Timea Bacsinszky put Switzerland out in front of France with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over Alize Cornet in the quarterfinals of the Fed Cup. The Swiss will send out Belinda Bencic to face France's Kristina Mladenovic in the second rubber of the tie.
Bacsinszky takes 74-minute first set
In this World Group tie being contested in Geneva, breaks of serve were traded to begin the match. Cornet was threatened again on serve, trailing 0-40, but she managed to save all three for a hold and a 2-1 lead. It was Bacsinszky who would get the next break at 3-3, converting at 30-40 in a game that saw her receive treatment for a wasp sting. She held for a 5-3 lead and looked to have the opening set comfortably in hand.
Bypassing two set points on the Frenchwoman's serve in an 18-point marathon would prove to be costly as Cornet broke to love to square the first set at 5-5. With neither player having an overly powerful serve, it was only a matter of time before another break was to occur and it was the Swiss who achieved it, taking her third chance of the game to go up 6-5 and this time she made no mistake, holding to 15 to take the lead.
Bacsinszky closes out match, gives Swiss 1-0 lead
As with the first set, breaks dominated the opening part of the set. Three straight breaks to 30 gave Bacsinszky the upper hand at 2-1. It was the Frenchwoman who started to find a rhythm on serve, holding comfortably and putting the pressure on Bacsinszky to maintain her edge.
In the eighth game, chances fell to Cornet, but she wasted a 15-40 lead, Bacsinszky winning four consecutive points to hold and take a 5-3 advantage, on the brink of victory.
She then held 15-40 and subsequently two match points on the Frenchwoman's serve before the 43rd-ranked Cornet dug out a tough hold. As she did with the opening set, Bacsinszky held with ease, putting the Swiss ahead in the tie with a pristine crosscourt backhand on her fourth match point.