Sunday, August 7, 2011

Carlsbad semifinals not short on drama

Agnieszka Radwanska injured her right shoulder during her quarterfinal match at the Mercury Insurance Open, but kept playing, and won. Later, the 3rd seed indicated that she might have to give her semifinal opponent, Andrea Petkovic, a walkover. But Radwanska showed up to play today, though she was obviously troubled by the injury, and had some trouble hitting off of both sides. Petkovic, the tournament's 2nd seed, won the first set 6-4, and it looked like she might be able to finish the match in straight sets.

But, as it turned out, Petkovic was suffering from a gastro-intestinal disorder (these g.i. problems seem to run rampant on the tour), and at 0-3 in the second set, she had an urge to vomit, but couldn't leave the court because her opponent was serving. When she was able to leave, she bounded off and ran through the stands to the nearest restroom. "Is it more embarrassing," she said after the match, "running off the court like a maniac or throwing up on court and being on SportsCenter for the next 25 years?"

(Good question. Pete Sampras threw up on the court and was called "tough." I suspect that a woman throwing up on the court would not get that kind of praise.)

But I digress. Radwanska, who said she became more relaxed after losing the first set, won ten straight games, which gave her a 6-0 second set and a 4-0 lead in the third. Petkovic fought hard and made a comeback, but Radwanska won the third set 6-4. And as strange as the match was--with one player injured and the other sick--it was also kind of fun to watch. Of course, I always enjoy watching Radwanska, and now that Petkovic has refined her game, I enjoyed watching her compete against Radwanska.

This is the second year in a row that Radwanska has reached the Mercury Insurance Open final. Last year, she was defeated in three sets by Svetlana Kuznetsova.

The second semifinal match wasn't as dramatic as that one, but it was interesting in its own way. Top seed Vera Zvonareva had to contend with 5th seed Ana Ivanovic, who--when she shows flashes of tennis brilliance--can be dazzling. And during portions of this match, Ivanovic dazzled. The situation was made more tense by the fact that Zvonareva had a terrible time closing sets. She served for the first set and was broken, then lost it 5-7. She got ahead in the second set, but it took her seven set points to finish. Not surprisingly, she needed several match points, too; after leading 5-1 in the third set, she had to fight off a determined Ivanovic.

Zvonareva won this entertaining match 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Her backhand was on fire, and she was also able to use her experience in out-lasting an opponent in long, difficult contests.

Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik, the top doubles seeds, advanced to the final today when they defeated Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci 3-6, 6-4, 10-7.


Sunny nine said...

I'm not sure what was going on with Zvonareva-taking so long to close out sets-matches. She played better than Ivanovic when she was paying attention.

Diane said...

Zvonareva is one of those players who goes "off," but she frequently knows how to turn the match around just when she needs to. Her overall fitness level is high, and that really helps.

Pauline said...

I was there and it was some of the best most exciting tennis I have ever seen. Can't wait for the US Open to start!

Diane said...

Great that you got to go, Pauline. It really was a good tournament this year. The Rogers Cup draw looks very promising, too. said...

Here, I do not really suppose this will have effect.