Qualifier Akgul Amanmuradova played the match of her life today in Cincinnati. She upset top Jelena Jankovic 7-6, 6-4 in the third round. Amanmuradova hit twelve aces, didn't double-fault once, and had first and second serve percentages of 80 and 75. Jankovic never saw a break point opportunity.
2nd seed Caroline Wozniacki, who has defeated 16th seed Marion Bartoli the last few times they have played each other on hard courts, was upset 6-4, 6-1 by Bartoli today. When the Frenchwoman's serve is on, she is very hard to beat, and today it was as on as it has ever been. Bartoli rolled through the match like a woman on a mission. Those who live in the U.S. got to see her extended interview, which was almost as good as the match.
10th seed Maria Sharapova defeated 7th seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-2, 11th Flavia Pennetta defeated 6th seed Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 6-3, and 12th seed Yanina Wickmayer defeated 8th seed Li Na 2-6, 6-2, 7-6. Istanbul champion Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeated 13th seed Shahar Peer 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.
Also advancing to the quarterfinals were Ana Ivanovic who defeated Elena Vesnina), and 4th seed Kim Clijsters who defeated wild card Christina McHale.
Here is the quarterfinal draw:
Yanina Wickmayer vs. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Akgul Amanmuradova vs. Ana Ivanovic
Kim Clijsters vs. Flavia Pennetta
Maria Sharapova vs. Marion Bartoli
Oh it was a spectacular match by Bartoli and the interview was just lovely. You know what I loved most about that interview? The fact that she said that Serena Williams is a role model for all the players on the Tour. They look at Serena's game and they want to emulate her. That statement alone brought tears to my eyes.
It was not about Serena. No, not at all. It was the fact that finally, we got a female tennis player stating that she was proud to look up to another female player and emulate her game. For too long the women have always been comparing themselves to the men but I think this Wimbledon just passed showed the world once and for all that the women can compete just as good or even better than the men and that the standard of women's tennis has not fallen.
Women's tennis is rock solid. Rock solid. I think it was a travesty that the No. 1 seed did not get not one of her matches aired during the broadcast window. Not one. Instead we have been treated to a steady diet of the atypical player that the media thinks fans want to see.
12 aces, not one double fault and never faced a break point. Akgul lost 13 points for the whole match on her serve. 13 points. And this against one of the best returners on Tour.
Akgul is by no means quick around the court and I for one would have loved to have seen how she managed to do what she did today, but instead we were treated to the working mom, the heir apparent and the so-called mentally tough. All three are blonde, all three are what the media describes as being good for the Tour, and yet, the fans scream and clamour for others.
I would really like to have seen Akgul play today, too. At least I got to see Marion at her best.
I heard Marion say that about Serena; Marion is kind of unusual, I know, but she knows what's going on. She does not consider herself a natural athlete, and that is why she has taken all of these extra training steps.
Unfortunately, Marion is very inconsistent. Who knows what will happen in the next round?
True, Marion is inconsistent and I think a lot of it had to do with her lack of fitness. Now that she is a lean, mean fighting machine, her results may improve.
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