Torrential rain in the morning meant that the players only took the court over two hours after their intended start time – and even then had to endure another 15-minute delay midway through their warm-up for another last shower to pass. Unsurprisingly, the opening stages of the match were somewhat patchy. After an error-strewn exchange of breaks, it was the Ukrainian who settled first, nullifying Flipkens’ serve-and-volley tactic with pacy returning and capturing the first break as the Belgian struggled to find her usual touch on the dropshot.
Once Flipkens began to construct points with some more care, though, the World No.69 was able to showcase a classic grass-court repertoire en route to turning the set around. Swarming the forecourt at every opportunity, Flipkens’ skill and creativity at net was a delight.
Meanwhile, the Tsurenko serve was oscillating between weapon and weakness. The Brisbane finalist would be broken back on a double fault, but would save two set points – one at 4-5 and a second at 6-7 in a marathon tiebreak – with clutch service winners. Flipkens, though, was in full flow after overturning a 0-3 deficit in the tiebreak with a series of brilliant backhand volleys, and kept the pressure on – and facing her third set point, Tsurenko would double fault for a third time.