Christina Mchale and Alize Cornet opened this years AEGON Classic in Birmingham, with the American coming through in three sets 4-6 6-2 6-2. The 11th seed Cornet was the first to fall after failing to take advantage of a strong start.
In her first match since the French Open, Cornet looked to have no trouble adapting to the surface change as she raced into a one set lead thanks to an all important break at 4-5. The Frenchwoman failed to to push on in the second set though, winning just six points in the opening four games and never looking like breaking the serve of her lower ranked opponent.
Serve was far less protected to begin the third set with five straight breaks with McHale securing the vital one at 3-2 before holding to stop the rot, but not before saving another break point herself. That would be it for Cornet, who fell into a 0-30 hole and found herself a double break down. McHale looked to show nerves when serving the match out, going down 0-40 but Cornet would help the American with some cheap errors to win 5 points in a row and with it the match.
McHale’s reward for victory is a match with either a qualifier or Monica Puig. Centre Court play continues with Naomi Broady-Ajla Tomljanovic, Garbine Muguruza-Magdalena Rybarikova and Johanna Konta-Jarmila Gajdasova with coverage coming live from the tournament all week.