Saturday, February 18, 2012

Injury a factor in Doha

Yesterday, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska, Samantha Stosur, and Marion Bartoli all advanced to the Doha semifinals. They defeated Yanina Wickmayer, Christina McHale, Monica Niculescu, and Lucie Safarova, respectively.

Today, both semifinal matches were marked by injury. Bartoli retired with a calf injury after losing the first set 3-6 to Stosur. The Frenchwoman, who has played a lot of tennis lately, consulted briefly with the trainer, but then determined that she had too much pain to go on.

Stosur's opponent in the final will be top seed Victoria Azarenka. When you see Azarenka's name opposite Radwanska's in a draw, you make yourself comfortable and assume you will see three good sets. That didn't happen today. Azarenka won the first set 6-2. In the early part of the second set, Radwanska hit a drop shot, Azrenka went after it, and fell. In doing so, she injured her ankle. Azarenka lay on the court for a while (shades of days gone by), then proceeded to see the trainer and get her ankle bandaged. She limped for the remainder of the match, and--knowing she couldn't go three sets--she got the job done in two (6-2, 6-4), though she was broken the first time she served for the match.

The world number 1's strategy was very much that of a champion's, but of course, none of us knows what will happen with her ankle in the next several hours.

In doubles semifinals, top seeds Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond defeated Kristina Barrois and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, and Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears defeated 5th seeds Nuria Llagostera Vives and Anastasia Rodionova.

In Bogota, Edina Gallovits-Hall's good run was ended in the semifinals by Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino, and Alexandra Panova beat Timea Babos. Panova will also play (with partner Eva Birnerova) in the doubles final. Birnerova and Panova, the top seeds, will compete against Mandy Minella and Stefanie Voegele.

No comments: