Blogger has been down for maintenance for a couple of days, so I haven't been able to post anything. The tournament in Rome has really captured my attention, however. It's now close to being in the semifinals, so--before we forget--there are a couple of players who made noteworthy runs, even though they've been beaten.
Polona Hercog, who went out in the first round of qualifying in Madrid, upset 15th seed Andrea Petkovic in straight sets in the second round in Rome. Hercog, who had to go through qualifying, also defeated Alexandra Dulgheru, who is known for her clay court savvy. Hercog lost to 6th seed Sam Stosur in the third round.
Greta Arn had a good run, too. Arn upset 12th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 3-6, 7-6, 7-6 in a first round match that lasted three hours and 22 minutes. Arn then defeated wild card Alberta Brianti, and she defeated (an injured) Elena Vesnina in the third round (also, 3-6, 7-6, 7-6). Finally, Arn met her match in 4th seed Li Na.
Rome is, of course, generally where Jelena Jankovic "finds herself." She lost the final last year, but her run was nevertheless top form--she defeated both Williams sisters. Today, however, she was beaten in three sets by top seed Caroline Wozniacki. Jankovic made an abundance of unforced errors, helping Wozniacki to send her out of her beloved Rome. The top seed will play Li in the quarterfinals.
Also making it to the semifinals was Sam Stosur, who took out home favorite and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone in straight sets. Stosur will face wither Victoria Azarenka or Maria Sharapova next.
Ear Muffs are in for the current Sharapova v Azarenka showdown. I can only describe the noise on court as sounding like "two competing fireworks". And it seems to getting louder.....
A supporter of Team Jankovic: I fear is starting to deteriorate my mental health. Had Wozniacki well and truly on the ropes at the start of the third set, and then..........
Sad to see Schiavone go out. The atmosphere on Court Centrale supporting Francesca this week has been fabulous. Sam Stosur was too good today.
And now Azarenka loses again by way of a retirement. Once more, while she's in the lead in the match, too. Seriously, she almost makes Lisicki seem physically sturdy by comparison. Almost.
Has there every been any other player ranked as highly as she with such an inability to routinely complete tournaments on a week-to-week basis, but who never suffers the sort of major injuries that keep her off the court for weeks and/or months?
Off the top of my head, I can't think of one.
Yeah, what a shame. That hit-fest was spicin' up into a feisty encounter. Injury-prone Vika must have tweaked something returning some of those rockets from Kvitova last Sunday.
Great to see King/Shvedova back together again with a win today over Petrova/Rodionova 7-6(4),6-4!
Azarenka was my "most favored" to win the French Open, but "if she stays healthy" was the caveat. Now it's an elbow contusion, and soon, it will be something else, and I just can't see her getting through seven rounds.
This is a real shame because she is so good in so many ways. And no, I don't think there has ever been such a highly-ranked player who is so chronically physically fragile. Even JJ, who had breathing problems from time to time (and had them fixed) and came up with such complaints as "My feet are hot" stayed in tournaments much more than she retired from them.
Bartoli, of course, must be considered, but I think, in her case, her fragility has cost her a higher ranking.
Tim, it's a little odd, seeing King and Shvedova advance this far in a tournament that isn't a major!
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