Friday, July 30, 2010

Top seed Stosur advances to Stanford semifinals

There were dramatic reversals of fortune in the Stanford quarterfinals today. In defending champion Marion Bartoli's match against Victoria Azarenka, Bartoli could do almost nothing wrong for a set and a half. Serving well and hitting the laser-like returns of serve for which she is known, the 4th seed dominated Azarenka for some time. With Bartoli, though, you never know whether one of two things is going to occur--she could become injured, or her serve could go to pieces. Today, it was the latter. Even so, Bartoli was up 3-1 in the final set, but she had so much difficulty with her serve that 8th-seeded Azarenka was able to overcome her and win the match 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Azarenka is now 4-0 against Bartoli.

Azarenka's opponent in the semifinals will be top seed Sam Stosur, who faced a tough challenge from 7th seed Yanina Wickmayer. Both players served at a very high level during the first two sets. Stosur took the first one, 7-5, and Wickmayer won the second, 6-3. Wickmayer got off to an early lead in the third set. In fact, she led 2-0, 40-15, and then--in the course of four breaks of serve--Stosur edged ahead, taking the final set 6-3.

3rd seed Agnieszka Radwanska and Maria Kirilenko played a tight first set, which Radwanska won, 7-5. In the second set, though, Kirilenko served poorly and did not win one game.


Sunny nine said...

I don't think it was just Bartoli's serve that fell apart, I think she also ran out of steam after all that running in the first set. I also think that Azarenka kept her emotions in check (well there were a couple temper flares and if her play didn't get up there who knows what would have happened) but all in all an impressive comeback, fighting all the way with help from Bartoli. I am not sure whether Stosur or Azarenka will win-depends on Stosur confidence and thus her serve.

Diane said...

It's hard to tell, with Azarenka, when her anger on court is hurting her, and when it isn't. It's no big deal for her to have it if it doesn't cause her to fall apart. Maybe she's found a way to use it to her benefit.

Ben said...

It's great to see Azarenka back on track by taking out Bartoli, the tournament's winner last year. She played a solid match to beat Stosur in the semifinals, too.

Azarenka should be tough competition for Sharapova, who I believe will beat Radwanska in her match tonight.

Diane said...

I think the final is going to be between Azarenka and Sharapova, too, Ben, and I look forward to watching it.

If Azarenka can keep her head straight, I still think we'll see an even bigger breakthrough. She has just about everything she needs to make her a top-level champion, but has struggled so much with staying calm when things go wrong.