Re: S3 - 2: Mondial Australian Women's Hardcourts, Gold Coast (II)
Daniela Rolls Past Jelena; Set To Face Jennifer Next!
Daniela strikes a backhand against World #4 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia
Another day, and another tight match win for World #18 Daniela Hantuuchova. After squeezing out of a tight 3-setter against Maria Kirilenko yesterday, she continued her success beating World #4 Jelena Jankovic 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 for a spot in the quarterfinals at the Mondial Australian Women’s Hardcourts. Daniela commented, “It’s a big day for Slovakian tennis. It’s a huge win for me, the kind that gives me the confidence to keep on fighting and being dedicated to my tennis. It definitely comes close to my win over then World #1 Tanasugarn in the Netherlands.”
Though this is not Jelena’s best surface, it also isn’t Daniela’s so it was set to be an even match from start to finish. In the first set, Jelena held leads of 4-1 and 5-3 before Daniela was able to stage a comeback of her own. Using her crisp groundstrokes, Daniela was able to push Jelena around the court often finishing with an easy winner or a volley at net. In the tiebreak, it was Daniela who was mentally stronger and continuing to dictate play as she finished the set in style with a nifty backhand drop shot.
The Serb, who is the tour veteran in this case, continued her keep fighting style and was able to sneak out of a close second set. Using her trademark backhand and cheetah-like footspeed, Jelena was able to hit more winners and also draw some unforced errors from the Slovak in crucial situations. Daniela commented, “Jelena is so quick on the court. She always seems to get that extra ball back into the court which reminds me a lot of my match with Kim last week. Luckily for me, I was able to close it out this time.”
The third set saw shaky tennis from the two competitors as both couldn’t seem to hold serve. However, that one extra break of serve from the Slovak was enough for her to serve out the match at 15 and book a spot in the quarterfinals. Daniela said, “Yeah, we both played pretty sloppy tennis towards the end but that’s tennis. We both wanted to win pretty badly and I’m so happy to have made it through.”
In the quarterfinals, Daniela will face 8th seeded Jennifer Capriati who defeated Serb Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 7-5. On the matchup Daniela said, “Jennifer had an amazing year last year getting into ATC’s top 10. Like Kim and Jelena she can play great defense and get extra shots back that others just can’t. I remember playing her last year twice during this season and she scraped through 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 both times. Right now I’m just enjoying my tennis and hopefully we can leave our best tennis out on the court.”