Day-1. R1: Caroline Garcia def. Sloane Stephens (France up 1-0)
First set: Caroline Garcia managed two breaks to Sloane’s one and easily stole the set 6-3.
Second set: Sloane was broken right out of the gate, and Garcia quickly went up 2-0. Stephens then held and broke back to make it 2-all…BUT was immediately broken again to fall behind 2-3. Garcia held. Then up 4-2 (40-30), she broke Sloane again, ripping a huge forehand winner deep in the corner. With a quick service win, Garcia put France up 1-0 in the Playoff Tie.
Not a bad result for her first ever Fed Cup match, just a week removed from winning her first ever WTA title.
Day-1. R2: Madison Keys def. Alize Cornet (All even at 1-1)
Coming off her fourth career WTA title last week in Katowice, Alize Cornet was the heavy favorite against Madison Keys. Playing in only her second Fed Cup Tie for Team USA, Madison was unintimidated by the #21 player in the world…and it showed.
First set: Alize jumped out to a 3-1 lead, scoring a break in Madison’s second service game. Pissed at herself, Madison battled through several deuce points, had two great opportunities to break back, but Cornet cut-through to make it 4-1. Just when it felt like the first set was an afterthought, Keys broke Alize at 2-4 to get back on serve…only to give the break right back. In the ninth game, Cornet was two points away from closing out the set, but Keys wouldn’t give-in and threw down the match’s third consecutive break. With the crowd back in it, Madison evened the match at 5-all and held serve through to the tiebreak…where she fell 4-7 to Cornet. Not the result Madison wanted, but the most competitive tennis we’d seen all day at Chaifetz.
Second set: Cornet scored her first service-break before the first sit-down to go up 2-1. Pissed again, Keys fought another long back-and-forth “deuce duel,” but couldn’t get it done and fell beind 1-3. After winning her next service game, Keys finally broke back to even the set at 3-all. Up 4-3, Cornet then took a medical timeout to receive a rub-down on her left knee and thigh – Madison’s chance to smell blood. While Cornet won her next service game, Keys then strung together three games in-a-row to go up 6-5, her first lead in the entire match. Cornet then forced another tiebreak where (LIFE!) Madison won it 7-4 to force a third set.
Third set: Struggling with her left leg, Cornet elected to continue…and promptly lost her first service game in the deciding set. No worries, Madison would fumble through the next game and hand the break right back. Do you see a pattern? We opened the third set with three breaks and Keys up 2-1. After the sit-down, she hammered four first serves to jump ahead 3-1 and broke Cornet again. Cornet broke right back, but the “holdless” trend continued. Serving for the match up 5-2…any guesses what happened? Yep. Keys couldn’t hold her serve, but eventually pulled it out 6-3.
Remarkable first Fed Cup win for Madison Keys 6-7(4), 7-6(4), 6-3 – and we’re all even in St. Louis after Day-1.
Tomorrow’s “scheduled” live rubbers here at Chaifetz Arena, starting at 12:30 CDT:
- R3: Sloane Stephens vs. Alize Cornet
- R4: Madison Keys vs. Caroline Garcia
- R5: Lauren Davis/Christina McHale vs. Claire Feuerstein/Virginie Razzano
In other Fed Cup play around the world….
FED CUP WORLD GROUP SEMIFINALS
- In the Czech Republic, Czech Republic leads Italy 2-0.
- In Australia, Germany leads Australia 2-0
FED CUP WORLD GROUP PLAYOFFS
- In Russia, Russia leads Argentina 2-0
- In Canada, Canada leads the Slovak Republic 2-0
- In Spain, Spain and Poland are tied 1-1
FED CUP WORLD GROUP II PLAYOFFS
- In Romania, Romania leads Serbia 1-0 / Sorana Cirstea def. Ana Ivanovic in 3-sets. Simona Halep is up 3-1 on Bojana Jovanovski. Rain delay…
- In the Netherlands, Japan and the Netherlands are tied 1-1
- In Sweden, Sweden leads Thailand 2-0
- In Brazil, Switzerland leads Brazil 2-0