WG 05 R1: Fra-Swe
He he Wilander has already started the trash talk.
Wilander is not intimidated by the clay
France has chosen clay as a surface for the DC tie vs. Sweden this spring which will be played indoors.
-They rather choose a surface that suits us badly than one that suits them the best, says DC captain Mats Wilander to SVT Sport.
-Their best player, Grosjean, isn't comfortable on clay. But they're afraid of "Pim-pim" Johansson and the fast game of Söderling, says the former clay-court specialist, and he admits his coaching is at its best on clay.
-On clay it's more about waiting for the right opportunity. Me, I went for doing as few mistakes as possible instead of pushing for a deciding shot, says Wilander modestly.
Hoping for a change of generations
Wilander counts in the six players he has to work with. Five of which ranked among the top 60: Joachim Johansson(16), Jonas Björkman(47), Thomas Johansson(48), Robin Söderling(50) and Thomas Enqvist(59), furthermore rising star Michael Ryderstedt.
But Wilander isn't quiet about his dream scenario.
-I hope Söderling and "Pim-pim" will take over now. They could play well on clay. Söderling was good in Båstad(semifinals) and away they don't have to feel the pressure.
None of the players will have the opportunity to practise on clay before the tie. But Wilander is optimistic:
-I guess the French think they will have an easier time readjusting their game to clay. But I'm not sure about that, I think it's a 50/50 chance. And serving is still an important element and in that area we're probably the stronger part.
The tie is played in Strasbourg March 4-6