In the first doubles match of the day in Singapore, it was matchup between the fourth-seeded team of Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic against sixth-seeded Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears. Both teams were looking to get off the mark and knew that a win would massively help their chances of advancing out of the Red Group. The French and Hungarian duo would be the team to get off the mark with a 7-6(5), 6-2 win over the Americans.
Phenomenal Set Of Tennis Taken By Mladenovic And Babos
The Americans were off the mark first by getting a break in the second game of the match to go up 2-0. However, Babos and Mladenovic broke right back at 30 and would level the match at two apiece with a hold of their own. In the fifth game was some tremendous tennis with the first point as Spears showed off some quick reflexes at the net, but it was Mladenovic who would hit a winner between the Americans to get them off the mark to start the game.
Spears was even better in the opening point of the sixth game as the Frenchwoman drilled a forehand right at her but was able to get by just getting a racket on it. Babos would dump it into the net as the Americans were growing in confidence. Both pairs were solid the rest of the set as neither faced a break point, and a tiebreak was needed to determine the opening set.
Mladenovic continued to be a force to be reckoned with for Kops-Jones and Spears as Kops-Jones hit a lob return at 3-all in the breaker, only for the Frenchwoman to hit a scorching forehand right past her. Now down 4-5, it was Babos’ turn to hit a forehand winner. She would take Spears’ backhand volley and perfectly placed it deep into the doubles alley to make it five-all. Phenomenal reflexes were shown by Spears, Babos, and Mladenovic on the all-important 11th point of the breaker. It was Mladenovic though who would get her racket on a Spears volley and lobbed her as Kops-Jones was unable to get to it. The Hungarian-French duo led 6-5 and took the set off a Kops-Jones double fault.
Absolute Class From Mladenovic And Babos As They Dominate Second Set To Take It In Straights
The Frenchwoman continued her fine display of skills as Spears’ half-volley floated up for Babos to hit a forehand pass, but Mladenovic was all over it as she poached it away from her own teammate to hit a backhand volley winner past Kops-Jones. Another winner, this time a backhand return, was hit by Mladenovic off Kops-Jones’ serve to break and gave them a 3-1 lead.
Babos would get in on the fun as she lobbed Spears and would get to the ball with a blind flick, but once again, it was the Frenchwoman who would come up with the winner on the angled drop volley. On match point, Mladenovic blasted a backhand return winner to take the match.
Despite a second straight sets loss, Kops-Jones/Spears can still advance, but it will take a lot of help. they cannot mathematically top the group though. Babos and Mladenovic sit on good terms with and can advance or tope the group.
Kops-Jones/Spears advance if:
they win their match in straights, Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza win in straights, and their win-loss percentage in games puts them second in the group.
Babos/Mladenovic top the group if:
they win their match in straights and Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka win in three OR
they win their match in straights and Hlavackova/Hradecka win in three and their win-loss percentage in games puts them top of the group
they win their match and Kops-Jones/Spears win, regardless of how many sets each win is by OR
Babos/Mladenovic advance if:
Kops-Jones/Spears win in straights, Hingis/Mirza win in straights, and their win-loss percentage in games places them second in the group OR
Kops-Jones/Spears win in straights and Hingis/Mirza win in three OR
they win their match in straights and Hlavackova/Hradecka win in three and their win-loss percentage in games puts them second in the group