Friday, November 7, 2008

Petrova, ready to go into the booth, winds up collecting $50,000 instead

The always affable and humorous Nadia Petrova (described as "serious and somber" by one of the from-another-planet commentators), looked like realized how amusing her fate was today in Doha. Scheduled to be the guest commentator for the Dementieva-Williams match, she wound up playing it when Serena Williams withdrew.

And play it she did, giving Elena Dementieva a tough and rather entertaining three sets. As time went on, Petrova became more relaxed, and Dementieva--who was leading--became unglued. She was broken when she served for the match the first time, and her opponent saved four match points on her own serve. By the time Dementieva served for the match the second time, she was sweating, muttering and yelling at her mother/coach, Vera. But a couple of errors from Petrova gave Dementieva the victory, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

It was essential for Dementieva to win this match, or she would have gone to the semifinals with a 1-2 record. I imagine that fear was looming in her head while she played the resurgent and tough Petrova.

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