We are live and direct from Marseille, France, as the 2016 edition of the Federation Cup is about to start! Italy has to face one of the European most dangerous and solid team to get through the first round of World Group I.
The Italian team lead by captain Corrado Barazzutti lines its best players available up and chooses our Sara Errani as its diamond point to match Les Bleus, deprived of their Top Player Alizé Cornet – reports say the reason was a not so proper condition and a recent lack of positive results. Amélie Mauresmo has therefore honour Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia to be France’s premières dames in both Singles matches against Sarita and Camila Giorgi.
Our girls take the early lead thanks to the 3-sets victory of the Marche native over France’s n.1 (1-6, 6-4, 6-1) and rely on our warrior to take the second point home against the grim Garcia – who has the favour of the records (3-2) even though it was Sara who won the last match played on hardcourt in Beijing: the two equally know each other’s game but the Saint-Germain-en-Laye born, galvanized by the incessant cheer of France’s loudest supporters, does not fail a single chance to put her best effort on the field and show her world-class tennis to grab the lead in the 6th game and flex her muscles to finish – she did not even flinch when our Sarita managed to forced her back against the wall on a crucial 5-4 disadvantage in the 2nd set. Final score: 3-6, 5-7.
Even the tie gained at the end of the 1st day of play, the home team reach the Palais des Sports on Sunday morning just as they left it a few hours before, as Mladenovic is already baring her teeth at Errani on the other side of the net. The records stand in favour of the 23-year-old Saint-Pol-sur-Mer born, nevertheless Sarita already proved herself to be capable of invalidate her power-based tennis on this surface - Toronto 2015 (5-7, 6-1, 6-0) – and does not fail to show it again throughout the whole first set. But as the 8th game approaches it becomes more and more clear that the match has turned into a war of nerves. Both players charge the opponent with a harsh give and take that reaches its final point into a lethal tie-break: unfortunately the French is the one to have more energy stored and does not miss the right chance to put on a 4-1 break and close it up. Sarita pays this loss and struggles for the rest of match, having quite a difficulty to climb back into it. Final score: 6-7, 1-6.
So Italy’s payback opportunities over the France team for the home loss received back in Genoa flies away. On the other hand, the need for the World Group I Playoff stays for the second consecutive year and, oppositely to the previous, it will be held away in Spain’s Top10s Muguruza and Suarez Navarro home.