Saturday, February 12, 2011
Vera prevails, determined for third Thai triumph.
Vinci, the No.5 seed, enjoyed particular success off Ivanovic's second serve, winning 68% of all such points. She also made superior use of her break point opportunities; both players had seven chances on their opponent's serve, but while Vinci capitalized on five occasions, Ivanovic could only convert twice.
"She played well, and I just struggled out there," said Ivanovic. "I created some chances but missed by a little bit on some important points. She's a tough opponent - she makes you play a few extra balls, and that's what I didn't do today. But it's good that I got some matches in this week - I can build on that."
In the semifinals Vinci faces her doubles partner, eighth seed Sara Errani, who recovered from a slow start against qualifier Galina Voskoboeva to prevail, 26 63 62. As the top seeds the two Italians are also through to the semis of the doubles event; on Saturday they will face Chang Kai-Chen and Sania Mirza for a place in the final.
The other singles semi will be between No.4 seed Daniela Hantuchova, who skipped past Akgul Amanmuradova in 51 minutes, 6-2 6-0, and top seed Vera Zvonareva, who won her 13th straight match in Pattaya at the expense of Peng Shuai. But the two-time defending champion was pushed to the brink by the in-form Chinese player, who had two break points for 5-3 in the final set before being reeled in by the Russian.
"She's always been a dangerous player, but especially this year, she's fitter and more confident," observed Zvonareva after her 6-4 4-6 6-4 win, which took just shy of two-and-a-half hours. "I just tried to fight for every point and figure out what I could do to bother her as much as possible. I was not trying to play perfect tennis… I was just trying to play smart."
The world No.3 added: "I'm a perfectionist, and I will probably never be happy until I play a perfect match and don't lose a point. But I definitely feel I improved from my second round match, and hopefully for the next one against Daniela I will improve even more."
Zvonareva owns a 4-1 head-to-head record against Hantuchova, although the Slovak won their last meeting on the hardcourts of Cincinnati in 2009. Vinci and Errani have only met twice on tour, with Vinci winning both of last year's encounters in three sets.