Friday, February 22, 2013

Errani and Vinci to face off in Dubai semifinals

Roberta Vinci is having quite a run in Dubai. First she took out 5th seed Angelique Kerber in straight sets, and today she did the same with 7th seed Sam Stosur. In fact, Vinci began her Dubai run by defeating Svetlana Kuznetsova in straight sets, too.

Vinci's victory today will force her to face off in the semifinals against--of all people--Sara Errani, who is her doubles partner and close friend. They had to play each other at the 2012 U.S. Open, and Vinci was  clearly uncomfortable with the situation. Perhaps she'll be a bit more at ease tomorrow.

Errani, despite winning no games in the second set, beat Nadia Petrova in the quarterfinals.

Also winning today was Petra Kvitova, who defeated defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 6-4, and made it look easy. And in a match of great intensity, Caroline Wozniacki defeated Marion Bartoli (nearly always linked to "great intensity") 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. There were 14 breaks of serve, and Bartoli double-faulted 14 times. The third set had a bit of everything in it. Bartoli put up a tremendous fight, breaking Wozniacki at love when the Dane served for the match at 5-3. To top it off, the chair umpire handed Wozniacki a coaching violation because of her coach's continuing unprofessional behavior in the stands.

The best part, though, was that Bartoli was so fed up with Piotr Wozniacki that it motivated her to start hitting crazy winners, after which she would turn, look him straight in the eye, and fist-pump. It was a hilarious reminder of why I love to watch Bartoli, whether she's jumping up and down on the court, wildly shadow-hitting, or throwing her parents out of the stands at Wimbledon.

Yesterday, Serena Williams withdrew from Dubai because of a back injury. The withdrawal of both Williams and Azarenka has caused a bit of a stir in the tennis world, especially since there was a decent chance that they would meet in the final.

In doubles, Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Sania Mirza defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Lucie Safarova, and Cara Black and Anastasia Rodionova defeated Lisa Raymond and Sam Stosur. Also advancing in doubles were Nuria Llagostera Vives and Zheng Jie, and 2nd seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Nadia Petrova.

In the Memphis quarterfinals, Sabine Lisicki beat Kristina Mladenovic, Stefanie Voegele defeated Heather Watson, Marina Erakovic defeated Jamie Hampton, and top seed Kirsten Flipkens was knocked out by Magdalena Rybarikova.


Dougy Messenger said...

Petra was hitting forehands off the front foot and really hitting through the ball. She had not done so often for almost a year. Several difficult, deft volleys too. Her movement was crisp and clean. Could it be? Might it be? Is she back? Is it too early to tell? ...

Diane said...

The volleys have been so good lately, and yes, the forehand now can hit the mark like it used to. I want to get excited, but I'm going to wait :)

Anonymous said...

Her backhand is always reliable. A lot of winners there too. Pundits rarely mention it because the forehand is so spectacular when working, as yesterday. Ooooh yeah!