Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Injured Serena wins but withdraws for quarters.
Returning to the court again Serena had her serve broken but managed to use her awe inspiring power to break the Jovanovski serve and prevail 6-2 6-4. Williams advances to the quarter finals where she will meet Daniela Hantuchova, if the MRI scan allows her to do so.
The 13-times-major winner, Williams is playing in Australia for the first time since missing the 2011 Australian Open, as well as most of the season, with a potential life treating injury.
The earlier match on Pat Rafter Arena saw reigning US Open Champion and top seed Samantha Stosur bundled out by Czech Iveta Benesova. The diminutive Czech had not won a set off the Australian in four previous meetings but changed her fortunes in front of Stosur's home crowd. The start of 2012 is a real change of fortunes, in the first found she defeated Lucie Safarova, who she had failed to beat previously also.
Across the Tasman Sea in Auckland, despite rain interrupting play throughout the day. The New Zealand crowds were treated to two German battle's with another one set for the quarterfinals. Top seed Sabine Lisicki had the task of dispatching young rising star compatriot Mona Barthel. The topsy-tervy match saw the more experienced player prevail 7-6 3-6 6-3. In the quarters Lisicki will play surprise US Open semifinalist Angelique Kerber who was too solid for an ill Julia Goerges advancing 6-2 6-3.
Svetlana Kuznetsova showed incredible form to destroy rising American teenager Christina McHale 6-1 6-1. It was one of the Russian's most solid performances in recent time and shows promising signs coming into the new season.
EDIT - Reliable sources inform me that Serena Williams HAS withdrawn from the Brisbane International