Except for the 2003 final in which France prevailed, the U.S. have owned France in Federation Cup competition. Their twelfth meeting occurred in Lievin, France on clay. The Americans dominated in the first round by winning three successive rubbers to clinch a semifinal spot.
On Saturday, in the first rubber after Bethanie Mattek-Sands jumped to a 2-0 lead, France’s Alize Cornet rolled off five straight games to build a 5-2 edge. After Mattek-Sands crawled out of a triple break point hole and got to 3-5, she altered her tactics by coming more to the net. It paid off. Mattek-Sands broke Cornet as she served for the set. But, following Mattek-Sands breaking for 6-5, she surrendered the lead at love sending the set to a tiebreaker. A seesaw tiebreaker was ultimately captured by Mattek-Sands.
In the second set, after Cornet broke in the first game, with a sleuth of errors, she allowed Mattek-Sands to level the set. Then, after neither woman relinquished serve, at 5-6, the errors got the better of Cornet. This resulted in Mattek-Sands carrying the initial rubber 7-6,7-5. Cornet’s record now stands at 0-6 in Fed Cup play.
The second match featured Melanie Oudin against Pauline Parmentier. Oudin drew first blood in taking a 3-2 lead. Subsequent to Oudin easily consolidating, Parmentier had 0-30 on Oudin’s serve on various occasions, however, each time the American halted the Frenchwoman. Oudin took the first set 6-4.
In the second set, Oudin finally capitalized on a couple break point opportunities and went ahead 2-1. Yet, on double break point, Oudin double faulted squaring the set at 2 all. After netting a forehand, Oudin faced triple break point. Still, the teenager delivered to arrive at 3 all. Then, with Parmentier serving at 4 all and 40-0, Oudin applied pressure on the second serve and got to deuce. Subsequently, with a forehand return winner, Oudin had a second break point. Oudin converted when Parmentier misfired on a backhand crosscourt. Afterwards, Oudin kept her composure despite a tough game and closed out the match 6-4,6-4.