Thursday, April 3, 2014

Errani advances to Charleston quarterfinals in double tiebreaks

Photo by Daniel Ward
In what turned out to be a drop shot clinic, 3rd seed Sara Errani defeated Peng Shuai 7-6, 7-6 in the opening match on Billie Jean King Stadium Court today in Charleston. Errani hit so many successful drop shots in the first set, that the affair began to have a kind of "Charlie Brown, Lucy and the football" feel to it--until Peng came up with the idea of doing the same thing to Errani. Between them, they hit a lot of drop shots, most of them really good ones, too. The players hit 89 winners, too; 58 of them were Peng's.

In the first set, Peng had a set point at 6-5 but failed to convert it. She then saved three set points in the tiebreak, only to have Errani win the tiebreak 8-6. The second set was a lot like the first, with both players dropping and lobbing throughout. Peng seemed a bit tired and tried to rush some of the points, Errani would later remark, and no doubt she was, after having to virtually "start all over" in her second round match against Madison Keys, after being up 6-1, 5-1.

Photo by Daniel Ward
In the second set, Peng had a set point at 6-5--Wait! Haven't we heard this before?!--but couldn't convert it. Here we go again. Errani was a bit more efficient in closing this time, and looked quite relieved that the whole thing was over. When asked if it was important that she finished in two sets, Errani answered: "Well, the importance was to win more than finish in two sets....I can lose also in two sets."

Jana Cepelova (photo by Daniel Ward)

In the meantime, Daniela Hantuchova quietly dismissed Teliana Pereira 6-2, 6-3, and Jana Cepelova made good on her upset of Serena Williams by taking out 2011 runner-up Elena Vesnina 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. The pair played for over 2 hours and 40 minutes, and each player was broken six times.

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