Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova, seeded 1 and 2 at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, both went out today in the third round of play. A resurgent Shahar Peer defeated Wozniacki, 6-2, 7-5, and Kuznetsova was upset by countrywoman Regina Kulikova, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4. Kulikova, ranked number 99 in the world, stuck it out with the world number 4 for over three hours and sixteen minutes.
An injured Flavia Pennetta lost to Agnieszka Radwanska, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated Daniela Hantuchova in straight sets, and 6th seed Jelena Jankovic was upset, 6-3, 6-2, by 12th seed Vera Zvonareva. Zvonareva did everything right, including putting on the kind of down-the-line exhibition we used to see from Jankovic. She was dominant throughout most of the match.
What has happened to JJ? Losing a first set never used to mean that much with her, but she has lost her edge, and is making errors she never used to make. She has returned to the Bollettieri Academy, where I hope they can put her back together. I miss the Jankovic who could turn so many defensive shots into offensive points, and who stretched and slid her way to so many victories.
Here is the quarterfinal draw:
Shahar Peer vs. Li Na
Venus Williams vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Vera Zvonareva vs. Victoria Azarenka
Agnieszka Radwanska vs. Regina Kulikova