Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vera prevails, determined for third Thai triumph.

Last October, Ana Ivanovic beat Roberta Vinci in the semifinals of the Generali Ladies Linz, before going on to end a two year title drought with victory over Patty Schnyder in the final. But the wily Italian found revenge in the quarterfinals of the PTT Pattaya Open on Friday, when she upset the second-seeded Serb in straight sets, 7-5 6-3.

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.


Carlos said...

The Fist Pumping Imbecile wobble in the second round of this tourney. I'm not surprised that she lost in the QF she is not playing well. A good player that faces The Fist Pumping imbecile all they have to do is win the first set against her. She sort of gives up or loses confidence in the second, even if she played well in the first.

Why we don't see Vera battle like this in slams against The Kookie Monster? Here is an advice to Vera: Being a perfectionist in tennis doesn't pay off, ask Dani H. she is one and look how her tennis career unfolded.

We will see more of Peng this year, she convinced me in AO 11. I'm still keeping an eye on her. I don't want to make fun of her residing hair line Captain, I'm afraid that I may wake up the next day bold. :P

Blair said...

Like Carlos said Vera needs this fight and determination in the Slams! Then, and only then, will she win one!

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

Im not surprised she lost either! I can't say it was unexpected! I think I could beat her...

And Vera needs to bring her fight to slams, like you and Blair said.

Yes we will see more of Peng, ahahahah like karma!

Carlos said...

I would bet thousand $ on you Captain in straight sets.

Yes, karma. :P

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