Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jankovic and Stosur advance to Indian Wells semifinals

aAlisa Kleybanova finally ran out of fuel, and no wonder, with the battles she has fought in this year's BNP Paribas Open. Kleybanova has provided the most entertainment in Indian Wells, however, and she has a lot of which to be proud. Today, though, she just didn't have as much to give, and 6th seed Jelena Jankovic hung with her and took advantage, winning their quarterfinal match 6-4, 6-4. Kleybanova, as usual, hit a lot of winners, but also made a lot of unforced errors.

The other quarterfinal match featured two players known for their great serves and their expert volleys, but you might not have known that if you saw them for the first time today. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, who got to the quarterfinals by taking out both 3rd seed Victoria Azarenka and 13th seed Yanina Wickmayer, was obviously a bundle of nerves in this, her first really big quarterfinal appearance. I thought that--as the match went on--Martinez Sanchez would relax more and get into a groove, but she never really did. There were flashes of her wonderful serving and her quickness at the net, but those were neutralized by multiple errors, both forced and unforced. The Spaniard held a set point in the second set tiebreak, but could not convert.

As for 8th seed Stosur, she was not at her best, but she was certainly good enough, and between her cracking forehand and her opponent's anxiety, she had a 6-3, 7-6 win.

Jankovic and Stosur will play one another in the semifinals. The other semifinal match will feature 5th seed Agnieszka Radwanska and 2nd seed Caroline Wozniacki, who are close friends.

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