Thursday, September 9, 2010

Zvonareva Storms to Semi's

Whether it was the windy conditions or the pressure and nerves of reaching her first US Open quarterfinal, No. 32 seed Kaia Kanepi of Estonia crumbled in her match against Vera Zvonareva Wednesday, allowing the No. 7 seed to advance to the US Open semifinals for the first time with a 6-3, 7-5 win.

Kanepi, who eliminated No. 4 seed Jelena Jankovic in the third round, just could not gain control of her game the entire match, committing 60 unforced errors, 35 of which came in the second set alone. Zvonareva experienced a few struggles of her own on serve, and between the two players, there were 10 breaks of serve in the match.

But overall, the Wimbledon runner-up was successful by putting pressure on Kanepi every chance she got, forcing the Estonian to go for more and commit the errors.

"I don't think she was just making errors for no reasons, you know," Zvonareva said. "I think I was making it difficult for her. She had to go more for her shots. I was trying to guess where she was playing and read her game. So I was trying to make it as difficult as possible for her. With the wind going all different directions and blowing, it's not easy to make those shots. I think I made the right choices where I had to just put the ball in play and step up a little bit and do a little bit more with the ball."

Kanepi admitted that not only was her opponent the stronger player, but the wind was also frustrating for her throughout the match, and it made conditions a bit tricky.

"It was blowing in every way," Kanepi said. "When I played against Jelena, it was the same thing, so I was a little used to it. But today was tough. I just didn't find the rhythm and the control of the ball. Vera obviously played very well."

The first set featured several good rallies, but Kanepi's errors gave the Russian a 4-2 lead. Kanepi nearly gave up yet another break in the following game, but she fought back from a 0-40 deficit to hold after two deuces thanks to Zvonareva's groundstrokes sailing long. Two games later, the Estonian again dug herself out of triple set point, but this time it was Zvonareva who would prevail and break to put away the first set on a netted forehand from Kanepi.

Neither woman seemed to want to take control of the second set, and they traded breaks for four games before Zvonareva held for 3-2. Kanepi displayed a strong return game by pressuring her opponent into the backcourt on long rallies, often making the transition to the net for a volley or overhead putaway. But she had trouble closing out on her own serve, with Zvonareva pushing her to four or five deuce points on two occasions.

Zvonareva's errors and double faults allowed Kanepi to get back on serve at 4-3, but in the final game on Kanepi's serve, Zvonareva hit a defensive lob that just caught the line to give her match point. Kanepi's 60th error handed the Russian the match.

Zvonareva has yet to drop a set at this year's tournament, and she will next meet either top seed Caroline Wozniacki or Dominika Cibulkova in the semifinal round. The Russian is 2-2 against Wozniacki and 2-0 against Cibulkova.


Sunny nine said...

I thought that Zvonareva's mindset, emotions and play were great in the windy conditions. She didn't waste a lot of energy on emotions or getting down on herself. She saved her mentality and strength for fighting Kanepi and the wind. This is what good players and successful ones do. Wozniacki got more bothered by the wind and her emotions showed it. She is probably new to this sort of thing and finally worked it out in the end.

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

I think (hope) that if tomorrow is another windy one in new york thats zvonerava will beat wozniacki. Especily if Zvonerava controls her emotions like she did yesterday, I believe she will beat Wozniacki and be in her second slam final in as many slams.

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

this is me again carlos btw, I am back!

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