After cancelling her return in Versmold, Germany, earlier this month, former world No.7 Patty Schyder played her first competitive match in more than four years at 25K Darmstadt on Wednesday, with her seven-month old daughter Kim Ayla closely by her side, including during the Q&A with the media.
Thanks to Tennis Island’s in-depth account, we know that it was a tight three-setter against Sofiya Kovalets, in which Schnyder even served for the match at 5-3 in the second set, but two failed drop shots brought her opponent back to life and Schnyder eventually lost 7-5 4-6 7-5.
Even more interesting than the account from this match is Schnyder’s explanation of her wish to return to the sport:
There’s no particular reason [why]. I just want to enjoy myself and play some stronger opponents. I crave the competition. It’s not like I ever really stopped due to my work as a coach in Hanover and playing in the German league for Braunschweig.
And commenting on her age of 36, Schnyder said:
I don’t feel too old. I’m fit and I want to be challenged!
Most importantly, Scnhyder is enjoying the game, keeping her expectations light and will just go wherever the road takes her, without special plans:
I’m not thinking about any world rankings or set myself any goals, really. I live in the here and now […] My training is within the context of my work as a coach so far. I didn’t do any extra preparation coming here; sure, I could train even more but I’m doing a lot in my life and I do a lot with her, too.