Melanie Oudin defeated Julie Coin in straight sets to send USA to the semifinals of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.
Knowing that the tie could be decided at the end of her match, Oudin, the US team leader, came out on court with a slight case of the shakes. The American had yet to be in a situation where she could clinch the tie.
“In the beginning, I was a bit nervous and she was serving great, but as the match advanced I got more and more confident and I’m obviously thrilled that I was able to allow the US to go to the semi’s”, said Oudin.
Coin had nothing to lose
On the other hand, Coin, subbing in for Alize Cornet, deemed to distraught from her loss to Bethanie Mattek-Sands by French Captain Nicolas Escude, had absolutely nothing to lose.
Ranked 76th in the world, the French girl broke the shaky Oudin in the opener and consolidated with some impressive serving. Before the beginning of the fifth game, Coin already had five aces under her belt.
The break advantage lasted until the eight game, a moment which coincided with a decrease of Coin’s first serve percentage. Oudin seized the opportunity and broke back to four games apiece.
“I had the break in the first but I was not able to hold on to it. It’s really too bad because I felt good out there,” said Coin. “I took risks and I really wanted to give a point to my team and give Pauline a chance to level the tie.”
The American went up 5-4, but at 30-40, was unable to close out the set thanks to a solid second serve to the body by Coin. France's super sub even had the opportunity to go up 6-5 but was not able to convert the two break points offered to her.
Five consecutive points gave Oudin the tiebreak
At 2-all in the tiebreak, Oudin was the first to cave in serving her sixth double fault of the match. The American, however, quickly reacted by clocking in the next five consecutive points and secured the first set in favour of the 2009 finalists.
At two games all in the second set, Coin saved a break point with yet another solid first serve. But only two points later, the French girl was unable to handle the huge forehand return of serve by the Georgia peach.
Down 3-4, Coin had another chance to get her break back but again Oudin dismissed it with a drive backhand down the line.
After two hours of play, Oudin, on the return of serve, was presented with the first opportunity to seal the tie, but thanks to Coin’s aggressive play, France managed to keep it’s head out of the water.
In the very next game, the American had the chance to serve out the tie. The 53rd player in the world lost only one point sending the US to the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas semifinals.
In order to go back to the finals Mary Joe Fernandez and her team will have to beat either Russia in the United States or Serbia away.