Sunday, February 15, 2015

Petkovic wins Diamond Games

Yesterday, I tweeted that I wished the Petko vs. BZS match in Antwerp were the final. Well, that's exactly what it turned out to be. Andrea Petkovic won the Diamond Games today when her opponent in the final, Carla Suarez Navarro, withdrew because of neck pain.

This, of course, isn't how anyone wanted it to be--not the fans, not the WTA, not the tournament staff, not Petkovic, and certainly not Suarez Navarro. Petko had to play her heart out in the semifinals against Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, whose defense was sometimes breathtaking. Petkovic beat BZS 7-6, 7-6. For her part, Suarez Navarro made easy work of defeating Karolina Pliskova in the semifinals.

The crowd who showed up for the final saw a brief exhibition match between Petkovic and tournament director Kim Clijsters; Clijsters won.

Petkovic will re-enter the Top 10 this week. In early April, she she'll be in Charleston to defend her 2014 title.

Top seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Arantxa Parra Santoja won the Antwerp doubles title, defeating wild cards An-Sophie Mestach and Alison Van Uytvanck 6-4, 3-6, 10-5 in the final. Van Uytvanck also had a wild card in singles and took champion Petkovic to three sets in the second round. The match lasted three hours and 19 minutes, and Petkovic had to save eight match points.

Meanwhile, Daniela Hantuchova won the title in Pattaya City for the third time. Hantuchova had to knock off Marina Erakovic and Ajla Tomljanovic in the semifinals and the final, respectively. Hantuchova saved two match points against Erakovic.

Chan Hao-Ching and Chan Jung-Jan won the doubles title, beating Shuko Aoyama and Tamerine Tanasugarn.

Things got off to a thrilling start in Dubai. Flavia Pennetta saved four match points to defeat Julia Goerges. This was Pennetta's first win of the 2015 season. "...I've been trying to find my good tennis," the Italian said, "but it's not coming. But I have to play with what I have now."

And--surprise!--Alize Cornet needed three hours and eleven minutes to defeat Kirsten Flipkens in a match that had my head spinning. Cornet was in full French opera mode, cracking her racket, screaming, and moaning over the fact that she had no challenges remaining when she really needed them. I'd have moaned, too. All of the non-contested points would have gone the Frenchwoman's way. I'm with Mary Carillo--players should be able to challenge as many times as they want to. Turning line call accuracy into a game doesn't appeal to me, especially when the line judges have a mediocre success rate (which is always being bragged about--talk about lower your expectations).

At any rate, After taking the first set 6-0, Cornet went on to lose the second set in a tiebreak, as Flipkens finally got into the match. The third set was all drama all the time, and a lot of fun; Cornet won it 6-3. Afterwards, she said "I was tired, I was sweating, I was dead...."


Arsdorf said...

While some were focusing on the Antwerp tournament, here in Asia we especially enjoyed the Pattaya City WTA semi-final competition between 'rising-stars' Ajla Tomljanović and Monica Puig, both power hitters with accuracy, which Ajla won 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 7-6 (9-7). But kudos also to Dani H, who won one for those of us over 30!

Diane said...

I actually meant to say something about that semifinal and forgot to, so thanks for adding it, Arsdorf. That was very likely the match of the week.

Overhead Spin said...

I must be the only person in tennis who is so over Alize Cornet and the dramatics. Enough already. Just do your job and stop with the everlasting theatrics, the tears, the racquet smashing etc. One would hope that if she puts more effort into winning tennis matches and titles rather than the theatrics how much more successful would she be

Diane said...

I don't think you're the only person, Karen! The tears may be unavoidable--some people are biologically wired to cry very easily, so who knows?

I like Alize's game, and I really like her fight, her off-court demeanor and the honesty she displays. The on-court stuff isn't everyone's cup of tea--understood. I give her a "French" pass (I also give "Italian" passes!). And anyway, I find her antics entertaining, just as I found Bartoli's.

sunny nine said...

This is not about last week but looking towards this week since it may not come up. I just read on WTA that Halep said she felt "pressure" being the no 1 seed. Is this what is happening to her? After she beat Serena at the finals was it too much pressure to try fully to beat her again in the finals final? was the pressure of AO too much when she seemed to go inside herself with no sign of fight, frustration or talking much to herself? hopefully she chose someone as coach to get her through the pressure of living up to what she carved out in 2013 and 2014. so much talent. there are so many waiting in the wings if she doesn't.

Diane said...

Yes, I think Halep is starting to crumble from the pressure. At least she's stopped denying it. Mental coach, please!

Sabey said...

Carla Suarez Navarro pulls out of the final in Antwerp with an injury and flies right away to Dubai where she wins her match against Giorgi. I am confused.

Diane said...

It was a sore neck, and that isn't necessarily an injury. She could have slept in such a way that caused a stiff neck, or she may have knocked a joint out of whack and no one put it back in place for her.

Eric said...

I think you will love this, Diane!

Diane said...

Yes! Thanks, Eric, for sharing it.

Andrea talked a lot about her darker side in Charleston last year. She's quite open about it. As someone with a kind of conflicted personality myself, I feel for her.