Former Semifinalist Kiki Bertens and Alize Cornet Upset in the 1st Round of French Open 2021

Published 05/31/2021, 7:43 AM EDT


Former top 10 player Kiki Bertens was upset by World No.73 Polona Hercog whereas French player, Alize Cornet was upset by wildcard entrant and World No.149 Harmony Tan in their respective first-round clashes at French Open 2021.

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Alize Cornet struggles against Harmony Tan at French Open 2021

Early on, the rallies were short as Cornet tried to take the initial lead. Tan’s serves were lackluster and Cornet broke her in the first game itself. Cornet’s pinpoint first serves and Tan’s unforced errors saw Cornet take a 2-0 lead. However, because of the consecutive winner from Tan, Cornet gave the break back and the opening set was leveled at 3-3.

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Serving at 3-4, Cornet was trying her best to stay in the rallies. However, as the rally length crossed 10 shots, Tan was the favorite to win and hence she broke Cornet again to serve for the set at 5-3. But Tan also couldn’t hold her nerves, as multiple double faults gave the break back to Cornet. Tan then again targeted Cornet’s first serve to fire in quick returns and eventually break her again and take the first set 6-4.

From a disappointing ending to the first set, Cornet sprung back to break Tan in the first game itself. And quickly in 10 minutes, she was 3-0 ahead in the second set. From here, Tan began her comeback to break Cornet and open her account in the second set. Quickly in under 10 minutes, Tan was back level in the second set 3-3.

Both the players were hardly effective on their serve. Serving at 3-3, Tan was broken in a lengthy game. However, Cornet’s indecisiveness and poor service gave the break back to Tan. Rallies were much shorter and Tan was dominating them. From 4-4, she held on to the match. The wildcard entrant then took the opportunity to break Cornet again and take the match 6-4, 6-4.

Kiki Bertens against Polona Hercog in the first round

Kiki Bertens was visibly struggling early on against Polona Hercog. The first set was a shocker. Bertens hit only six winners and 12 unforced errors. A lengthy first service game saw her lose her serve to Hercog. There was an excellent shot here and there but overall Bertens was bad.

Hercog kept it tight and didn’t allow Bertens to open her arms. Soon she held a 5-0 lead in the opening set and looked to bagel Bertens. But Bertens broke Hercog to open her account in the match. However, Bertens’ awful service games continued, and she lost the first set 6-1.

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Bertens showed glimpses of her old self as she took a 4-1 lead in the second set courtesy of two breaks. Hercog had toned down her intensity and hence was behind Bertens. Quickly Bertens took the second set 6-3.

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In the third set both the players broke each others’ service games, however, Bertens gave up her advantage on multiple occasions and Hercog then received a chance to serve for the match at 5-4. Hercog completed the match – 6-1, 3-6, 6-4.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1071 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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