Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wickmayer and Bartoli set up Indian Wells SF.

With a barrage of winners from every part of her game, Yanina Wickmayer overpowered Shahar Peer on Wednesday evening to reach the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open and return to the Top 20.

The two held tightly to their service games early, neither coming close to being broken in the first five games; the No.23-seeded Wickmayer cracked the match open in the sixth game with a break at 15 and rode that wave until she was up, 6-3 5-1. Peer, the No.10 seed, won two games in a row to close to 6-3 5-3 but Wickmayer was too powerful on the return and broke again for a 6-3 6-3 win.

The aggression gap was notable - while the two had comparable numbers of unforced errors in the match (Wickmayer 20, Peer 22), the Belgian was by and large the one in control with far more winners (Wickmayer 19, Peer 7). The Belgian finished it off with a big forehand return that drew an error from Peer.

"I woke up this morning and felt really good," Wickmayer said. "I had a good practice and when I came out today I felt really good and powerful out there."

Wickmayer is projected to return to the Top 20 on Monday's rankings. She spent 50 career weeks in the Top 20 during the 2009 and 2010 seasons but fell out in October 2010 and has been hovering between No.22 and No.26 ever since. She peaked at No.12 in the world for three weeks last spring.

Next up for Wickmayer is No.15 seed Marion Bartoli, who beat No.19 seed Ana Ivanovic earlier on Wednesday.

Bartoli leads Wickmayer in their head-to-head series, 2-0.

France’s Marion Bartoli defeated past champion Ana Ivanovic 6-4 7-6(4) on Wednesday afternoon in Indian Wells to reach the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals.

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The players exchanged service breaks in the first three games, setting the tone for match that would feature a combined 13 breaks. Bartoli went on a five-game run to go up a set and a break, but Ivanovic continued to battle back. She got back on serve four different times in the second set before Bartoli finally closed out the two-hour, seven-minute victory in the tie-break.

Bartoli admitted afterwards that she not been in her best condition entering the match.

“Since this morning I noticed I felt quite bad,” she said. “I was not able to eat any breakfast. I slept before my match, because I was really feeling sick. I went on court, and at the beginning, the weather was that hot, so it kind of helped me. But then it started to feel really hot, and then in the end of the first set I was definitely not feeling very good.

“So to be able to still win these kind of matches against a player as good as Ana, it means a lot to me. Being in the semi-final was really huge, so I didn't even thought about the celebration. It comes out naturally because I was really happy.”

The 26-year-old Bartoli had not advanced beyond the fourth round in her previous nine visits to the desert, while the 23-year-old Ivanovic had won the title in 2008 and finished runner-up the following year.

With Ivanovic’s loss, Maria Sharapova is the only past Indian Wells champion remaining in the draw. The Russian plays unseeded Peng Shuai in her quarter-final match Thursday.


Carlos said...

I hope Peng can keep her nerves and beat Divapova. Just I thought she quietly made a good run.

Angry Bird vs The Big Stuffed Bunny in the other semis.

Anonymous said...

I hate to play spoiler but already know the outcome..

The battle for queen of EGGS will go to non other than The Angry Bird!

The Bird has learned that losing her cool is the same as sabotaging herself. She knows her chances for the title are mighty high since the woman (Kimmie) that only cares about bacon (Titles) has left the building.

That said, I have no idea who wins the whole thing. Will need to wait until the final match is set up.

Anonymous said...

The angry Bird is hurt so I don't think she's going to win this one. Already down 3-0 plus had a medical time out for left leg.

I'll just check the score later.

Carlos said...

Thanks Caps321. I checked she retired just after that. "The Battle For The Eggs" was rotten. :P

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Carlos!

Sharapova just beat Peng.. And she will completely 'work over' the Bunny and steal her eggs.

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