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On 30-all, Maria – who’s not settled at all – slices a forehand long, but responds with a heavier serve down the T, and it’s too good for Niemeier. She can’t press home her first advantage, botching a lob under pressure when Niemeier charges to the net, then an ace is followed by a double. But she eventually closes out, securing her first game for 1-2.
A nervy service game from Niemeier that includes a double, but on 40-30 her footwork gets her forehand-side of the ball and means she can go line or cross; she picks the latter, dematerialising a winner that’ll have her feeling pretty good about life. She leads 2-0.