French Open 2018: Cornet holds off late surge of Errani in three sets
Alize Cornet kept the French hopes together on opening day of the French Open this Sunday. Despite being away from competition for a time, her return to Roland Garros had a fine ending against Sara Errani winning in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 6-3 on Philippe Chatrier Court.
The two Euro stars of the sport got pitted in an eighth meeting and the second in Paris. The Italian held the series lead defeating Cornet last year in Rome, in straight sets.
Both players have struggled to get back into the groove of heavy competition with both struggling to get a grip. While the French star has the home advantage, it would be up to her skills to hold back Errani’s effort to pull off an upset against the 32nd seed.
The Italian came out blazing in the opening set, rattling the French hopeful severely for a sizable lead. Errani had a lead before Cornet managed to get a game under her belt.
Despite the second serve being a struggle for Cornet, she got a second victory, but no further ground made up as Errani closed out the set in 38 minutes.
The second went much better for Cornet, as she got some energy from her countrymen to get a grip in the set.
She had plenty of focus and the support of the home crowd to overtake Errani early on and hold through the eight games to even the match at one all.
The first serve of Cornet’s was on top of things, as she landed more than 70 percent, limiting the number of serves she had to take from the second. Her 14 winners against Errani and the return game gave her a real shot at making it a tough finish for the Italian to overcome.
She made it a 4-1 run right away in the deciding set, looking well suited to close the match. Errani held in the sixth and began to improve on the first serve taking the next two games from a frustrated Cornet.
After searching for a shot at having a fifth game in her possession, it came to her in the eighth with chances still available to capture the match.
With her chance to serve for the match in the ninth, Cornet had two match points but, lost them due to unforced errors that sent Errani to deuce hunting down another game.
It was a short tug of war that went two breaks but, in the end, and just under two hours, the French star held it together on her second AD point and third match point attempt to complete the victory.
Cornet’s first serve got her out of trouble again finishing her day with 68 percent of points coming from it.
The effort to bring out more winners than errors helped her keep Errani back, while the Italian also struggled to remain consistent since the opening set.
While she made the early departure, Cornet would march into Wednesday’s all French second round facing either Chloe Paquet or Pauline Parmentier.