Sunday, August 8, 2010

Daily Reports: WTA San Diego + Copenhagen

Here comes the first daily report for my new blog. I will report on the semifinals of WTA San Diego and WTA Copenhagen tournaments. I will start with San Diego.

Svetlana Kuznetsova def. (5) Flavia Pennetta 64 60
Some time ago, you would predict, the Russian two-times Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, will prevail over her Italian opponent but the current situation is quite different. Meanwhile Kuznetsova has been struggling to find any form this year, Pennetta has been considered a threat in the tournaments she plays. However Kuznetsova found a good form in San Diego this week in her previous matches and although Pennetta has been a threat in many tournaments, she hasn't been in any great form since Wimbledon as well as her Russian opponent so it was a bit unpredictable match.

Kuznetsova started off very well, had no problems to hold her serve at the beginning and even managed to get an early break. However the Italian Flavia Pennetta didn't allow Kuznetsova to confirm her early break on her serve and the Italian immediately re-broke back. Pennetta was finally able to hold her serve in the next game and as well did Kuznetsova. After those two games, both players lost one serve. Kuznetsova led 5-3 and was serving for the first set but failed to do it and allowed her opponent to get back into this very competitive set. When Kuznetsova was up 5-4, Pennetta was serving to stay in the first set but unfortunately for the Italian, she failed to hold her serve and quite gave this game to her opponent by some unforced errors she doesn't really make when her game is on. It was very tough for Kuznetsova to take this set as she had to quite paint the lines due to Pennetta's great movement. So no wonders she hit some unforced errors but she didn't hit many and her serve also helped her to take the first set 6-4 on her first set point.

The second set was not that intense like the previous one. Kuznetsova was absolutely dominating the play with great serving and great groundstrokes from the baseline, especially her forehand was finally working like she surely wanted to. On the other hand Pennetta's game was really off, even her best shot, backhand down the line, was not working well which resulted in an easy win 64 60 for Kuznetsova.

(4) Agnieszka Radwanska def. Daniela Hantuchova 64 62
Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to watch the second semifinal which featured Slovak Daniela Hantuchova against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. As some reports say, Radwanska played one of her best matches ever, along statistics, she hit 21 winners and just 9 unforced errors. Fans who know the Polish number one's game, know that she never makes many unforced errors in her matches and plays with great tactics and variety not to give her opponents any rhythm, also her drop shot is one of the best shots in current tennis. Looks like everything was working for the Polish in this match and no doubts the drop shot would work against Hantuchova because her movement is one of her biggest weaknesses. On the other hand Hantuchova hit 26 winners and 36 unforced errors, of course, Hantuchova's game is way more offensive than Radwanska's. Unfortunately for the Slovak, she hit way too many unforced errors today which resulted in a 46 26 loss. But the scoreline doesn't really show the story of this match. It was way more competitive and close match, especially a game on Hantuchova's serve at 46 15 lasted about 20 minutes and Radwanska had seven match points which she wasn't able to take. So Radwanska got to serve for the match at 64 52 and she showed some great serving in this game, didn't allow Hantuchova to put any pressure on her and didn't even showed any signs or bad body language after lossing the previous long game.

The final between Svetlana Kuznetsova and Agnieszka Radwanska is scheduled on Sunday and should start at 1:00 PM local time.

(7) Klara Zakopalova def. (2) Na Li 63 16 64
Onto Copenhagen where the first semifinal featured Czech Klara Zakopalova and Chinese number one, seed number two Li Na. I expected not a really long match as both players hit the ball extremely hard and flat and also go for winners on every single opportunity. If you agree with me, you were not mistaken as it was the real story of the match although I expected less errors. Both girls didn't really play well in first two sets, the worse one at the beginning was the Chinese who made a lot of unforced errors and Zakopalova was at least a little consistent to be able to take the first set 63. Like on a swing, the second set was an opposite. Li started to play a little better and stopped making some wild errors while Zakopalova showed her groundstrokes don't always go in the court and her serve doesn't really help her to compensate it for. Li took easily the second set 61.

Finally the third set showed some nice play from both as they cut off some wild unforced errors, also probably got used to opponent's game. Zakopalova was a break up for most of the set but there was a horendous call during her service game which resulted in Li levelled the score to 4-4. At 4-4 40-30, Li hit a cross-court forehand winner which took a bit of the line but the line judge called it out, thanks to this, the Chinese didn't manage to hold her important service game and kind of "gave up" after lossing this game. Zakopalova served out the match without any problems and reached her first WTA Tour final this year after winning 63 16 64 against the seed #2.

(1) Caroline Wozniacki def. (Q) Anna Chakvetadze 61 26 64
The second semifinal was the more expected one as the home Danish star Caroline Wozniacki wanted to show her best tennis in front of home crowd. Her opponent was Russian Anna Chakvetadze, the qualifier who was on 11 matches winning streak, after winning Portoroz two weeks ago and being in Copenhagen semifinal as a qualifier, before this match.

It was quite the same story as the previous semifinal just with the only difference that both players prefer to play longer rallies and use some tactics and variety on the court. Chakvetadze wasn't playing well at all in the first set, making a lot of errors, while the home player was able to keep her consistent play she's famous for and hit more winners than unforced errors. The second set was dictated by the Russian as Chakvetadze started to hit some outstanding winners and Wozniacki's level dropped down a bit.

The final set, as in the previous semifinal, was a very entertaining and competitive fight. Spectators could see very nice long rallies with some great winners from both at the end. Wozniacki was a break up for most of the final set and remained unbroken as she was serving really well in this final set. Unfortunately for the crowd, Wozniacki got broken at 4-3. But then fortunately showed experience and why she's the world number three and took a 0-40 lead on return. Chakvetadze was fighting very hard but was able to save only two out of three break points in that game as she hit a forehand down the line wide after a big rally. Chakvetadze quite couldn't believe her forehand shot was called out but as the slow motion confirmed, it was out. Then it was an easy job for experienced but still young Caroline Wozniacki to serve out the match, maybe Chakvetadze was still upset with that call in the previous game. It's definitely great for this tournament to have their own favourite in the final and Wozniacki looked happy enough screaming CMON after she won the match.

The final between Wozniacki and Zakopalova is scheduled to start at 10:30 AM local time on Sunday. Quite a strange time to start the final as most of tournaments' finals don't start before the noon. We will see if the favourite, Caroline Wozniacki, will take the title and please her fans and home crowd or if Zakopalova will be able to surprise and finish off her nice Copenhagen run with a title.


  1. Chinese girl? She has a name you know. And in your blog, it sounds like you have no clue she was the clear favorite. I think you should try to be less biased also in your seeds description for Cinci.
    I can't imagine what it would say about Nicole :o
    (She loses to a 100+ ranked wc in the first round of qualifying something like 6-2,7-5) You would say "Nicole is on her way back!! :)) She showed great fight in in getting the 2nd set to 5-5.!"

  2. that's not true at all and you're the first one who tells me I'm biased and if you didn't read carefully I use Chinese, Czech, Danish for all players not to just call them by names :o also I didn't call anyone a clear favourite yet. Klara played a good tournament and Li didn't play her best so it could be a competitive match, I didn't say Klara was a favourite to win, calm down.

  3. but I respect your comment althought I don't think I was biased, especially for the cincy preview because I was stating facts based on players' current forms and I didn't even mention many times they're gonna win their first matches 100%. thanks anyway.