Re: Winter/Spring Hard season
Alize lost yesterday to Cibulkova in the third round of Miami 7-6, 6-4. This was not a good showing for either player and it was a bit ugly to watch at times. Alize had all kinds of chances to win the first set. She was up 5-2 with a two service break lead, but was broken twice in a row to even up the set at 5-5. She broke Domi agin to go up 6-5, but again lost her serve to send it to a tiebreaker. In the breaker Alize fell behind quickly and looked to be out of the set, but Cibulkova couldn't close it out and Alize actually had a set point on her serve at 6-5. Unfortunately she couldn't convert it, and eventually double-faulted the set away.
The second set started with a string of breaks as neither player could hold serve. At one point Alize received a medical time out and was treated on court by the trainer. She had some blue tape on her inner thigh from the start of the match, and the trainer seemed to be stretching her leg during the treatment. It looked to me like Alize was moving just fine around the court and I'm not sure how much this "injury" really affected her. In the end, Domi played the long rallies just a little bit better, and seemed just a little more inspired to win the match. What was really apparent was how ineffective both players first serves were. They both served over 70% on their first serves, but won only 50% of those points. Alize lost 7 of her 11 service games, and its pretty hard to win a match if you can't hold serve.
This was definitely a winnable match because Domi was off her game, but unfortunately so was Alize. I did not see Goven, but Mauresmo and the other Fed Cup coaches were courtside supporting her.