Switzerland striker Cora Canetta is hoping her side can draw inspiration from Roger Federer's semi-final win at tennis' French Open ahead of their Group A decider against Russia.
Article top media content
After watching tennis player Federer overcome Novak Djoković in a thrilling French Open semi-final, Switzerland striker Cora Canetta hopes her side can draw inspiration from their famous compatriot ahead of Sunday's decisive Group A fixture against Russia.
Yannick Schwery's charges have taken three points from two games to date and a draw against Russia will see them through to the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship semi-finals, qualifying for next year's FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup too. Ahead of the game, the Swiss squad took time out from training to watch Federer get the better of Djoković in an arduous three hours and 39 minutes to reach the final of the prestigious Grand Slam event.
"He's an absolute legend," Canetta, who hails from the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino, told UEFA.com. "I could hardly watch; sometimes it felt like he was only making mistakes whenever I was watching, so I was forcing myself not to watch the TV. But it was impossible because it was so exciting. He won a fantastic match and I hope we can follow his example on Sunday.
"It's the most important game of the tournament for us," the striker continued. "We feel ready. We have to play a great game because it's all or nothing. A draw would be enough for us but we will not play for a draw because it's not our style. We will watch videos of their previous games and our coach will explain the best way of facing them."
Switzerland started the tournament with a 4-1 win against Belgium before losing 1-0 to hosts Italy in a hard-fought game in Cervia. Canetta, who scored six goals in the qualifying campaign, is yet to get off the mark in the finals, though she denies feeling any pressure. "Against Belgium I didn't care at all because we played well and scored four goals," she said. "Against Italy a goal would have been more important but now I must focus on the next game and hope we win it."
Canetta, described by Italy coach Corrado Corradini as a "force of nature" after the game on Thursday, has a great understanding with strike-partner Eseosa Aigbogun, a club-mate at FC Zürich Frauen. "It has to be an advantage for us," she said. "We know each other really well and we like playing together. We know exactly how the other moves when we have the ball."
Fast yet composed, Canetta was often shackled by two Italy defenders, but despite being one of the most feared strikers in the tournament she is keeping her feet on the ground. "I don't think they singled me out for any special attention just because I scored a few goals in qualifying. This tournament is full of good players."
Does she have a role model? "I like many footballers but I have never really followed anyone in particular. I just work hard to improve as a player." Following Federer's example will certainly not hurt.