The winners of yesterday’s rubbers took to the court first with Caroline Garcia of France facing off against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic. It was the Frenchwoman who came out firing from the blocks with solid service games to take the first set. Pliskova then found her range and first serves to force a third set. And in the third set, Garcia always looked to have the edge and a late break helped her to seal her second win of the finals and give France a 2-1 advantage.
Garcia with consistent serving takes the first set
Garcia with an ace to snuff out the early break chance before going on to hold to start off the match. The Frenchwoman then set up chances of her own with a drop shot that Pliskova could only hit back into the net. The Czech, however, used her big serves to dig herself out of trouble. Her serve was once again put to test though and this time the pressure got to Pliskova with Garcia burying a return winner to take a 3-1 lead.
The Frenchwoman consolidated the break and Pliskova looked to have found her range hanging on to stay within touch of the French number one. Garcia on her part was stamping her authority with a solid service game as she stretched her lead to 5-2. The Czech did what she had to force Garcia to serve for the set. The Frenchwoman did not let the pressure get to her as she went on to clinch the first set 6-3.
Pliskova fights back to take the second set
Pliskova had the perfect start to the second match with some smart play to break Garcia’s serve for the first time with a delicious return to build a 2-0 lead before holding her own serve to extend it to 3-0. The Frenchwoman eventually stopped the rot with a love hold to get herself back in the set. The Czech was pulling away though and almost got the double break in the sixth game. Garcia’s serve was under scrutiny but it was able to hang tough and the Frenchwoman was able to see off Pliskova’s attempts to hold for 2-4.
Garcia had another tough service game and a double fault handed the Czech her first set point at 5-2. Pliskova, however, had too much on her return as Garcia escaped momentarily. The Czech continued piling on the pressure earning herself another set point after an error from the Frenchwoman. Garcia, however, was up to the task going on to save it yet again before coming up with an important hold for 3-5. With the set on her racket, Pliskova set up triple set points with her sixth ace and sealed it with a forehand crosscourt winner to bring the match to a decider.
Garcia with the slight edge sinks Pliskova
Garcia was the first to create a chance to get in front courtesy of errors from the Czech but the Frenchwoman rushed her shot into the net as Pliskova survived to make it 1-1 at the start of the third set. The set progressed in similar fashion with the Frenchwoman holding with relative ease while Pliskova’s serve was put under pressure each time. The Czech though hung on to make it 3-3.
Garcia had a chance at 4-3 as Pliskova handed break point with pressure mounting. The French number one absolutely smashed her return to the delight of the French crowd to go 5-3 ahead. Garcia kept her nerves under control and converted her match point to give France the 2-1 lead.