Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dulgheru defeats Safina and advances to 3rd round in Rome

Alexandra Dulgheru impressed me when she beat Sara Errani in the first round of the Italian Open. She backed up that good win today by taking out the defending champion and 3rd seed, Dinara Safina, 6-4, 6-7, 6-1. Safina double-faulted nine times and her service stats overall could certainly have been better. Nevertheless, Dulgheru hung in for over 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Safina, who made 51 unforced errors, will probably have to play quite a few matches before she can find her form again. Of course, it's hard to play a lot of matches when you go out so early in a tournament, but really good players have found their way back many times.

Ana Ivanovic seems to have made a fresh start in Rome, defeating Elena Vesnina in the first round and 9th seed Victoria Azarenka in the second. Ivanovic's next challenge will be Elena Dementieva.

Top seed Serena Williams faced a challenge today from Timea Bacsinszky, but prevailed 7-6, 6-1. How often do we see that scoreline when a much lower-ranked player plays a close first set? Williams' sister, Venus, is now 10-0 against Patty Schnyder, and plays Shahar Peer in the third round.

As I expected, Yanina Wickmayer had to work long and hard to win her second round match against Aravane Rezai. The score was 6-3, 6-7, 7-5. Wickmayer will play Jelena Jankovic in the third round. Jankovic defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.


Karen said...

I have never seen Safarova play as well as she did in that match against Pennetta today. Fantastic match. As to Venus she was her usual zen self - LOL. Serena looked good. Slipping and sliding on the clay. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall or at the net to listen to the exchange between her and Timea. It seemed to go on for quite some time. Both ladies were laughing and stuff. I know that Timea kind of annoyed Serena with her constant allezing after each of Serena's errors. Clearly she does not know that when you play Serena you play Serena. She is there to win a match and it would be good if their opponents realised this rather than just trying to see how much they can annoy her. I thought Timea's behaviour during the first set was a real turn off as she has been a player that I have admired since her match against Safina at the USO in 2008. Ana looked good today against Vika even though Vika was clearly hampered, but a win is a win. Did not watch the Wozniacki match as her opponent was clearly over matched and Wozniacki's style of play just does nothing for me. Some good matches on tap for tomorrow. Wickmayer has to learn how to close matches. She gets broken too many times serving for sets and matches.

Diane said...

Safarova has so much talent, but she has trouble stringing together more than a couple of wins. I hope she can get past that; I like to watch her play. She had a lot of help from Flavia today.

I was occupied this morning and tuned into Serena's match right as the first set was ending, so I missed Bacsinszky's vocals.