Friday, April 8, 2011

Seeds of doubt

Elena Vesnina upsets the defending champion
The 2nd, 5th, 7th, and 10th seeds were upset in the 3rd round of the Family Circle Cup on Thursday, and 1st seed Caroline Wozniacki barely escaped when she had to win two long tiebreaks against a clever, net-rushing Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Defending champion Sam Stosur, seeded 2nd, was dominated by Elena Vesnina, who defeated her 6-4, 6-1. Stosur's backhand was unreliable, and Vesnina did not appear to be especially bothered by the Australian's forehand. After the match, Stosur said that her opponent's flat, low strokes rushed her during points. Vesnina said that winning the doubles championship (with Sania Mirza) in Indian Wells gave her increased confidence.

Jelena Jankovic goes to the quarterfinals
5th seed Shahar Peer was defeated 6-2, 6-3 by 12th seed Julia Goerges, who stunned her with forehand winners. 11th seed Peng Shuai defeated 7th seed Nadia Petrova 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, and Christina McHale upset 10th seed and 2010 semifinalist Daniela Hantuchova. McHale's 7-6, 6-1 victory puts her into the quarterfinals against 3rd seed Jelena Jankovic, who defeated Chanelle Scheepers in straight sets. 2009 champion Sabine Lisicki, who upset 4th seed Marion Bartoli in the second round, was defeated in the third round by Sania Mirza.

Wozniacki's 7-6(6), 7-6(9) victory over 15th seed Zahlavova Strycova came after the top seed was seriously tested. Zahlavova Strycova took away Wozniacki's rhythm by continually changing the pace of the rallies. Zahlavova Strycova also took over the net for much of the match, and hit a number of decisive forehand winners. Unfortunately, the Czech player's strength was also her weakness: Her forehand produced multiple errors, too.

Down 2-5 in the first set tiebreak, the 15th seed made five straight points, but then made an unforced error on set point. She also held a set point in the second set tiebreak, and she went on to save three match points. Zahlavova Strycova played with a lot of touch and savvy, and she came in with a solid game plan, but she couldn't win the big points when she needed to.

Qualifier Anna Tatishvili's run ended yesterday--respectably. 6th seed Yanina Wickmayer defeated the gutsy Tatishviili 6-4, 7-5.