Saturday, April 9, 2016

Vesnina wins seven matches, and now goes for the title

Elena Vesnina (photo by Daniel Ward)

The wind swirled, flags fluttered, dust rose, the players yelled--sometimes very loudly--and the crowd went wild. The Elena and Sara Show was the highlight of today's action at the Volvo Car Open, and as far as I'm concerned, it would probably have been the highlight even if Angelique Kerber hadn't retired in the first semifinal.

Sara Errani (photo by Daniel Ward)
Qualifier Elena Vesnina and 5th seed Sara Errani presented a clay court tennis clinic in their three-set, two-hour, twenty-minute match. The slid, they lobbed, they changed pace, they dropped. Oh, did they drop. It was as much a mind game as it was a physical battle between two very fit athletes, and the only glitch in the entire operation was that one of them had to lose. That turned out to be Errani, as Vesnina became the first qualifier in the history of the tournament to reach the final.

The resurgent Russian's 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory books her a spot on the other side of the net from 7th seed Sloane Stephens, who won the semifinal played earlier in the day. In contrast to Vesnina, who has played seven matches, Stephens (who received a bye in the first round) has played three+ matches.

Photo by Daniel Ward
Vesnina was the runner-up in 2011; she lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the final. However, she and Sania Mirza won the doubles title that year.

There will also be a doubles final played tomorrow. Top seeds Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova will play 3rd seeds Caroline Garcia and Kiki Mladenovic.


Anonymous said...

this was a great one. "clay" was spelled all over it. the 2 semis could have been great finals, but this one worked out as the great semi of the tourney. i have been watching all week on happy not to hear espn as we can't get it on the limited basic package of cable we have now. i know the us open puts on its own coverage. if you know of any way i can watch roland garros let me know. can't use espn, tennis channel or nbcsn on line because you have to have the tv package that includes them to be able to see them online.
anyway, vesnina has been playing really well lately. i believe it was either doha or dubai where she also shined.

Diane said...

Tennis Channel Plus is the best way I know of to see a lot of the French Open. If I hear of something else, I'll let you know. It's strange--I can't get TC Everywhere because my Internet provider doesn't provide it, but I watch TC Plus because it's an Apple TV app.

Vesnina's comeback is going very well, and I'm glad.