Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pennetta defeats Hantuchova in Montreal

The big news today in Montreal was, of course, the upset of top seed Jelena Jankovic. However, there was another quite notable match played by 15th seed Flavia Pennetta and Daniela Hantuchova. It was notable because Pennetta was at her best, managing Hantuchova from the baseline, and displaying the type of clever tactics that make her such a good hard court player.

Pennetta won the first set 6-0, and--as one would expect--the second set was more competitive. In fact, Hantuchova served for it at 5-3, and when the score reached 30-all, there was an especially thrilling rally which Pennetta won. She followed that with a perfect drop shot, brought the score to 4-5, and never looked back.

What I've observed about Pennetta is that when her serve is on, her confidence stays high, and she is a major threat. But it does go off, and then she gets into trouble, not only for obvious reasons, but--or so it appears--because she loses her mental drive. Today, she played at a high level, and Hantuchova was simply not able to move well enough to keep up.

All the seeds, except for Jankovic, advanced. Lucky loser Kimiko Date Krumm defeated qualifier Monica Niculescu, and Agnes Szavay defeated Gisela Dulko 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 in a tightly contested match; Dulko did herself in with nine double faults. 18th seed Nadia Petrova had to fend off a three-set challenge from Lucie Safarova, and 11th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova won a three-set match when her opponent, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, once again wound down in the third set.

In doubles, 5th seeds Alisa Kleybanova and Ekaterina Makarova were upset 4-6, 7-6, 10-8 by Anabel Medina Garrigues and Yan Zi.

No comments: