Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Daily Reports: Cincinnati DAY 2!

Tuesday at the Western & Souther Financial Group Women's Open offered 13 matches. We could see top seed Jelena Jankovic in action. The clash between two Russians, Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, was the first match of night session. Players continue playing in tough conditions here in Cincinnati, as they were forced to play in a big heat again.

Let's start with the only yesterday's upset. Russian, number fifteenth seed Nadia Petrova, lost to a home wild card Christina McHale, after retiring at 67(4) 35 due to a heat illness. Both girls were serving big, hitting 15 aces overally. There was only one break on each side in the first set. So the first set needed to be decided in a tie-break which McHale took 7-4 surprisingly. 18-year-old American got another break at 76 43 and Petrova decided to retire, trailing 67 35. Petrova probably wanted to keep playing until she gets broken, McHale was just one game away from a win. We can argue if this was classless from Petrova, retiring one game away from a loss, or if her injury was really that bad so she couldn't continue.

Top seed Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, recovering from an ankle injury, played the last match on Tuesday, facing Russian qualifier Vera Dushevina. Jankovic's return of the serve was working very well in the first set. Also her serve was pretty good, she lost only one in the first set and took the opener 64. Jankovic served 11 aces overally, which is a really big and unusual number for the Serbian, but even those 6 aces she hit in the second set, didn't help her to win it. Dushevina was far more consistent on her serve and took the set 63. The Serbian number one didn't have any problems to take this match in three as she won the final set 61. Dushevina stood no chance in the final set. Jankovic confirmed her favourite role and will face another qualifier, Akgul Amanmuradova in the third round. Amanmuradova, a qualifier from Uzbekistan, continues in her amazing run. After beating Kimiko Date Krumm 61 62 in the first round, she destroyed another qualifier, Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 62 60 in round two. No Serbian showdown in the third round then.

Another expected match featured Russian young and upcoming star Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and "veteran" Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia. The first set was a breakfest. Both players struggled on serve which resulted in six breaks overall, and Pavlyuchenkova winning the first set 63 after being a bit more consistent on her serve. The second set was different. Girls held their serves without any problems, but unfortunately for the Slovak, Hantuchova didn't hold her serve at the most important moment - when serving to stay in the match at 36 45. Pavlyuchenkova will face her compatriot, third seed Elena Dementieva, in the second round.

After a very long time, Argentinian Gisela Dulko won a singles match. She faced Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the first round. Safarova was a favourite, considering Dulko is recovering from an injury and showed poor form in her previous match against Coco Vandeweghe as she was forced to retire at 06 03 in San Diego last week. Safarova will definitely be dissapointed with her play, she has a lot of points to defend this summer and this was not a good start for the Czech.

The biggest first round match-up was between two Russians, last week San Diego winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and former world number one Maria Sharapova. No doubts this match deserved to be a three-setter, although it wouldn't be a pleasure for the players to play three sets in such a heat. However it really was a three-setter. Both players were really strong on serve. Winner of each set remained unbroken in that set. The only thing Sharapova did bad was a big number of double faults, eleven overally, she won't be satisfied with this. It definitely wasn't easy for Kuznetsova to play another match two days after her San Diego run to the title, as she could be tired and didn't have much time to get used to the heat here in Cincinnati. Both players were forced to use heat rule after the second set, to have a shower and change their clothes. It's hard to report on this match just along live scoreboard. I can only say that the match score at the end was 64 16 62 in Sharapova's favour.

Another expected winners of today's matches, such as Flavia Pennetta, Maria Kirilenko, Marion Bartoli, Yanina Wickmayer and Andrea Petkovic, all advanced to the next round.

Tuesday's results:
Elena Vesnina def. Melanie Oudin 62 63
(WC) Christina McHale def. (15) Nadia Petrova 76(4) 53 ret.
(11) Flavia Pennetta def. Jie Zheng 64 62
Maria Kirilenko def. Kateryna Bondarenko 61 63
Gisela Dulko def. Lucie Safarova 64 63
(12) Yanina Wickmayer def. (Q) Greta Arn 62 62
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova def. Daniela Hantuchova 63 64
Andrea Petkovic def. (WC) Coco Vandeweghe 76(1) 61
(10) Maria Sharapova def. Svetlana Kuznetsova 64 16 62
Sybille Bammer def. (Q) Sorana Cirstea 76(5) 62

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