BAUSCH & LOMB CHAMPIONSHIPS (Amelia, Florida, USA, WTA Tier II)
+ VERA ZVONAREVA  d. Peng Shuai, 4-6 6-4 7-6 (9/7)
Bepa broke in the first game of the third set, but Peng Shuai - a Selesian player - broke back to make it 3-3. Bepa had to serve to stay in the match at 4-5 and 5-6.
Bepa's scores in the tiebreak were *2/0, 2/2*, *2/3, *3/3, 4/3*, 4/4*, *6/4 (2 match-points), 6/6*, *7/6 (MP #3), *7/7, 8/7* (MP #4), 9/7.
It was great that Bepa won that match. It could so easily have been a devastating loss for her, but she should remember that third set when she's in tight situations in the future. And 54 winners is not unimpressive!
It was very nice to see Bepa on WTATour.com's front page!
And at http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery
- looking sexier than Anna Kournikova I might add!
(Bepa and Anna were on page 4 at the time I posted this.)
Nice match, brilliant winner:
+ VERA ZVONAREVA  d. ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA , 6-4 6-4
Bepa made a bad start, going 0-2 and 1-3 down, but she fought back to 3-3. After that it was a very tight match, with several moments when things could have turned nasty for Bepa, but it always seemed to go the right way at these moments; Bepa also recovered from 0-2 down in the second.
World #16 Elena Likhovtseva is the highest-ranked player Bepa has beaten in 2005 so far, but she'll be claiming much bigger scalps than that when she wins the French Open!
Interestingly enough, Elena was the more aggressive player with a winner:unforced error ratio of 26:30 to Bepa's 19:24. I've had a casual liking for Elena since she almost knocked Lindsay Davenport out of Wimbledon 2000 in the second round (Elena had a point for 4-0 in the third set, then lost every single game left in the match).
- VERA ZVONAREVA  lt. Virginie Razzano, 6-4 6-4
Bepa made a dreadful start, falling behind 0-3 with two breaks; she broke back once, but was broken again for 1-4. When she fought back to 4-4, I felt confident that she would impose herself on the journeywoman Razzano; instead she got broken for 4-5, and Razzano served out the first set.
Bepa got broken early in the second set, which then went with serve until Razzano served that out too.
As for Razzano having already had to play a third set to beat Ai Sugiyama earlier today, I think it's an advantage to be warmed up if you're going to win your second match of the day in straight sets. If Bepa could have taken this match to a third set, that's when Razzano would have been at a disadvantage in terms of tiredness.
Bepa served poorly today, winning only 53% of points when she got her first serve in, 44% second serve. She was broken 5 times from 8 break-points (and broke 3 times from 7 BPs). It seems Bepa's serve is the barometer of her form this year; when she plays in hot climates such as Florida, she tends to serve badly and lose.
Bepa had a healthy W:UE ratio of 29:25, but Razzano played well above herself with a W:UE of 37:27, so I must grudgingly congratulate her on her performance.
Bepa luck next time!
(Bepa in Maui Jim sunglasses; Bepa in a blue shirt)
Dr. Andrew Broad