Saturday, March 22, 2008

Kuznetsova and Ivanovic victorious in Indian Wells semis

I didn't get to see the entire match, but the 19-shot rally in the Sharapova-Kuznetsova semifinal match was not only breathtaking, but it showed a side of Kuznetsova we haven't seen for a while--the fighting side. It didn't matter what Sharapova gave her--Kuznetsova got it back. Sharapova apparently was off her game in the first set, got more on track in the second, and helped turn the third into one I was glad I saw.

Kuznetsova def. Sharapova, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2

In the other semifinal, Jelena Jankovic's first set service game was better than usual, and she was able to bring the first set to a tiebreak, but her performance in it was filled with uncharacteristic errors. She is usually able to shake off negative things like that, but the bad feeling clearly followed her into the second set, which Ana Ivanovic dominated.

Ivanovic def. Jankovic, 7-6, 6-3


Anonymous said...

I'm really excited for Svetlana, one of the most friendly and colorful personalities on the tour. If she's got her act together mentally she'll be formidable indeed this year!

The other semifinal result surprised me not at all. Jelena's deep dark secret is that Henin is not the only player who psyches her out. AnaIvo has now beaten Jelena four consecutive times, on three different surfaces, dropping two sets in the process. No, it's not nine consecutive losses but I don't see her problems with Ana ending any time soon. You?

Diane said...

It was clear to me, after that horrible tiebreak performance, that Ivanovic was in her head. It was clear because she faded away, and JJ doesn't ever fade away! And the whole tiebreak fiasco--what was that about?

It was interesting, too, that during the first set, JJ's serve was better than usual, but that went away, too. As a big fan, I'm really concerned about her. I hope she gets that coach soon; she's way too talented to not push through to that next, very high, level.

Wow--Kuznetsova! I haven't seen her fight like that in a long time. I hope the fight continues today--I would love to see her defeat Ivanovic.

Anonymous said...

I agree, Diane. How good would Jelena be if Carlos Rodriguez had devoted his life to counting her grand slam titles rather than Henin's ;> But seriously, yes, she needs help mentally, with her schedule, with her tactics, on and on. And with her talent, I'm surprised there aren't some high profile names lining up. I know she says travel is an issue for many, and many are taken. Still...

Diane said...

I think she would be okay if she just got help with her serve. That is the weakest part of her game, and she could improve it significantly, the confidence would come back. Or so I believe.