Thursday, August 26, 2010

The land of (missed) opportunity

That's where Marion Bartoli resides, in case you want to drop by and have a chat and some coffee. For the entire first set of the 6th seed's quarterfinal match against 4th seed Elena Dementieva in New Haven today, she squandered chance after chance--seven in all--to break, but was able to succeed with only two of them. She was broken four times by Dementieva, who won the first set 6-3.

Bartoli raised her level of play in the second set, which she won 6-3. Dementieva quickly moved out in front in the third, but had trouble closing the match, which she finally did--6-3, 3-6, 6-2--on her seventh match point.

Sometimes this match was hard to watch. Dementieva had some obvious trouble with her injured thigh, but that seemed to go away. She did tell interviewers, however, that she is trying to avoid long rallies. The Russian also muttered and chatted and yelled--often at her mother--throughout the three-hour affair. "...what are you telling her?" Mary Joe Fernandez asked her. "You don't want to know," the 4th seed replied.

Dementieva will play defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals. Wozniacki won her quarterfinal match by default when she received a walkover from an injured Flavia Pennetta. The top seed's move to the semifinals also means that she has won the U.S. Open Series.

Bartoli double-faulted twelve times, and Dementieva double-faulted seven times. There were 37 break opportunities in the match, and twelve breaks of serve.

The other semifinal will feature two Russians. Maria Kirilenko defeated wild card Dinara Safina 6-3, 6-3 in the quarterfinals, and 8th seed Nadia Petrova defeated 2nd seed Sam Stosur 6-2, 6-1. Petrova is now 4-0 against the Australian.

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