Mauresmo stays afloat
Amelie Mauresmo retrieves the ball during her match against Petra Mandula. @Gulf News
It's one double fault Petra Mandula will not want to forget for a long time in her career.
Leading 5-4 and 40-30 with the deciding set firmly in her grip, she double faulted on her serve to literally hand over the match to defending champion Amelie Mauresmo in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Women's Open yesterday.
That one double fault denied the qualifier from upsetting a top seed in her career and saw the defending champion slip through unscathed 6-2, 2-6, 7-6 result for a quarter-final face off with Russian Lina Krasnoroutskaya.
Mandula took her time to settle in as she lost the opening set 2-6. But she made amends taking the next at a similar score to force the match into the deciding third set.
Leading 5-4 and 40-15, the Hungarian double faulted to allow her French opponent to tie for deuce. And when Mandula hit a forehand wide to tie the score 5-5, Mauresmo knew she was on top of her opponent.
"I think the point that made the difference was when I broke her at 5-4," said a relieved Mauresmo.
"I think she got a bit nervous and edgy after I broke her," Mauresmo reflected.
Mandula too felt she had her chances. "I should have made use of the chances that came my way," regretted the 97th ranked Hungarian girl.
"I was shaky and I knew I had a chance to win against a top player. I am really disappointed that I have not achieved my goal," she added.
Mauresmo was as surprised by Mandula‚s fightback as the healthy crowd that had gathered at the centre court. "She kept on improving with each game and she really fought for all her points," Mauresmo said of Mandula‚s second set win. But the tie-breaker decided it in favour of the defending champion.
"What worries me more than losing the game is that I have not been able to keep myself focused on the game out there. There are too many things happening around me and I keep shifting my focus to these things rather than staying on top of my game," Mandula lamented.
In another match played later on centre court, Anastasia Myskina brushed aside Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3, 6-2 to become the last player to complete the quarter-final line up for the competition.
DUBAI (Reuters) - Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Open on Thursday after defeating Russia's Lina Krasnoroutskaya 6-2, 6-4.
The second seed from France said the trauma caused by the cartilage injury to her right knee, which kept her out of the game for four months, had made her a tougher player.
"I thought I wouldn't come back on the court again," said the 23-year-old. "That was the first impression when I saw the diagnosis. So it's good that I'm back.
"I realized that tennis was my life and I really love the game and being on the court. I think mentally, going through that, it gives you toughness."
Mauresmo will next meet fourth-seeded American Monica Seles who dismissed Iroda Tulyaganova of Uzbekistan 6-1, 7-5.
"Now the level of my game is very good, and probably better than when I stopped in October. Then, I couldn't even think about going back on the court," said Mauresmo."
Krasnoroutskaya went through a similar crisis when she badly sprained an ankle last year and missed several months. After returning last July, she is only now returning to the level she enjoyed before the injury.
She made a clumsy start against Mauresmo, dropping the first four games. She also struggled with her serve throughout the match, hitting 10 double-faults.
But at other times she caught Mauresmo cold with stunning returns and fiercely-struck winners. That inconsistency caused Mauresmo a few problems.
"With her the points are one or two shots, and that's it. It can be in or out, and I really had trouble getting into the rhythm," said Mauresmo.
"So it was a tough match mentally, because you have to stay in there. But she didn't expect me to return and be as aggressive as I was. My serve was also better than yesterday, so I was able to put my game together around that."
Feb 20th, 2003, 04:33 PM
Tough match tomorrow against Monica!
Come on Momo Just Do It!
Feb 20th, 2003, 04:42 PM
Originally posted by griffin
don't make me throw cake at you.
(4) Monica Seles (USA) d. (2) Amelie Mauresmo (FRA) 63 22 retired (aggravation of right adductor strain)
Figured as much. Rest up and take the U.S. by storm!! :D
Feb 21st, 2003, 02:30 PM
Seles In Dubai Final After Mauresmo Retires Injured
Fri February 21, 2003 07:52 AM ET
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - Monica Seles advanced to her second final of the year on Friday when defending champion Amelie Mauresmo was forced to retire from the Dubai Open with a right thigh injury.
Second seeded Mauresmo, who was playing only her second tournament in four months after suffering a cartilage injury in her right knee, had to withdraw from the Antwerp tournament last week with a left abductor injury. This time it was her right.
"I aggravated the abductor during the match," she said. "The game before I left the court, I really felt something strong. I tried having some more tape, but it didn't work.
"There is no point in staying on the court if you can't play. I couldn't really move the way I like to move and I didn't want to aggravate the situation.
"But it's very disappointing, and not just giving up the title. It was a good match and she was playing good tennis. She was very aggressive and taking the ball early and returning well."
The injury was not entirely a surprise, following a medical opinion she received after injuring her left abductor muscle while reaching the Paris indoor Open final two weeks ago.
"The doctor told me when I had it on the other side that it often happens when you come back after a few months without competition, that you have muscle problems here and there," she said.
"I will stop tomorrow in Paris and try to see the doctor and make sure I handle this well before going to America."
The semi-final had been delicately balanced until Mauresmo's 63rd-minute retirement. Playing in blustery and humid conditions, it was fourth-seeded Seles who impressed with her fierce groundstrokes, but her French opponent countered with some spectacular backhands.
"It's definitely not the way you like to win a match," said Seles, who lost to Mauresmo when they last played at the same stage last year.
"We were so close in that first set. She's tough to play because she doesn't give you the same ball. You have to keep moving and I'm just really happy that I stayed focused out there.
"There were some great points. I just think I played well generally. I wasn't making to many unforced errors, and just kept the ball in play."
Feb 21st, 2003, 02:41 PM
As we say among my people,
Get well soon, Amelie, we'll just cheer that much louder when you come back.
Feb 21st, 2003, 03:01 PM
All of the French reports we've read (babblefish and I ;)) say that her participation in the American tournies will not be called into question. She's visiting the doctor in Paris tomorrow and then will be on her way over here!! :D
GET WELL SOON MOMO!!
Feb 21st, 2003, 10:41 PM
Thanks for the news Linnie! I'm so glad that it's not her knee at least.