Fed Cup: Solid Kiki Bertens gives Netherlands winning start against Caroline Garcia
Bertens giving Netherlands a winning start | Photo: Fed Cup

The first singles rubber in the semifinal tie saw Caroline Garcia take on Kiki Bertens. Having won their only previous meeting, Bertens would be looking to build on that. She did just that with a solid performance from start to finish. Garcia was barely able to make any headway as she succumbed in straight sets. Bertens’ 6-4, 6-2 victory gives Netherlands the perfect start.

Quality serving from Bertens sees her take the first set

Bertens settled in from the start, getting the early break after a nervous Garcia landed her forehand wide. Garcia though came firing back, earning a triple break point opportunity. The chances though went as quick as they came as Bertens hit a couple of aces and some huge serves to consolidate for 2-0.

Garcia succumbs to an early break | Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images
Garcia succumbs to an early break | Photo: Jean-Francois Monier/Getty Images

With the way Bertens was serving, it was hard for Garcia to make any headway on the Dutchwoman’s serve. She did win a couple of points in the fifth game, but it wasn’t enough as the Dutchwoman continued holding her games with ease. Garcia though kept herself within distance trailing by just the one break at 3-4.

Serving to stay in the set at 3-5 down, Garcia kept her head and closed out the game to force Bertens to serve it out. The Dutch though was in control as she served her way through to take the first set 6-4 in 40 minutes.

Bertens too strong for Garcia

As the players held their serves to start the second set, Bertens got her first chance to break in the third game. A Garcia forehand found the net instead as the Dutch edged to take 2-1 lead. Garcia again carved out a chance of her own after a superb return on Berten’s second serve. That seemed to do the trick as Garcia once again was well within the baseline, attacking the Dutch’s serve and this time found the break back for 2-2.

Bertens kept the pressure before racing away | Photo: Fed Cup
Bertens kept the pressure before racing away | Photo: Fed Cup

The match was opening up now as Bertens once again got a couple of opportunities to break in the fifth game. The Frenchwoman saved both but fell after the Dutchwoman capitalized on her third chance for a 3-2 lead. Bertens maintained her lead with a love hold. The match was getting away from Garcia as a poor game saw her hand Bertens triple break point. A disappointing double fault then gifted the game to the Dutchwoman who led 5-2. There was no stopping a confident Bertens who closed out a convincing 6-4, 6-2 victory in 71 minutes.

Winning numbers for Bertens

The quality of serving from the Dutch player was one of the keys today as she won 87 percent of her first serves while Garcia just managed to win 56 percent of hers.

Garcia was also making too many errors, hitting 42 of them while Bertens kept hers to 27.