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tennisIlove09
Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:13 AM
Victorious Vera: Zvonareva Upsets Venus At Roland Garros


Photo By Susan Mullane By Richard Pagliaro
06/02/2003

A year ago, unheralded Vera Zvonareva took a set off eventual-champion Serena Williams in a fourth-round Roland Garros loss. Today, the rising Russian returned to the same stage of the tournament, a year wiser and clearly stronger, as she went one step further and knocked third seeded Venus Williams out of the tournament with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 victory.


The victory snapped Venus’ streak of four consecutive Grand Slam final appearances and erased the potential for a fifth straight Slam final between the Williams sisters.

The 22nd-seeded Zvonareva will play either compatriot Nadia Petrova or seventh-seeded Jennifer Capriati for a spot in the semifinals.

While Williams is the highest-seeded woman to fall from the tournament, the loss isn’t exactly a shocker. Observers who saw Zvonareva’s impressive run to the Family Circle Cup semifinals could see the sound ground strokes, quick court coverage and feisty fighting spirit that helped her conclude the 2002 season with a 41-14 record and a year-end ranking of No. 45, which was an improvement of 342 places from her 2001 year-end rank. A fearless competitor, who seems to love a good battle on court, the 18-year-old Zvonareva entered today’s matching knowing Venus was vulnerable to defeat and firmly believing she was capable of winning.

If you saw Venus' 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 victory over 110th-ranked Evie Dominikovic in the second round of Roland Garros, you witnessed some stretches of sloppy play from a former No. 1 who is still struggling to find her footing on the slow surface. Her second serve was attackable and she looked off balance and out of sorts at times, surrendering serve five times.

"I can't stay at this level and still continue to do as well as I'd like to at this tournament," Williams said after the second round. "I need to play more and more points, definitely not to rush my shots. But I feel I'm coming along."

Williams won four consecutive games to close out the first set today. But the resilient Russian rallied to win the second set, 6-2, and even the match.

Astutely picking on Williams’ forehand, which is a suspect shot under pressure, Zvonareva scored an early break in the third set. Williams’ running forehand in particular let her down as she flailed several forehands into the net and looked indecisive on the shot as she struggled to find her contact point.

The 2002 Roland Garros runner-up broke back to even the set. But Zvonareva secured the crucial service break in the ninth game to seize a 5-4 lead before confidently serving out the match to register the biggest win of her career.

Greenout
Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:06 AM
Nice to see a article giving Vera the credit
she deserves. What's with the pity parties on
board for Venus. Boo Hoo ..she wasn't play that
well so Vera was lucky to be able to capitalize?

Oh come on people. Why can't anybody say better
things beside the Eggy crew who have been pointing
and waving clues in our faces for years now about
oh those great Russian girls. They are right.
Dementieva , Myskina, Bovina, - now Nadia and Vera.
They're here to stay. I'm a huge Jen fan; but I'm not
out there with a search party looking for excuses to
explain Jen's loss. Jen loss. She's a champion. She
lost to an opponent who really gave it to her. End of
sentence. I enjoy seeing new bright players. I hope
to see Nadia kick start this win into a regular spot
in the top of tennis.

Hagar
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:03 AM
Zvonareva is really impressive. The most amazing thing for me is that she stayed so cool when finishing the match. If Kim meets her in the semis it's gonna be very tough.

irma
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:05 AM
did she have a sport shrink?

since it's such a difference with last year!

Greenout
Jun 2nd, 2003, 11:11 AM
Didn't she sort of do those Marat type
on court gestures? lol. What about Petrova?
Remember when she lost in a match against
I forgot whom; only to yank the cross off
her neck. lol.