Re: **Articles and Interviews **
ANTWERP, Belgium - No.7 seed Alizé Cornet survived a late wobble to defeat WTA Rising Star Belinda Bencic in the first round of the BNP Paribas Fortis Diamond Games on Tuesday.
Watch live action from Antwerp this week on WTA Live powered by TennisTV!
After recovering from a disastrous opening set, in which she won just nine points, Cornet appeared to be coasting towards victory when she took an equally one-sided second and then moved 3-1 ahead in the decider. However, with both players struggling to hold onto their serve, a nervous finale was always on the cards.
And so it proved, Bencic hanging doggedly onto Cornet's coattails. The Frenchwoman eventually got across the line, ending a run of four straight breaks to close out a 1-6, 6-2, 7-5 win.
"I have long matches quite often, I have to say," Cornet said. "Today, it was one more fight for me and I'm happy I got through finally. The end of the third set was really tight - there was only two or three points in it - and I was fighting for every point."
Cornet was part of the French Fed Cup team that upset Italy in Genoa last weekend, and the transition from clay to hard was not a seamless one. "In one week you get used to the clay and then you only have a few days to get used to the hard again. Even though the court is pretty slow here, in the beginning of the match, I was completely lost on the court, but I used the weapons I had and in the end it was enough."
- Maria Kirilenko -
Singles Titles: 25k Irapuato 15', 100k Contrexeville 14', 50k Burnie 14', 50k Limoges 13'
Doubles Titles: WTA Beijing 15', 25k Irapuato 15', 100k Contrexeville 14', WTA 's-Hertogenbosch 14', 50k Osprey 14', WTA Auckland 14', 25k Westende 13', 25k Koksijde 13'