PARIS, France - Unseeded Alizé Cornet moved into the third round of Roland Garros for the fifth time in her career with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over No.20 seed Barbora Strycova on Thursday.
A tightly contested first set on Philippe-Chatrier Court took over an hour to complete, featured four multi-deuce games and ultimately turned on Cornet's superior break point conversion rate. The Frenchwoman took three of five chances while her Czech opponent could only break twice from seven opportunities.
The 27-year-old World No.43 sustained her momentum into the second set as her rival's unforced error tally began to mount, eventually reaching a total of 36. Cornet, meanwhile, countered Strycova's net-rushing strategy with pinpoint lobs and clever passes and, on match point, came out on top of an all-court cat-and-mouse point to move into the third round.
It was the first time Cornet had beaten the Czech since 2014. Though she had enjoyed an early dominance in their head-to-head, taking their first five encounters, Strycova had begun to turn the tables in recent years with a pair of victories in Antwerp 2015 and the 2016 Fed Cup final.
After the match, the Czech attributed her loss to her failure to take her opportunities: "I had so many break points, and I didn't do it. And I had so many chances and I didn't do it," she said. "If you have so many chances and you are not able to do it and you are kind of, like, thinking about it and it's getting worse and worse... at the end, it's just looking like that you're playing bad."
More to follow...