Those that were on the show court warmed to the number 21 seed, but it took time.

It was 24 minutes before she prompted the first cry of 'come on Barbara' from the stands, and it didn't come from the anticipated youthful male voice.

She was not so slow in grabbing the attention of the press photographers.

From the outset 21 long lenses were focused on her frame continually.

 

And the shot they were sure to all want came as Schett produced an overhead smash in the tenth game that almost left her doing the splits.

But Matevzic, ranked 147 in the world, wanted some of the attention for herself.

 

And for a while she got it, taking the first set 6-4 and then breaking Schett in the opening game of the second.

 

It even prompted four or five cameramen to take the odd picture of her and the journalist from The Mirror looked concerned about the tournament future of the player in which her paper had invested.

But Schett responded as the applause of the said journalist increased in volume.

Schett took the second 6-2 and then advanced after an 8-6 win in the third.

 

"I needed some time to get my rhythm, but then I felt really comfortable and the crowd was behind me," said Schett.

 

"It's great if people are supportive and cheer for me. Why they cheer, I don't think about, it's just nice that they are behind me."

 

Wolf-whistles greeted Schett's departure from the court, but maybe she had not had the impact some editors hoped and expected.