Friday, September 27, 2013

Jovanovski wins Ningbo title as Kvitova and Kerber reach Tokyo final

Bojana Jovanovski won her second WTA title in three weeks today when she defeated Zhang Shuai 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 to win the title in Ningbo. Zhang won her very first WTA title last week in Guangzhou. Jovanovski was a set and a break down in today's final. The Ningbo event is a 125K Series tournament.

Zhang and "Wrong Way" Bojo broke each other 18 times.

Zhang did win the doubles title, with partner Chan Yung-Jan. Seeded at the top, Chan and Zhang beat Irina Buryachok and Oksana Kalashnikova 6-2, 6-1.

Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Venus Williams and Petra Kvitova played a "comeback match" to rival any. Williams showed no sign of the Sjoegren's syndrome fatigue that has taken her out of the latter stages of tournaments for some time, nor did she show any sign of the lower back problem that has inhibited her serve lately. For her part, Kvitova didn't show any of the "Oh, Petra" nonsense we've come to expect from her. It was as if both women were telling us "Don't give up on me--I can still play tennis really, really well."

Both players served wonderfully in this semifinal, and some of the rallies were stunning. In the end, Kvitova took control of the third set tiebreak, going up 6-0, and winning it 7-2. Her opponent in the final will be yet another woman who seems to be telling us to remember who she is--Angelique Kerber. Kerber defeated Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-6.

The doubles final puts Liezel Huber against two players who, without a doubt, don't want to hang out and have dinner with her at the tournament's conclusion. Huber and partner Chan Hao-Ching will play Cara Black and Sania Mirza, who upset top seeds Hsieh Su-Wei and Peng Shuai in the semifinals. Black and Huber, who held the number 1 spot for a long time, split a few years ago in a painful, public fashion. As for Mirza, she once became so frustrated with Huber's antics that she knocked her right down with what I think is still the fiercest forehand in women's tennis.

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