Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Kvitova and Sharapova go to Australian Open semifinals

2nd seed Petra Kvitova defeated Sara Errani 6-4, 6-4 yesterday in the Australian Open quarterfinals, yet it's Errani who stands out for her clever and gutsy performance. Errani gave her all, and that was considerable. Kvitova later acknowledged that she had problems with some of the Italian's high, spinning balls. She had other problems, too; she made 44 unforced errors. The 2011 Wimbledon champion has played five matches in Melbourne, but she has yet to settle down. Of course, toward the end of the second set, Kvitova took charge, kind of like we knew she would, and put and authoritatively put an end to the match. Still, she may be living a little too much on the edge in this tournament.

In the other quarterfinal played yesterday, Maria Sharapova put an end to Ekaterina Makarova's impressive Australian Open run, defeating her 6-2, 6-3. Makarova had service problems throughout both sets, which left her vulnerable to some of the biggest returns in women's tennis.

Of the four quarterfinal matches, I enjoyed the Kvitova-Errani one the most, because of Errani's spirited and challenging performance.

Errani's day got better, too, when she and partner Roberta Vinci reached the doubles final by defeating Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka 5-7, 7-5, 6-1. The Italian team is seeded 11th at the event. In the other semifinal, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva defeated Sania Mirza and Elena Vesnina 7-6, 2-6, 6-4. The unseeded Russian team took out the defending champions, Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, in the third round.

So far, I've enjoyed the doubles competition more than the singles competition at this Australian Open. There have been some thrilling doubles matches just about every day.

Women'e wheelchair singles began yesterday, and top seed Esther Vergeer won her quarterfinal match 6-0, 6-2.

Quarterfinal winners in mixed doubles were: Sania Mirza/Mahesh Bhupati, Jarmila Gajdosova/Bruno Soares, Roberta Vinci/Daniele Bracciali, and Elena Vesnina/Leander Paes.

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