United Cup: Trevisan wins 3-hour thriller to give Italy lead against Norway

United Cup: Trevisan wins 3-hour thriller to give Italy lead against Norway
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Brisbane, Jan 2 World No. 27 Martina Trevisan fought off an inspired performance from World No. 321 Malene Helgo to deliver an early 1-0 lead for Italy over Norway on Day 5 of the United Cup, here.

The 29-year-old Italian needed more than three hours to dispatch the Norwegian, winning 7-5, 3-6, 6-4 to post her first win of the season, reports unitedcup.com.

Lorenzo Musetti will look to extend Italy’s lead in the second singles match of the day when he faces Viktor Durasovic.

Having defeated Brazil 3-2 in its opening tie, Italy needs a victory over Norway to advance to the Brisbane City Finals. If Norway can engineer an upset over the fifth seeds, Brazil will finish at the top of Group E and advance to Wednesday’s City Finals.

Helgo, who made her WTA Tour debut in her opening loss to Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia, gave the heavily favoured Italians a scare. Behind her phenomenal ball-striking from the baseline, the 23-year-old played well above her sub-300 ranking to build an early 5-2 lead over Trevisan.

But the 2022 French Open semi-finalist dug in to pull off a gritty comeback to take the opening set. Trevisan used her physicality and court vision to extend the points and shrink the court for Helgo, who began to misfire under pressure. The Italian saved two set points en route to running off five consecutive games to take the first set.

Undeterred, Helgo again built an early lead on the Italian veteran in the second set. This time she would not relinquish it. The final set was another see-saw set, as Helgo clawed her way back from a 4-1 deficit to level at 4-4 before Trevisan broke her one last time to seal the hard-fought win after three hours and two minutes.




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