Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bartoli Beats Ana for QF

Maria Sharapova had very few problems at the Bank of the West Classic on Thursday, racing past Olga Govortsova, 6-3 6-3.

Sharapova, the No.5 seed, was playing Govortsova for the first time and despite double faulting in the first point of the match and subsequently losing her serve, she got her mojo back right away, needing just an hour and 19 minutes to make it past the Belarusian in straight sets and into the quarterfinals.

Sharapova is playing this tournament for just the second time, having also made it to the quarterfinals last year, where she fell to Venus Williams.

Next up for Sharapova will be this week's No.2 seed, Elena Dementieva. Sharapova leads Dementieva in their head-to-head, 8-3, but did lose their most recent meeting, on hardcourts a year ago in the final of Toronto.

Earlier, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Kirilenko snapped up quarterfinal berths. Kirilenko rallied from a break down in both sets to upset No.6 seed Shahar Peer, 6-4 6-3, while Azarenka, the No.8 seed, won nine of 10 games from 3-all in the first set to beat feisty American Melanie Oudin, 6-3 6-1.

"I played very well today," Azarenka said. "It was tough at the beginning. Overall I played a good match though, and I'm happy to win today. I was taking it point by point, no matter what the score was. That was one of the keys to winning."

"I feel like I had game point in almost every game," Oudin said. "Off the ground I was in every single point. I thought I played a very good match. She played the big points better than me though. She put a lot of pressure on me in the tight situations. That's what won the match for her. She's a really, really good player."

In the feature night match, No.4 seed and defending champion Marion Bartoli beat Ana Ivanovic, a wildcard into the draw, in straight sets, 6-3 6-4. Bartoli has now won seven matches in a row at this tournament, having won her fifth and biggest career Sony Ericsson WTA Tour title here a year ago.

"I knew I had to serve very well against Ana and I did it," Bartoli said. "The main goal tonight was to hit the ball hard. When I was retrieving and on the back foot, she was coming up with some great shots. You have to push her back."

Bartoli may be hard pressed to get to eight in a row, as her next opponent is Azarenka. Azarenka has won all three previous meetings handily.

Lindsay Davenport continued to win in her comeback to the doubles circuit, partnering Liezel Huber to beat No.4 seeds Olga Govortsova and Alla Kudryavtseva, 6-4 6-2. Davenport was the only player not to lose her serve the entire match, losing a total of just nine points in her five service games.

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