Match ReportsPetrova Sends Black Packing
©ProSport/ B. Mackness Saturday, June 25, 2005
Nadia Petrova is renowned for her aggressive play and when she took on wild card Cara Black this morning the Russian was once again showing no mercy.
At first the match, being played on an overcast Court 14, looked in the favour of the 26-year-old Zimbabwean. Petrova was unable to find any rhythm as Black pinned balls to the backhand court.
Soon the No.8 seed was 4-2 down. A crying baby at the side of the court didn't help matters, with the Russian delaying her serve until it had been quietened.
On paper this should have been an easy match. Black is a doubles specialist - albeit a very good one. She is the current defending champion of both the Ladies' and Mixed Doubles titles. Petrova, meanwhile, is a dedicated singles player who reached the semi-final of this year's French Open.
But then Black likes grass courts - she grew up with four in her back garden. She won junior Wimbledon and when she debuted as a qualifier in 1998, she knocked out No.13 seed Patty Schynder in the second round.
Petrova on the other hand prefers hard courts. The Russian is a self-confessed aggressive player who likes to finish points off quickly. And it was this aggression that appeared to be lacking early in the first set.
But as the baby continued to cry, the Russian began to fire up.
The grunts became louder, the shots became harder and she started charging the net - a tactic her opponent had been using to good effect up to that point.
When Petrova took the first set 6-4 passers-by might have been forgiven for thinking she had lost it. Petrova slammed her racket into her bags, shouting. But it was her way of maintaining the fire. She promptly took the match 6-4, 6-3 in 1 hour 19 minutes to book her place in the fourth round.