Saturday, April 9, 2011

Vesnina beats Peng twice in one day and advances to both Charleston finals

Elena Vesnina won both of her matches again
Elena Vesnina has been a very busy woman in Charleston this week. Yesterday, she won both her singles and doubles matches, and today, in the semifinals, she repeated that accomplishment. In doing so, however, she had to defeat Peng Shuai twice.

In her singles semifinal, Vesnina defeated 11th seed Peng 7-6, 6-3. Unlike the earlier semifinal between Wozniacki and Jankovic, this match featured no break opportunities until Peng had a break point when Vesnina served at 4-5 in the first set. Vesnina held, then the players exchanged breaks. After Peng was broken, however, she began to walk with a slight limp. Her knee, which was taped, was bothering her, and she was tired, she would later reveal. After breaking her opponent, Peng held a set point, but did not convert it. The set went to a tiebreak, which Vesinina won.

Peng looked as though she might fade, but she immediately broke Vesnina in the second set, and then opened her own service game with an ace. Despite getting to 40-15, however, Peng was broken back. She remained competitive in the second set, but the momentum was with Vesnina, who used her serve--as she has all week--to get herself out of trouble. The Russian saved two break points at 3-all, then converted a second break point when Peng served at 3-4. Vesnina held to win the match.

Peng Shuai
Both Vesnina and Peng handled the wind well, and both displayed primarily error-free net play. This match had a bit of everything, including sharp volleys and well-executed drop shots. It was, in every way, the better ssemifinal match of the day, and quite entertaining.

After getting some rest, Vesnina and partner Sania Mirza played a semifinal doubles match against Peng and her partner, Zheng Jie. Mirza and Vesnina took the first set 6-2, and then endured a more competitive second set, which they won 7-5.

 "...today is a Chinese day for me," Vesnina told the press.
Shaughnessy and Mattek-Sands consult

Earlier in the day, 4th seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Meghann Shaughnessy defeated top seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik 6-2, 6-4.