LINZ, October 4, 2019
Ahead of the start of the Upper Austria Ladies Linz, former World No. 1 Mats Wilander visited the WTA International Event and met his Eurosport colleague and tournament’s ambassador Barbara Schett. On Friday, the 55-year-old TV pundit from Sweden spoke about their relationship and his opinion about women’s tennis.
Q: You visited the Upper Austria Ladies Linz in 2017. Which memories do you have?
Wilander: I remember that great tennis was played in Linz and that the tournament had a great atmosphere. You could feel the long tradition. The audience was incredibly supportive and enthusiastic.
Have you used the leather trousers that we gave you?
No I have not used them in public.
Barbara Schett is the tournament’s ambassador in Linz. She has been your Eurosport colleague for many years. What do you like about her? Jobwise? And as a person?
Barbara is a great friend first of all. I’ve known her for way longer than just since Eurosport started. Sometimes we talk about, can you imagine we’re now working together 20 years after we met for the first time. I like that she knows the game (nearly) as good as me …
She has a very positive outlook on life and her job, very easy to work alongside her. Never any problems that can not be solved. She’s extremely well prepared for every show we do, so I can’t “bullshit” to much cause she’ll challenge me on air live. So every day at the Grand Slams is a structured “adventure” where facts and opinions are both important. She was a great player herself, which makes my job much more interesting while talking about the game.
Last time you were in Linz you spoke about how exciting women’s tennis is in these years and that your are a fan. What’s your opinion on this season’s women’s tennis quality, the upcoming stars, as finesse in the women’s game?
I love the women’s game at the moment because of the depth with so many players than can beat anyone at anytime. To try and guess who’s going to be the champion is very hard these days, which is so exciting. Compared to the men’s game where there’s really only Novak, Rafa and Roger that can still win.
Also the young women are very complete in their technique hitting the tennis ball, plus they are great athletes, movement and physical strength and flexibility is amazing. Maybe the best female athletes in any sport are tennis players ! And last but not least, they show so much passion in the attitude and body language these days.
For more information and tickets, please visit the tournament’s official homepage.