A bad day all round for me at the Watson's Water Challenge exhibition-tournament in Hong Kong:
Round Robin (Red Group):
- Maria Sharapova lt. Elena Dementieva, 6-7 (2/7) 6-3 6-1
- Vera Zvonareva lt. Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-3 6-3
- Maria/Vera lt. Kuznetsova/Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, 8-3
Maria was tired, apparently, while Vera served 8 double-faults in her singles.
Round Robin (Green Group):
- Vera Zvonareva lt. Venus Williams, 6-2 4-6 7-5
Vera almost repeated her sensational French Open 2003 victory over Venus, recovering from 0-3 down in the third set to lead 5-3. Vera served for the match at 5-4 - just like she did (successfully) at that French Open - but this time, sadly, she didn't make it. I hear she was in tears again.
+ Vera/Elena Dementieva d. Venus/Serena Williams, 7-5 7-5
Vera had already lost the other doubles semi-final with Maria Sharapova, but was drafted in to replace Nicole Vaidišová, who sadly had to withdraw from the tournament with gastroenteritis.
This means that Dementieva beat Vaidišová by default to qualify for the final, for which Maria could have qualified if Vaidišová had beaten Dementieva, and if Maria had beaten Vaidišová on Friday.
I haven't heard any news about a replacement opponent for Maria - it should be Vera, as those two always play mouthwatering high-quality matches against each other!
But my objective guess is Serena Williams.
Disappointing though Wednesday's results were for me, the girls did do a glamourous off-court photo-shoot!
It was particularly exciting to see Vera doing the glamour-thing for once!
Here's a nice individual one of her:
Dr. Andrew Broad