The first match of the day in Stanford produced an upset as Zheng Saisai defeated the number seven seed, Alizé Cornet, 6-4 6-1. It looked set to be a long match after Zheng needed six deuces to get her first hold of serve. The opener was a gruelling affair and there were many long baseline rallies as you would expect. However, there were some really, really, really fun points with both players coming forward. The point linked below is an absolute stunner… you’ll be hard pushed to find a better point all year!
Cornet was up an early break in the first set but failed to consolidate with double faults creeping into her game. Zheng settled down and began to win through with her variety; it’s been wonderful to see how she has developed her game in the past few years. Zheng is always coming forward, slicing, and generally mixing it up. While it doesn’t always come off, I really admire the intent. I’m always impressed when I watch Zheng but am slightly puzzled by some of the losses in between when I haven’t been able to watch her matches!
After serving out the first set, Zheng grew in confidence as Cornet, looking hot and bothered in the sun, really fell away. In particular, Cornet’s serve collapsed in the second set. Cornet won just four points on her serve in the second set (0% second serve points won) and had a couple of calamitous serves as she looked up in annoyance at the sun. There seemed to be more going on than just the conditions though!
Zheng moves into the quarter-finals of the Bank of the West Classic where she will play Jo Konta on Friday.