The opening rubber saw Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky take on France’s Alizé Cornet. It turned out to be a match full of breaks with the Swiss having the slight edge to grab the first set 7-5. Cornet was keeping up with Bacsinszky but the Swiss was growing better as the match went on and sealed the victory in straight sets to give Switzerland a great start.
Set of breaks goes the way of the Swiss
Bacsinszky was off to a flying start breaking Cornet’s serve to love with some sublime winners. Cornet was immediately on the front foot though setting up break points with a delightful drop shot before leveling 1-1. The Frenchwoman, however, was forced back again by the Swiss but this time dug her way out of trouble holding serve from 0-40 down for 2-1.
It was getting a lot tighter between the two with some incredible shot-making from both players. However, there was a temporary stoppage at 3-3, 30-30 on Cornet’s serve as Bacsinszky received treatment for a bee sting. It somehow became an advantage for the Swiss who immediately got the break to take the lead again. The Frenchwoman tried to put pressure back but Bacsinszky hung on to consolidate the break for 5-3. Pressure, however, was back on the Frenchwoman and the Swiss was working the court so well pulling Cornet side to side to carve out match point. The Frenchwoman saved it but was far from safety as Bacsinszky kept coming up with the goods. Cornet eventually weathered the storm in an 11-minute game saving two set points in the process.
That grit paid off as she played some great returns and earned the break back to level for 5-5. The match was getting intense and it was another tough game for the Frenchwoman. After saving a handful of break points, it was one too many as she caved in giving Bacsinszky another chance to serve for the set. This time the Swiss kept her composure and was able to close out the set.
Bacsinszky finds the edge
The second set started off like the first set as both players exchanged breaks. Bacsinszky was all over the Cornet serve again and the Frenchwoman fluffed her drop shot attempt to hand yet another break to the Swiss. And Bacsinszky was looking in control now as she held her game to love to open up a 3-1 lead.
Both seemed to have found their serve again though as they held their games with ease. Cornet stepped it up in the eighth game and was almost rewarded with the break back. Bacsinszky though came up with huge serves to save both break points before coming up with a big hold for 5-3. Momentum was back on the Swiss side and with some smart play she carved out a couple of match points on the Frenchwoman’s serve. Cornet was unfazed though and held to force the Swiss to serve for the match on her own.
Bacsinszky though had a medical timeout for what looked like leg cramps at the changeover. At the resumption, the Swiss maintained her level and set up triple match points. She missed the first but eventually capitalized with aplomb to seal the first rubber for the Swiss team.