Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fed Cup day one wrap up.

Before today, Alizé Cornet had never won a Fed Cup match - in fact, a couple of tough defeats in the team competition seemed to be a factor in her sudden loss of confidence a couple of years ago. But in Moscow on Saturday she turned things around in spectacular style, defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6 6-3 6-4 to give France an unexpected lead in the Russian capital.

In the absence of her country's Top 20 stars, Marion Bartoli and Aravane Rezai, 67th-ranked Cornet is France's No.1 player this weekend. But despite falling behind a set and 2-0, and rolling her ankle in the decider, the 21-year-old rose to the challenge magnificently.

"When I came back to my chair and to my captain, I didn't know what condition my ankle was in," said Cornet, who showed flashes of her best form by reaching the third round of last month's Australian Open. "But I said to myself, I would rather die than give up on this match, and I would have played with one leg, such was my desire not to retire."

Cornet's teammate, Virginie Razzano, was certainly inspired: Beaten by Maria Sharapova in Melbourne, Razzano turned the tables on the Russian today with an emphatic 6-3 6-4 win. The result left Russia one defeat away from being eliminated in the first round for the first time in six years.

Also facing the prospect of April's World Group relegation play-offs are the United States and Slovakia, who both slumped to 0-2, against Belgium and the Czech Republic respectively.

In Antwerp, Yanina Wickmayer got the Belgians off to a flying start when she beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 6-1 7-6(6). Although Melanie Oudin rallied in the second set of her match against world No.2 Kim Clijsters, the new Australian Open champion stayed in the driver's seat for a 6-0 6-4 win.
In Bratislava, Daniela Hantuchova and Dominika Cibulkova could not withstand the onslaught of Czech lefties Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova. Hantuchova kept it close with Safarova until 5-5 in the first set but thereafter won just one game, falling 7-5 6-1. Cibulkova fought bravely against in-form Kvitova but was ultimately overpowered, 6-2 6-3.

"I didn't feel that good, that confident on the court," said Hantuchova, who suffered an Achilles strain in Australia, and arrived back home short of matches. "That's not an excuse, I went out there to try my best, but it just didn't work today. When you're playing well, playing at home can give you a real boost, but if you're a bit nervous, it can make things tricky."

The other World Group tie is more evenly poised, with Australia and Italy 1-1 after a thrilling day's play in Hobart.

First Jarmila Groth, making her Fed Cup debut for Australia a month after she won her second WTA Title at the Moorilla Hobart International, scored a career-best win over fourth-ranked Francesca Schiavone, 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3. Then Flavia Pennetta leveled for the visitors by beating Samantha Stosur for the fourth time in four outings, 7-6(5) 6-7(5) 6-4. Stosur actually served for both of the first two sets.

Eight countries are also doing battle in World Group II: Germany and Slovenia; Ukraine and Sweden; Estonia and Spain; and Serbia and Canada. Heading into Sunday's reverse singles, all four ties are level at a win apiece.


Carlos said...

Moi Lolita made her comeback at the AO 11. I expected her to go down at best in the second round. She reached the third round and lost to eventual champion Kim (Kookie Monster :P ). I'm glad to see Moi Lolita playing with confidence because last year she was a total mess at the Fed Cup.

I'm seeing the downward spiral of Divapova; see the Moi Lolita or Lickitongue story. Captain do you think you will get invited to Divapova's wedding? I'm thinking that I won't be. I'm convinced when she hears or see my name she goes "Grrrrr" :P

Checking Fed Cup history it goes in cycles, the last decade dominated by the Russians with four titles. 90s by the Spaniards and the Gringos (U.S.) :P with four titles each. 80s by Czechoslovakia 4 and Gringos 3. 70s Aussies and Gringos with four each. 60s Gringos 4 and Aussies 3.

The Gringo in me misses the U.S. dominance in Fed Cup haha :P

By looking at my crystal ball I see a big screw in the Gringo's Fed Cup future. :P

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

And she put up quite a fight against Kimmie as well! I was impressed by her career turn around.

I think Divapova will retire in a year two! No, ahaha, Im not expecting an invite to the wedding :P Not after she heard what I said about her! I blam the princess for telling her! :P Ahahah.

The "Gringo's" have always been a strong force, but that will soon end IMO, unless the promising young stars start to shine!

Carlos said...

Yes she did put up a fight against Kim, thank you for reminding me.

The Princess told on you? Damn, and I ask her to help me because I was thinking of crashing Divapova's wedding. I just want to make Divapova mad, again. :P

IMO The Gringos dominance ended last decade.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Yes! I thought I could trust her...clearly i was wrong! It would be best to get is a "guest" of Sasha! Get friendly with the Lakers, thats your way to the wedding!

The dominance ended because the Williams sisters wont play Fed Cup, its that simple!

Carlos said...

I hate the Lakers! It is best that I hang with the paparazzi. : P

You are 100% correct Captain. The U.S. Should had added a few more titles if the Williams sisters would have played.

Why is Divapova playing on the Russian Fed Cup? Does it has to do with the olympics? She is the type of person who doesn't take a false step.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Ahaha, that could work too!

Mary Jo should have been tougher on them, and made them play nearly every tie, or don't play at all! But like most she is probably intimidated by them!

I assume its for the purpose to get in the olympic team! She only played one match anyway, then pulled out! Maybe she loathes Fed Cup so much she will fake injury to get out of it and still find her way to the olympics!

Carlos said...

The Russian Federation should ban Divapova for pretending to be Russian and pretending to care about the Fed cup. :P

Post a Comment