Friday, August 27, 2010

Elena struggles into semis. Kirilenko Beats Safina

A day before she said it was "a great opportunity", and she certainly meant it. In just 53 minutes Nadia Petrova sent the Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale's No.2 seed Samantha Stosur packing in a hurry, 6-2 6-1.

Petrova, seeded No.8, was broken in the first game of the match but was almost perfect on serve from there, losing a total of just three points in her other six service games and breaking the big-serving Stosur five times. Petrova has now beaten Stosur in straight sets in all four of their career meetings.

"It seemed surprising, those are the right words," Petrova said. "I know Sam well. We played the first six months of the year in doubles and I got a lot of time to practice with her, so I know her game well, her strengths and weaknesses.

"Today I was really in charge of the game and didn't give her any chances to come back. I just kept the pressure on and tried to make her come up with a better shot. I'm very happy with my serve and didn't give out many free points."

"We both had our game plans, except she executed hers a lot better than me today," Stosur said. "I got off to a good start. She can ride on confidence really well though, and when she feels she's in front and can control what's going on, she's very hard to stop. She played quite well and I didn't play very well, so me winning only three games is probably a mixture of those two things."

Next up for Petrova is Maria Kirilenko, who ended the run of former No.1 Dinara Safina with a 6-3 6-3 win. Safina had beaten No.3 seed Francesca Schiavone and Daniela Hantuchova before running into Kirilenko, who has been creeping up the rankings all year and is approaching the Top 20 again.

"It's difficult for Dinara to come back. Before she was more aggressive, but now she's making longer points, and it's not hurting you as much," Kirilenko said. "I played well today, not many mistakes and very consistent. Everything was perfect today, except my serve. I missed too many first serves."

Petrova and Kirilenko are tied in their head-to-head, 3-3. This will be their first meeting on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in almost exactly two years.

In the other semifinal, No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki will play No.4 seed Elena Dementieva. Wozniacki advanced to the semifinals when No.7 seed Flavia Pennetta had to withdraw due to a right foot injury; Dementieva battled for three hours to get past No.6 seed Marion Bartoli, 6-3 3-6 6-2.

"I never like to withdraw but my foot has been bothering me since last week and I knew I wouldn't be able to finish the match; I decided to pull out and not risk any further damage," Pennetta said. "The good news is there's no stress fracture. The toe on my right foot is just very inflamed. With some rest and lots of physiotherapy in the next few days, I hope to be ready for the US Open."

Dementieva leads Wozniacki in their head-to-head, 3-2.


Carlos said...

I have Petrova over "The Self Proclaimed Princess"; sorry "Captain" but she has problems with hard hitters/ball bashers.

I have "The Big Stuffed Bunny" over "The Demented One". "The Big Bunny" needed a quick victory having in mind she played two matches on Monday. Getting into a battle with Pennetta wouldn't have helped her considering she has two more matches in this tournament (assuming that she would win) and the USO around the corner. The walk over definitely will keep "The Big Bunny" fresh. As for "The Demented One" too much time on the field, two, three hour matches and it's been reported she has a hip injury.

I only watched the first set of the "Sponge Bart Square Pants" match, she wasted too many easy points (gifts if you ask me). She needs to improve how to finish off points.

Now for my rant: I don't like when tennis players participate on a tournament before a Grand Slam. There is always the chance of acquiring an injury, getting re-injure, or getting tire to the point that players make an early exit at the slam. This tournament is a prefect example Pennetta re-injuring her toe which she coincidentally injured while playing "The Big Stuffed Bunny" in the previous tournament. "The Demented One" has spent too much time on court. If a battle ensues against "The Big Stuffed Bunny", whomever wins will take its toll not only for the final but for the USO. I expect "The Big Bunny" to win in straight sets around 6-2 6-3 though. There is the chance "The Demented One" can aggravate her hip injury.

Continuing with obscure news that I only care about, "Lickitongue" won her match against Safarova in what appears to have been three tough sets 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 at The Bronx Challenger In NY.

Sorry for the long post and rant "Captain".

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

I agree with the dislike for players risiking injury to play the week before a slam, I have no issue when players play Sydney the week before Australia because theres only 2 weeks of tournaments before the slam and same for th grass courts. How ever when top players play in tournaments such as Warsaw, Strasbourg and New Haven I just see it as greedy and point hungry trying so hard to improve their rankings the week before a slam! And in the US Open series they try to win the series so they possibly get a bigger bonus at the end of the year.

Refresh my memory Lickitonge is Chak right?

Carlos said...

Yes "Captain" Lickitongue is Chak.

I took the nickname from the cartoon character from Pokemon.

Compare it to this:

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

Ahahahaha I see it!

I thought it was, but then I thought maube Lisicki then I thought I would just ask.

And "Lickitounge" won the Bronx Challenge! :D

Carlos said...

Yes she did "Captain", :) but she played too many three setters. She had only one straight set win. It means that she is not back at top form yet, but she is improving.

Emily or as Carlos likes to call me "Captain" said...

She alot closer than what she was before :)

Carlos said...

I think she struggled in this tournament, "Captain". I thought she would play only one three setter but the opposite happened. The good news she pulled it out, but considering that no one at this challenger was rank in the top 25, means "Lickitongue" is on the right track but taking baby steps.

BTW, it would have been natural to call Lisicki "Lickitongue" but I never seen her sticking her tongue out. :P

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