Sunday, March 29, 2009

Safina, Zvonareva and Ivanovic upset in Miami

It took Slammin' Sam Stosur only and hour and nineteen minutes to dispense with number 2 seed Dinara Safina in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open today. For the first two-thirds of the match, the service stats were notable: Stoser wasn't getting in too many first serves, but those she got in tended to be successful, as was her second serve. Safina, on the other hand, was getting almost all of her first serves in, but winning with hardly any of them. Also, her second serve stats were dismal. All of that ironed itself out in the last third of the match, but it was too late for Safina--Stosur beat her, 6-1, 6-4.

Number 6 seed Vera Zvonareva, who won in Indian Wells last week, was upset by Li Na. Number 7 seed Ana Ivanovic fell victim to the not-slumping Agnes Szavay, who appears to have joined us again. Szavay defeated Ivanovic 6-4, 4-6, 6-1.

Bagels are a very popular snack in Miami--unless you're Alize Cornet. The 14th seed was upset by 17th seed Zheng Jie, 6-4, 6-0. 9th seed Nadia Petrova was upset by countrywoman Ekaterina Makarova, and 15th seed Flavia Pennetta was upset by 20th seed Amelie Mauresmo.

And then there was the matter of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Dominika Cibulkova. No one ever talks about Medina Garrigues' fitness, but it has to be among the best, and my guess is that she has spent proportionally more time on the court in her career than anyone else on the tour. Medina Garrigues is there--really there--to the bitter end, in every (long) match, and it paid off tonight. She took the first set, 6-4, and lost the second, 1-6. She served for the match at 5-3 in the third set, and was broken. Cibulkova then held, and at 5-all, she was cramping so badly, she had to retire. That is most unfortunate for Cibulkova, to have come so far, fought off defeat, and then--after three hours and sixteen minutes--to have to retire.

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