Sunday, March 17, 2013

Russians sweep BNP Paribas Open

You had to be Russian to hold a trophy this weekend at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Yesterday, the team of Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina won the doubles title. The 4th seeds defeated 3rd seeds Nadia Petrova and Katarina Srebotnik 6-0, 5-7, 10-6 in the final. Makarova and Vesnina had to play tiebreaks in four of their five matches in Indian Wells.

This is the Russian team's third WTA title, and it's Vesnina's third Indian Wells doubles title. She won in 2008 with Dinara Safina, and in 2011 with Sania Mirza.

The singles final wasn't nearly as tense. Maria Sharapova dominated Caroline Wozniacki, defeating her 6-2, 6-2. The Russian star hit 33 winners, and was firing virtual rockets at her opponent. This is Sharapova's 28th WTA title, and her first title of 2013. She also won the tournament in 2006.

Sharapova now heads to Miami, where she has been the runner-up four times. She has never taken the title there.

Indian Wells gave us plenty to ponder. Victoria Azarenka is again dealing with injury and was unable to play beyond the fourth round. Sharapova looks crisp and confident. Her countrywoman, Maria Kirilenko, continues to improve and impress. (It was interesting to hear Lindsay Davenport say that--in her practices--Kirkleno practically whales the rubber off of the ball.) And--on a less encouraging note--Petra Kvitova, yet again, went off the rails.

I have to say that my favorite random moment was watching chair umpire Marija Cicak sing along to the house music before a match.


Doug Messenger said...

Sharapova's focus is exemplary. Rare indeed. Especially in a power hitter. Gotta love it. The money has not affected her tennis.

Diane said...

I think Sharapova is really solid as an athlete. The improvement in her movement and the return of her confidence are very strong factors.

Doug Messenger said...

She is the only power player on the women's side who maintains absolute focus during every point. Not easily done. But she does.

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