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goldenlox
Feb 19th, 2004, 10:41 PM
If Vera is injured, it doesn't matter where she is.
You don't want to be in Maria's draw in a Tier III. Look at the Quebec final. And Tatiana.
Bad things happen.

Epigone
Feb 19th, 2004, 10:53 PM
Vera wins 6-3 6-4. She's going to meet Maria Sharapova in the SF :yippee:

ys
Feb 19th, 2004, 10:53 PM
Well done, Vera. Good luck against Masha. I think that Vera's speed, variety and counter-punching power will drive Masha nuts tomorrow.

goldenlox
Feb 19th, 2004, 11:07 PM
I hope this match is on tv. I know Vera can handle pace, but she has to hold serve.
Frazier was broken all day today.

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 12:38 AM
I checked the tournament website, and they aren't showing this match. Just the final.
So if Vera doesn't win this, she will earn much fewer points and less money than if she played Antwerp.
And she will not even be on tv once.
This is a must win semi-final.

Epigone
Feb 20th, 2004, 12:43 AM
According to the tournament website, Vera suffered a nosebleed in the second set and had to stop for ten minutes. She said that it's happened before and she had to play with a tissue stuffed in her nostril :eek:. That couldn't have been too good for her breathing, so it's good to see that she fought and won in two sets.

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 12:44 AM
I read that also-

Zvonareva Stems Dulko's Flow

Top seed Vera Zvonareva overcame a nose bleed and a tricky opponent in Gisela Dulko to move through to the semifinals of the Cellular South Cup in Memphis. Zvonareva played for most of the second set with tissue stemming the flow from her nose before winning 6-3, 6-4 to set up a clash with her doubles partner Maria Sharapova.

"Sometimes it's happened before," said Zvonareva. "I had to play with tissue in my nostril and they put some spray on. It's not very comfortable, but it's fine."

In a battle of the 19-year-olds on Stadium court, Zvonareva put the inconvenience of the nose bleed behind her to reach the semifinals in Memphis for the first time in her three appearances. The World No. 12, looking for her second career title following her victory in Bol in 2003, also is appearing in her first semifinal of the season. Her best result prior to this week was her career-best fourth round showing at the Australian Open, where she eventually lost to Lindsay Davenport.

"In the first set, all my shots were pretty good and I was serving very well," said Zvonareva. "Second set, I had a bleeding nose so I had to stop for about 10 minutes. Then I was a little bit nervous because she started to play a little better, but then I took my time and I started to play much better without any mistakes and that's why I won."

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 12:45 AM
If I entered a Tier III, and Maria was in the draw, I would leave and go play a 25k.
Bad things happen.

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 12:50 AM
Vera, stop playing these kind of Tier III's. You belong with the best. You will not beat Davenport and Clijsters by avoiding them.

Epigone
Feb 20th, 2004, 01:05 AM
If I entered a Tier III, and Maria was in the draw, I would leave and go play a 25k.
Bad things happen.When Vera steps onto the court against Maria, her biggest opponent will be her own head. If she controls her head, she will win the match. However, Vera seems to have been struggling with her first serve in this tournament. She'll need to get that under control because she is struggling to hold serve after breaking.

From the match against Dulko:
Vera broke in the 2nd game, but was broken in the third. She then broke again in the 6th game and won 6-3.

Vera broke in the 1st game of the second set, but was taken to 0-30 on serve in the 2nd game. She was then broken in the fourth game (after the timeout to stop her nose from bleeding), she then broke in the 7th game to win 6-4.

In the first set, her 1st serve was at 52%, but she won on 80% of those points. When I checked her first serve towards the end of the second set, it was at 44%. Serving troubles will dent her confidence and will affect her mental state.

With Vera, the problems are mental. She has the firepower to dismantle Maria, but she'll need to keep her cool to do it

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 01:11 AM
I just watched Raymond win the first set 6-0 in 17 minutes.
This surface is fast. It plays like grass. Sharapova and Raymond both don't want rallies. They love this kind of surface.
Vera will have to play great to win this tournament.
The points and money for being a losing semi-finalist are tiny.

Vera should be in Antwerp.

ys
Feb 20th, 2004, 03:12 AM
This surface is fast. It plays like grass.
It doesn't play like grass. The bounce is still decently high. Vera will handle Masha and Raymond, no problem.

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 03:14 AM
I watched several matches. And I was just watching Nadia lose to Venus at Wimbledon.
It plays like grass.

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 03:53 AM
Obviously, the footing is different. But this court plays fast.
The semi is 1:30 Memphis time. Not even on tv.
Must win match for Vera.

KV
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:52 AM
Great a Vera vs. Masha semi-final. Good Vera

BK4ever
Feb 20th, 2004, 01:42 PM
Vera better not lose...to that lil snot nosed banger;)

Like ys says...if Vera uses her variety...she should win and better win

VeraNuVirgosFan
Feb 20th, 2004, 02:22 PM
lil snot nosed banger
Another name invetor.

BK4ever
Feb 20th, 2004, 02:31 PM
Another name invetor.
Gosh...u guys are so touchy...are u so obsessed with your fave that they are about a lil humor or criticism...

btw..she is a lil snot nosed banger ;) and if u didnt realize this is Vera's thread :tape:

VeraNuVirgosFan
Feb 20th, 2004, 03:05 PM
if u didn't realize this is Vera's thread.
Yes, it is.

So what?

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 08:46 PM
Vera was down 1-4, and 3-5 in games, and 3-5 in the tiebreak, but won the first set 7-6(5).
Still a long way to go.

ys
Feb 20th, 2004, 08:51 PM
She also served for the set at 6:5..

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 08:53 PM
They play doubles together later today.

KV
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:01 PM
Vera leads Masha 7-6 3-1

KV
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:05 PM
Vera leads Masha 7-6 4-1

KV
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:09 PM
Vera leads Masha 7-6 4-2

KV
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:16 PM
Vera won 7-6 6-2

goldenlox
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:21 PM
Vera is into the finals. I'll get to see her on tv. Good comeback.
That's how to do it. Finish. Don't let your opponents back in the match.
I know this match was the reason you came to Memphis.
Now finish it off in style.

KV
Feb 20th, 2004, 09:28 PM
And Vera has already assured her Fed Cup selection. Can't see any reason why she shouldn't be selected apart from an injury

Epigone
Feb 21st, 2004, 01:12 AM
Vera and Masha win 6-2 5-7 6-3 and are into the final. They blew three match points on serve before finally winning :o . I guess you shouldn't ask Russians to serve out a match because they seem to tense up :shrug:.

Vera is now into both finals :worship:

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2004, 03:07 AM
Vera plays Lisa Raymond. Lisa won 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 the only time they faced, in Philadelphia.
This is a fast indoor surface, and it will take a big match from Vera to win this.

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2004, 03:21 AM
Memphis, TN (Sports Network) - Top-seeded Russian Vera Zvonareva reached the title match with a straight-set victory over third-seeded compatriot Maria Sharapova Friday at the $190,000 Kroger St. Jude and Cellular South Cup tennis tournament.

The world No. 12 Zvonareva topped the rising Sharapova 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to reach her first final of the year and third of her blossoming career. The 19-year- old claimed her lone WTA Tour title in Bol, Croatia last season and was a runner-up in Palermo in 2002. Zvonareva awaits the Lisa Raymond-Laura Granville winner. The second-seeded Raymond is the two-time defending champion at The Racquet Club of Memphis. Saturday's titlist will earn $28,900.

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2004, 03:22 AM
Lisa was interviewed after beating Granville and she sounded very confident.
Vera has to play very well tomorrow.

Epigone
Feb 21st, 2004, 05:09 AM
The win against Maria will give Vera a massive confidence boost. Not only because Maria is regarded as a future superstar, but because she won in a most impressive way. She was down a break and faced two set points, yet she managed to fight back. She was also behind in the TB and managed to fight back and win the set. She then stayed composed during the second set and won it quite easily. This is not the way that a typical match involving Vera unfolds. Vera triumphed in the face of adversity and then didn't choke after getting the break in the second set. Hopefully this focused mindset will continue into the final.

Vera should be fully adjusted to the speed of the court and she just needs to concentrate on playing her natural game. If she believes in herself and has a reasonable first serve percentage, she should win the title.

Epigone
Feb 21st, 2004, 05:26 AM
Order of play for Saturday:
Not before 7:00 PM
(1)V Zvonareva (RUS) vs (2)L Raymond (USA)
Sharapova/Zvonareva vs (2) Svensson/Tu

Does anyone know for how long will Vera be allowed to rest before she plays doubles?

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2004, 05:07 PM
Vera Zvonareva has come a long way in a short time.

As a 17-year-old two years ago, Zvonareva used a wild-card entry into the qualifying of the inaugural women's tournament in Memphis as a means of getting into the main draw. Zvonareva gave eventual runnerup Alexandra Stevenson all she could handle before falling in three sets (with two tiebreaks) in a first-round match.

After a second-round defeat in last year's Cellular South Cup, the third time is looking like a charm. The top-seeded Zvonareva, now 19, advanced to today's final after a 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over No. 3 Maria Sharapova.
Zvonareva will meet No. 2 seed and two-time defending champion Lisa Raymond at 6:30 tonight in what she hopes will result in her second WTA Tour title.

"I'm real excited because to be the top seed and in the finals, it's not easy," Zvonareva said. "It's my third year and it's my best result."

Her path, which has led to a No. 12 world ranking this week, has been surprising, considering how quickly she's risen. The young Russian's first experience in Memphis is one she still remembers vividly.

"It was a really good experience for me," Zvonareva said. "Since then, I've improved like 300 places in the rankings. Now, I'm more confident in my tennis."

the cat
Feb 21st, 2004, 08:24 PM
Good luck to Vera in the Memphis final! :D

Udachi Verushka! :D :kiss: :bounce:

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2004, 09:17 PM
This is an important match for Vera. You don't want a player like Raymond to think that she owns you.
Vera will have to make some good passing shots.
Lisa will not fold the way Maria did.

KV
Feb 21st, 2004, 09:51 PM
Good luck Vera & provide the first Russian victory on the pro tour.

goldenlox
Feb 21st, 2004, 11:07 PM
Vera trying to be the first Russian to win a WTA title in 2004. Tonight's the night.

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:10 AM
I just rewatched Vera's match against Nicole Pratt from the AO and I am confident that Vera has the game to beat Lisa Raymond. As long as she believes in herself and remains focused, the title is Vera's for the taking.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:13 AM
They are starting right now. Udachi Vera!

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:25 AM
On serve 1-2. This surface plays very fast. Lisa is controlling play.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:38 AM
Raymond is up 5-2. This match could be over in a few minutes. No rallies.

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:41 AM
What is wrong with Vera's first serve? Is she rushing when she serves?

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:46 AM
Lisa played a sloppy game at 5-3. Vera serves 4-5. Vera needs Lisa to play poorly.

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:47 AM
Udachi Vera.

Let's start winning now. K.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:54 AM
6-4. Raymond is so much the better player it's not funny.

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:58 AM
If Raymond is so much the better player than Vera... then what does that mean about our favorite?

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:58 AM
Raymond has had 3 BP chances and converted 2 of them. Vera gave Lisa those two points with double faults :sad:

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:08 AM
Vera is up a break. You had to see it. Raymond had an overhead at game point from 5 feet from the net and missed it. Then she gave Vera the game.
Now Vera has to hold. Lisa may have some nerves.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:18 AM
No hold. Vera serves 2-3.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:27 AM
3-4. Raymond might be a force at Wimbledon this year. She's impressive.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:35 AM
Raymond had a bp to make it 5-3 and missed. Then she got sloppy again and Vera serves for the set 5-4.
It's not over.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:40 AM
4-6, 6-4. Never give up. If Vera wins this match, she has earned it.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:54 AM
Vera serves 1-2. If she can stay on serve she can win. Lisa misses some easy shots.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:14 AM
Vera serves at 2-5. She did well to get it to a third set. Raymond has more game.
Vera needs Lisa to miss the easiest stuff to stay in the games.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:20 AM
So far, excellent effort by Vera. She might not be playing her best, but is definitely trying her hardest.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:23 AM
Now hold, baby, just hold..

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:25 AM
Vera is competing. Unbelievable that she got back to 4-5. And Raymond is tired.
But Raymond is the better player.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:33 AM
5-5 all in the third.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:34 AM
But Raymond is the better player.
But Vera is serving for the Championship. :cool:

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:36 AM
Maria is going to have to carry her in the doubles.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:40 AM
Maria is going to have to carry her in the doubles.
Impossible. Vera is too heavy for that..



:bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:44 AM
Maria is strong, just ask her. btw, Vera won 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:46 AM
Very impressive, Vera. :)

She has a great chance of capturing #3 in Acapulco too. :)

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:50 AM
Vera must get a good sample of how a very hard-earned victory feels like and how sweet it is. And it should give her some huge confidence boost, that she can tough out the player who used to own this tournament. Good luck in doubles. We'll talk about Acapulco then.

But now.. if in two days time Lina K. beats Ai, which is entirely possible, Vera is Top 10.

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:52 AM
Then Vera will probably lose it the week after... but that's fine. :p

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:54 AM
I've never seen anyone compete better than Vera did tonight. Whenever it looked over, Vera would break.
At the end, she tired Lisa out. And broke her mentally.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:56 AM
If I was planning Vera's schedule, I would point for the clay season. She is definately a counterpuncher.

bubble
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:58 AM
Wow, impressive win... by Vera!
She has exhibited her fighting skills to the optimum.. :)

Congrats!

:bounce:

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:58 AM
If I was planning Vera's schedule, I would point for the clay season.
Oh really? And do you know, BTW, what player won the most matches on clay in 2003?

bubble
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:00 AM
Zvonareva Claims Title in Final Thriller
Top seed Vera Zvonareva came back from the brink of defeat to win the Cellular South Cup and end Lisa Raymond's domination of the tournament. Zvonareva saved three championship points and came back from 5-2 down in the third set before winning 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in 2 hours, 22 minutes.


http://www.krogerstjude.com/

moo_ont
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:02 AM
Congratulations, Vera. What a performance and the first title of 2004. You must be proud of your win today!

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:19 AM
What a great evening! First I get to bash the Anna bashers in GM, and then Vera shows the heart of a champion in an incredible, exciting final.
Unbelievable.

bubble
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:24 AM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040222/capt.tnmh11002220353.memphis_tnmh110.jpg

:kiss:

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:37 AM
And now go girls, win the dubs too..

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:40 AM
How can she do it? Vera is exhausted.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:14 AM
And the first server of their team, I assume it is Sharik, gets broken at 4:4..

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:24 AM
Svensson and Tu won the first set 6-4 and broke in the first game of the second set :(

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:26 AM
L. Raymond:"I think the consolation is that we both fought our butts off out there. We left it all out there and I don't think there was a game where we didn't try 150 percent."'

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:50 AM
L. Raymond:"I think the consolation is that we both fought our butts off out there. We left it all out there and I don't think there was a game where we didn't try 150 percent."'It sounds like Vera put in a very special performance. I've seen matches in which it seemed like Vera wasn't trying at times. The fact that she fought from 2-5 and defused three match points in the process shows that she can really fight. It is frustrating that she sometimes has trouble consolidating breaks, but she managed to hold when she needed to do so to survive :yeah:

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:57 AM
Well, the girls successfully fought back. After they were two breaks down in the second, i thought it's a tank job from then on. But they leveled in the set. If they manage to take the second set, I think they will machine-gun these soft-hitters in the third.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 06:13 AM
It wasn't meant to be... Still a very good week for Vera and Masha..

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 06:15 AM
After fighting back from 0-3 to take the match to a tiebreak, Vera and Maria were defeated 4-6 6-7(0) :sad:. Congratulations to Svensson and Tu :)

Nevertheless, this was a great tournament for both Vera and Maria, and they should be proud of their achievements.

vaiva
Feb 22nd, 2004, 07:32 AM
Congrats, Vera! :bounce:

bubble
Feb 22nd, 2004, 08:44 AM
http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040222/capt.tnmh11302220453.memphis_tnmh113.jpg

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040222/capt.tnmh11102220426.memphis_tnmh111.jpg

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/ap/20040222/capt.tnmh11202220438.memphis_tnmh112.jpg

vamosferrero
Feb 22nd, 2004, 10:13 AM
well done Vera :worship: :worship: , what a comeback :eek: :D :)

KV
Feb 22nd, 2004, 01:03 PM
Great job Vera, Lisa deserves the credit too. Vera won the tournament where it all started. And she keeps her place in the Russian Fed Cup team. Excellent!

Daniel
Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:19 PM
Well done Vera!!!! :kiss:

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:15 PM
An amazingly tough, gritty, clutch effort from Vera. Maybe this will bring her to a higher level of mental toughness, and success. Here's an article-


Top seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia won her second women's tour singles title, beating American Lisa Raymond 4-6 6-4 7-5 in a two hour 22 minute Memphis final on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old Muscovite found herself 2-5 down in the third set and saved three match point against the two-time defending champion.

"Obviously, I'm very excited to win this, especially because I saved three match points," Zvonareva told reporters.

"Lisa is an extremely tough opponent, and I was expecting a difficult match, especially because we had a tight match in Philadelphia last year.

She played very well, so I'm happy that I could find my game and was able to pull it out."

It was the first WTA main Tour event of 2004 that saw the number one and two seeds reach the final.

"When I was down 5-2, I just didn't give up and kept playing my game and going for my shots. I just kept thinking that it was my last chance, that if I missed the ball, then that was the match," Zvonareva explained.

"I kept fighting for every shot. This is definitely a great win for me because I came back from being down."

The Russian won her first tour title at Bol in 2003.

While Zvonareva improved her career final, win-loss record to 2-1

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:41 PM
Great for Vera.

Hopefully, this translates into similar performances in the upcoming bigger tournaments.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 03:55 PM
If Vera fights like this, she will be in the top 10 for years.

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:40 PM
Let's not get carried away.

Vera beat Lisa Raymond, who is far from a top 10 player herself.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:44 PM
Vera was being outplayed, on a fast surface, and found a way to win.
I watched her against Meghann in NY. She found a way to lose.
If she competes like this, she will pile up points.

ys
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:47 PM
Let's not get carried away.

Vera beat Lisa Raymond, who is far from a top 10 player herself.
Indoors Raymond is Top 10, easily.

- L i n a -
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:55 PM
Indoors Raymond is Top 10, easily.
Meh. I don't know about that.

Outside of Tier 3's, and last year in Tokyo... she hasn't done anything of note since beating Hingis.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:56 PM
Right now Raymond is definately top 10 on a fast surface.
Another article about the first Russian singles champion of 2004-

http://www.wtatour.com/global/photos_rx/zvonareva_memphis-TD_3245_rx.jpg
© WTA Tour
http://www.wtatour.com/global/graphics/space.gif
Zvonareva Halts Raymond's Run

MEMPHIS, Tennessee, USA - No.1 seed Vera Zvonareva (pictured right, with Tournament Director Mac Winker) won her second career singles title defeating two-time defending champion and No.2 seed Lisa Raymond at the Kroger St. Jude and Cellular South Cup 46 64 75.
After an even first and second set with each player winning one set a piece at 64, Raymond took a convincing lead in the third set at 5-2. Zvonareva refused to give up the match and won the next five consecutive games, denying Raymond of her third consecutive title in Memphis.

Zvonareva saved a total of three championship match points en route to her first Tour title since winning Bol in 2003. The top seed saved two match points down 5-2 and proceeded to hold serve the remainder of the match. She then saved her third match point at 5-4 and continued to break Raymond's serve at 6-5 to win the championship.

"When I was down 5-2, I just didnít give up and kept playing my game and going for my shots," Zvonareva stated. "I just kept thinking that it was my last chance, that if I missed the ball, then that was the match. I kept fighting for every shot. This is definitely a great win for me because I came back from being down."

Following the victory, Zvonareva said, "Obviously, Iím very excited to win this, especially because I saved three match points. Lisa is an extremely tough opponent and I was expecting a difficult match, especially because we had a tight match in Philadelphia last year. She played very well, so I'm happy that I could find my game and was able to pull it out."

the cat
Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:32 PM
Congrats to Verushka on a great comeback win to win the Memphis title! :bounce: Winning a WTA title early in the year has to give Vera alot of confidence. :)

Does Vera has the stuff to be the #1 Russian? I think so. :D

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 06:16 PM
I think Vera is capable of improving. For her, it's mental. If she fights like she did in the Memphis final, she should be a contender at RG.

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:22 PM
From http://www.wtatour.com/newsroom/stories/NewsArticle_3244_rx.asp

We both fought hard and left it all out there," said Raymond. "There wasn't a game in which we didn't put 150% into it. She made a conscious effot to take a lot of pace off the ball. She kept floating balls to my backhand without any pace and she handled my slice a lot better than the last time I played her in Philadelphia. I give full credit to her. She played well when she had to and moved unbelievably well.This is why Vera is such a tough opponent. She can hit with tremendous power, yet her game isn't one-dimensional. She has a wide variety of shots in her arsenal and she can change her tactics on the fly. When she played in Australia, she was playing an attacking style of game. From what Lisa Raymond (and goldenlox earlier in this thread) said, it seems as though Vera played this match in more of a counterpunching style. I think that this versatility will allow Vera to challenge for the honour of #1 Russian player in the near future.

goldenlox, did it appear as though Vera came into the match with this counterpunching gameplan in mind, or did she switch to it because her original gameplan wasn't working?

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:29 PM
I don't think Vera is good at the net. She was thinking in this match. Lisa was hitting winners on her forehand, and Vera started going to her backhand.
It least it led to some rallies.
Raymond jumped out to a 5-2 edge in the first, and Vera went to plan B.
I think Lisa had some nerves in the second. And got tired in the third.
Vera is a baseliner. That's where she plays her best. She showed good stamina. Good movement too. Lisa has weapons on a fast surface. Vera had to keep the points going without giving Lisa a short ball.
I'm glad Maria didn't push her more. That was important.

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:45 PM
I don't think Vera is good at the net. I've seen Vera do some really great things at the net, but I've also seen her play some terrible shots. In her matches against Pratt and Davenport at the AO, she missed quite a few overheads and volleys. In her match against Schett at the Gold Coast, I think the only time that she crossed the service line was to put away a drop shot (another example of Vera's variety of tactics). Vera is at home on the baseline, but I think that she is also comfortable moving towards the net. It seems to me that when her confidence is low, her netplay is the area of her game that seems to suffer the most. But maybe I'm wrong :confused:

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:50 PM
Vera came to net a few times. It was a two and a half hour match.
I guess I was watching her opposite Raymond, who is excellent at the net.
Vera's best chance to win that title was to play deep to Lisa's backhand, and she did that.
I thought Lisa would win, watching the match. I thought Vera's best chance was to tire Lisa, and hold serve. And Vera won the last 5 games.
To me, Vera's ability to compete for 3 sets was the most important part.

Epigone
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:54 PM
To me, Vera's ability to compete for 3 sets was the most important part.And strangely enough, that's something that we don't always see from Vera. She deserved this win :)

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:56 PM
Vera was trailing the whole match. Until 5-5 all in the third. And she fought.
Against Maria, she got the first set, and finished her off. Both matches show a strong mental game.

goldenlox
Feb 22nd, 2004, 11:58 PM
If Vera keeps this up, another RG quarter is very doable, maybe further.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 01:50 AM
Zvonareva battles back to win Memphis title
http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/us/nws/th/afp_lo_1.gif (http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/afp/brand/SIG=ofqlv2/*http://www.afp.com) Sun Feb 22, 2:59 AM ET


MEMPHIS, Tennessee (AFP) - Top seed Vera Zvonareva battled back from the brink to win the women's title at the 880,000-dollar hardcourt tennis tournament here, denying Lisa Raymond a third straight Memphis crown.

http://us.news1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20040222/thumb.sge.mji71.220204075942.photo00.default-290x384.jpg (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/040222/photos_sp_wl_afp/040222075948_li40cmp1_photo0)
AFP/File Photo (http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&u=/040222/photos_sp_wl_afp/040222075948_li40cmp1_photo0)


Russia's Zvonareva saved three championship points, coming back from 5-2 down in the third set to beat the American second seed 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours 22 minutes.

Epigone
Feb 23rd, 2004, 02:11 AM
It's official: Vera is now ranked a career high #11 in singles (and also a career high #66 in doubles).

Congratulations Vera, the top 10 is almost within reach. If she continues to be mentally strong, her ranking will continue to rise.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 02:18 AM
I think that Vera seems to be improving is more important than her ranking.
Dementieva will move back up to #8, but she isn't playing well.
Vera is still a teenager. She can improve a lot. Mental toughness, and focus, will get her to new highs as a player.

Epigone
Feb 23rd, 2004, 03:45 AM
Vera is still a teenager. She can improve a lot. Mental toughness, and focus, will get her to new highs as a player.I agree. Vera would have found life much easier in the first set if she hadn't have double faulted twice on two of Raymond's BP chances. I think that Vera needs to compose herself before she serves. She seems to like to serve quickly, especially when she is in trouble.

Another major problem is that Vera has trouble consolidating her breaks. She breaks and then ends up facing 0-30 or 0-40. I don't know if it's a case of rushing or a case of nerves, but Vera has to eliminate these tendencies from her game. If she can prevent being stretched to a TB or a 3rd set, she'll have a much greater chance of winning matches and advancing through tournaments.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 03:50 AM
Vera had trouble holding serve the whole match. At 2-5 in the third, Lisa had two break points.
Raymond played them poorly. She could have won the match in that game.
Vera's serve is not a weapon. Another reason her best surface is red clay.

I like Vera best when she can't be hit off the court. Then she has to compete the whole match, and play her baseline game.
Vera should do well this spring, if Memphis is an indication of a new mental toughness.

Epigone
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:01 AM
Vera's serve is not a weapon.Vera actually managed to ace Lindsay Davenport three times in her opening service game at the AO. Her serve isn't really big, but she can place it quite well. I like when she goes out wide because she disguises it well. As long as she has a reasonable first serve percentage and mixes up her serves, she can make life difficult for the returner.

- L i n a -
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:03 AM
Vera's serve can be a weapon... but she needs work on it. Vera, like many other Russians, never seem to transfer their weight when serving.

It seems like she's often content with just getting the point started.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:08 AM
Her serve isn't terrible. But she's a claycourt player. That's her style.
Nadia is different. I want her to serve and volley more often, indoors.
But I want Vera to get her first serve in and play her baseline game.

- L i n a -
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:15 AM
I believe Vera grew up playing indoors, and she says that's her favorite surface.

While her game is probably best suited to clay... I'd say she's an all-court player.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:17 AM
I say RG will be her best major every year. But it's her mental game I'm more interested in.
Vera really competed well. Both in the second and third sets, she had to play steady and deep, or lose.

- L i n a -
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:23 AM
It seems like Vera's mentality has improved.

However, Lisa is the kind of player that will make bunches of errors.

The real test will be if someone like Smashnova starts annoying her...

And then the pressure moments against the Top 5.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:24 AM
True. But playing a close final is also a pressure situation. And after she won the tiebreak from Maria, she closed her out quick.
That's a good sign also.
And Vera needed all her energy for the final.

ys
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:36 AM
And then the pressure moments against the Top 5.
Wasn't pressure against Venus at RG not good enough?

ys
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:41 AM
I believe Vera grew up playing indoors, and she says that's her favorite surface.

While her game is probably best suited to clay... I'd say she's an all-court player.
If you look at this picture -

http://www.tennisrulz.com/players/zvonareva/gallery/017.jpg

she has a _very_ western grip. Playing on low-bouncing surfaces, such as carpet or grass won't be easy for her. Imagine hitting a forehand on low ball with this kind of grip. Fast surface must be OK, as long as it is not low bounce. Memphis was hardcourts, so it is reasonably high bounce. I would think that carpet must be the worst surface for her, grass - second worst.

Epigone
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:47 AM
Wasn't pressure against Venus at RG not good enough?Vera handled the pressure of playing Venus in the 4th round at RG, yet she lost to Karolina Sprem in the SF of both Strasbourg and Vienna. Vera needs to be able to handle the pressure against all opponent, whether they are ranked above or below her. For some reason, she loses matches against opponents who shouldn't cause her much trouble.

ys
Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:54 AM
Vera handled the pressure of playing Venus in the 4th round at RG, yet she lost to Karolina Sprem in the SF of both Strasbourg and Vienna. Vera needs to be able to handle the pressure against all opponent, whether they are ranked above or below her. For some reason, she loses matches against opponents who shouldn't cause her much trouble.

Karolina Sprem is no slouch on clay. And in both matches it was very different motivation for both of them. For Vera those were very secondary tournaments, she would conserve her energy and mental strength for major tournaments. You can't really play all matches 100%, it is impossible. And for Sprem those tournaments were the best she got in all clay season. So Sprem gave her 100% effort. Vera didn't.

LeonHart
Feb 23rd, 2004, 05:29 AM
Hey, she revenged her loss against Coezter, who almost never makes an error. Vera has improved very very much since her debut, and she still have room for improvement. Love ya lots Vera! :kiss: :woohoo:

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:48 PM
Vera was broken at 2-4, 4-5, and then 2-1 in the second. That's 3 out of 5.
Then Raymond had break points against her at 2-4, and 3-5. So Vera won some high-pressure points to stay in the match in set 2.
Then in the third set Raymond had 2 championship points with Vera serving 2-5, and a third at 4-5.

So Vera had to stay calm and focused at several key points in this match. She really did a great job.
Vera has a lot to feel proud about. Well done!

Epigone
Feb 23rd, 2004, 10:59 PM
But Vera also double faulted when the score was 30-40 @ 2-3 in the first set and also double faulted at 40-30 and had AD-40 twice @ 4-5 in the first set. The silly thing is that Vera broke at 3-5 when Raymond was up 40-0. Then she failed to consolidate when she had three chance to do so.

Despite these setbacks, she managed to come through when it was most important. I am so happy that she never gave up and won the title.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:03 PM
My point is that Vera was behind the whole match. And close to losing several different times. She really had to stay focused and composed. And she did it.
Vera deserved this title.

Epigone
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:10 PM
Exactly. It's more impressive that she made mistakes in the first set, yet was able to put that behind her and focus when she needed to break and hold to stay alive in the match. I hope that both this match and her SF match against Masha will inspire Vera to always fight, no matter how far behind she is in a match.

ys
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:12 PM
My point is that Vera was behind the whole match.
I thought she was a break up in the third..

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:22 PM
I don't remember that. She was serving 2-5, and had two championship points against her.
She was very close to losing. Inches.

ys
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:36 PM
I don't remember that.
I thought she broke in the first game of the third set..

the cat
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:42 PM
I am happy Vera has started 2004 well. :) Afterall she ended 2003 with the Fed Cup dissapointment and I wondered if that dissapointment would linger into 2004. But Vera has put that behind her as she should have.

goldenlox
Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:44 PM
I'm not going back on my tape to try to find it. If Vera was up, it was for two minutes in the first two and a half hours.
Now I want to see Vera maintain this mental toughness. She showed great stamina.
Vera was all over the court the last few games.

ys
Feb 24th, 2004, 12:08 AM
I'm not going back on my tape to try to find it..
You have it taped? :hearts:

Epigone
Feb 24th, 2004, 12:46 AM
Vera broke at 1-1 in the second set to go up 2-1, but was broken for 2-2. She then broke at 4-4 to take the lead, and held to win the set. She also led 1-0 in the third set after breaking in the first game, and broke at 5-5 to give herself the chance to serve out the match.

goldenlox
Feb 24th, 2004, 02:55 AM
http://www.wtatour.com/global/photos_rx/zvonareva_memphis_trophy_3243_rx.jpg
© Vern Verna/Ai Wire
http://www.wtatour.com/global/graphics/space.gif
WTATour.com Win of the Week

Vera Zvonareva's streak-ending victory against Lisa Raymond earned the young Russian her second career title and the WTATour.com Win of the Week.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - After a two year run in Memphis, Lisa Raymond's reign at the Kroger St. Jude & Cellular South Cup finally came to an end.

The American's recent dominance at the event didn't quite make her a local legend like Elvis Presley, but it was impressive nonetheless. That's why Vera Zvonareva's win against the two-time champ is this week's WTATour.com Win of the Week.

Zvonareva, the top seed in her second appearance in Memphis, won her second career singles title with the 46 64 75 victory, saving three match points en route to the win.

After a back-and-forth first and second set that saw each player emerge with a set at 64, Ramond seemed poised to capture her third set title, marching out to a 5-2 lead. But Zvonareva wasn't prepared to hand the title to the American, saving two match points at 5-2 and another at 5-4 - winning three straight games to level the match at 5-5.

The Russian finished off the match by breaking Raymond's serve again at 6-5 to take the championship.

"When I was down 5-2, I just didnít give up and kept playing my game and going for my shots," Zvonareva stated. "I just kept thinking that it was my last chance, that if I missed the ball, then that was the match. I kept fighting for every shot. This is definitely a great win for me because I came back from being down."

The victory was Zvonareva's second title and first since last year's first title in Bol. She also broke Raymond's 11 match-win streak in Memphis and intercepted Raymond's quest for a "hat trick" in Memphis, winning three titles in a row.

"We both fought hard and left it all out there," said Raymond. "There wasn't a game in which we didn't put 150% into it. She made a conscious effot to take a lot of pace off the ball. She kept floating balls to my backhand without any pace and she handled my slice a lot better than the last time I played her in Philadelphia. I give full credit to her. She played well when she had to and moved unbelievably well."

ys
Feb 24th, 2004, 03:23 AM
The Russian finished off the match by breaking Raymond's serve again at 6-5 to take the championship.

Again, these morons write reports from someone's else words, without actually seeing a match. Without even following it on live scoreboard..:smash:

TheBoiledEgg
Feb 24th, 2004, 01:49 PM
well done Vera on title #2 :yeah: :)
congrats :)

goldenlox
Feb 27th, 2004, 08:50 PM
Vera should be #1 seed in Mexico. A big chance for back to back titles.

- L i n a -
Feb 27th, 2004, 09:38 PM
Vera may have an easier draw in Acapulco, then when she won Bol. I didn't think that was possible.

goldenlox
Feb 27th, 2004, 09:41 PM
What do you think of indoors, then clay, then hardcourt?

- L i n a -
Feb 27th, 2004, 09:47 PM
Questionable schedule, to be honest...

Ranking wise, it's always better for players ranked in the 10-30 range to be playing Tier 3's. If you play decent, and can consistently beat players ranked out of the Top 50... you're going to earn some good ranking points. Where in Tier 2's, you'll play a top player in the first 2 rounds, and probably get little points.

I think Vera would have been better served playing Dubai & Doha though. If she wants to get to the next level, she has to show she can beat the girls ahead of her. That will only come from experience in facing them. Winning little tournaments doesn't prepare you for the tests that the Top 5 will give you.

goldenlox
Feb 27th, 2004, 09:56 PM
Vera is going to play them in the U.S. She's not avoiding Justine and Kim. She's mixing it up.

Epigone
Feb 28th, 2004, 12:01 AM
I think Vera has the right kind of schedule. She should play the smaller tournaments to build up her confidence, as this will help her in the bigger tournaments. Being seeded #1 puts pressure on her, plus matches like those against Sharapova and Raymond were by no means easy. Vera still needs to learn how to (a) lead without choking, (b) consolidate breaks and (c) not get so frustrated by poor shots.

I would like to see Vera try different strategies to rectify these problems, and Tier IIIs are a good place to try new things without getting her ass kicked by a Top 10 player. Once she finds strategies that work for her, she can put them into play at the larger tournaments. Once the mental aspect of her game comes into line with the technical aspect, I think that she'll play less Tier IIIs.

BK4ever
Feb 28th, 2004, 01:40 AM
I would like to see Vera try different strategies to rectify these problems, and Tier IIIs are a good place to try new things without getting her ass kicked by a Top 10 player. Once she finds strategies that work for her, she can put them into play at the larger tournaments. Once the mental aspect of her game comes into line with the technical aspect, I think that she'll play less Tier IIIs.
Well said, alot of players would do themselves justice if they took the same path, one of the things I admired about Sveta and Vera when they were first starting out was how they started out small and worked their way up, even now, they both tryed to mix it up...If Anna K had done this in the beginning she would have many titles by now...maybe even a big one...

- L i n a -
Feb 28th, 2004, 01:53 AM
I disagree that it does Vera any good to be playing Tier 3's now though...

She's proven she's a legit Top 10 threat.

ys
Feb 28th, 2004, 02:32 AM
What do you think of indoors, then clay, then hardcourt?
What do you think of USA, Mexico, USA? As opposite to Europe, Middle East, USA? Vera is minimizing travel and jetlag and taking a lot of rest between tournaments, I am sure that's one and only reason why she opted for this kind of schedule. I think it is a very smart idea. Besides, there is a week between each surface chance.

Also, getting into routine of winning finals, tournaments is a very good idea.

goldenlox
Feb 28th, 2004, 02:47 AM
I don't know if this is a good idea. If Vera loses early in IW, this was a bad idea.
You want to peak when the money is on the table. Not in Mexico.
I mean peak mentally.

goldenlox
Feb 29th, 2004, 02:45 AM
Last year Vera lost to Yoon-Jeong Cho in Memphis. But made the quarters at Indian Wells.
Vera needs consistency from week to week. That's the way for Vera to be a long time member of the top 10.

Epigone
Feb 29th, 2004, 04:53 AM
You could make a case that Vera peaked in Sydney, rather than at the AO this year.

In both tournaments, she met Nicole Pratt and then Lindsay Davenport.

Sydney
Vera defeated Pratt 6-2 6-3 and was defeated by Davenport 6-1 2-6 5-7

AO
Vera defeated Pratt 7-5 2-6 6-1 and was defeated by Davenport 1-6 3-6

The major difference that I saw between the performances at Sydney and the AO was Vera's attitude. It seemed like she had more self belief in Sydney, despite the fact that the yelling and racquet smashing was still present :o

But even within the Pratt match at the AO, you could see how her attitude varied. Despite some erratic play that put her behind 1-4, Vera focused and managed to have two BP at 5-4 in the first set. In the second set, her wrist was sore and she let her mind wander. The result was losing the set 2-6. Vera then composed herself and won the set 6-1.

Vera needs to achieve consistency from week to week, but more importantly, she needs to play with a high level of focus within individual matches. Top players won't allow her to recover from lapses in concentration and this is the area of her game that needs the most attention

goldenlox
Feb 29th, 2004, 05:05 AM
When Vera plays Davenport on hardcourt, the match is in Lindsay's hands. She has weapons.
When they get to red clay. I want Vera to compete, just like Memphis.
I'd like her to always compete. But I know how difficult that is.
At Roland Garros, Vera can play with almost everyone, if she mentally is ready to fight.

ys
Feb 29th, 2004, 05:16 AM
When Vera plays Davenport on hardcourt, the match is in Lindsay's hands. She has weapons.

"Weapons" have nothing to do with that. Vera has weapons of her own. Kim Clijsters destroyed Davenport in USO 2003. Vera Zvonareva should have destroyed Kim in USO 2002. Vera has speed, and she has good shots. Anna and Elena D. always played Davenport tough on any surface, because they have speed, the only thing that Davenport hate to see her opponents possessing. She hate to have to hit three winners to win one single point. That's what speedy players make her do. Vera has speed too.

goldenlox
Feb 29th, 2004, 05:18 AM
True. Davenport lacks mobility. But she has won majors on hardcourt. I would rather see Vera play her at RG.

ys
Feb 29th, 2004, 05:21 AM
True. Davenport lacks mobility. But she has won majors on hardcourt. I would rather see Vera play her at RG.Vera won't play her at Roland Garros, because with their current seedings they would unlikely play before quarters.

goldenlox
Feb 29th, 2004, 05:22 AM
They will both have trouble getting that far. There are other players with game.

Epigone
Feb 29th, 2004, 06:00 AM
When Vera plays Davenport on hardcourt, the match is in Lindsay's hands. She has weapons.But that's the thing. In Sydney, Vera came to play against Lindsay and blasted her off the court. Vera isn't scared of power players. She stood on the baseline and dished up some power of her own. She was hitting the lines with pinpoint accuracy and Lindsay had no response. People rave about the backhand possessed by JHH, but I think that Vera's backhand is right up there. When Vera is focused, she is deadly. When she lacks focus, she is more erratic, and shots that may have previously been winners sail wide or clip the top of the net.

Vera has great court coverage, she can hit a wide variety of shots and she has great power. The major weakness I see in her game is her head. Vera shouldn't be scared of Lindsay Davenport. Vera can move to the ball and handle the power. Vera just has to believe that she can make tough shots. Confidence can be the difference between a winner and an unforced error.

goldenlox
Feb 29th, 2004, 07:20 PM
Vera will do better against big servers on slow courts. Lindsay can have an off day.
But her hardcourt results are much better than Vera's. I think Vera can win a French Open. I don't know if she can win the other majors.
But she has to compete all match, every match at RG to have any chance.

ys
Feb 29th, 2004, 11:42 PM
Vera skips Acapulco citing injury.. Get well Vera.. :)

Epigone
Feb 29th, 2004, 11:58 PM
:sad: This was a great chance to win another title.

Vera, get well soon :hug:

goldenlox
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:02 AM
I hope it's nothing serious. You don't want to miss IW and Key Biscayne.

- L i n a -
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:08 AM
I doubt it's a serious injury... she probably just didn't want to play.

Actually rather disappointing that she didn't play... and win would have got her in the Top 10 finally.

Epigone
Mar 1st, 2004, 01:35 AM
Maybe Vera realised that going from clay to hardcourt might not be a such good idea, so she'll use the time to practise on hardcourts as preparation for IW? Going to IW as a Top 10 player would have been good, but Vera has to do what will best prepare her both physically and mentally for the big tournaments.

ys
Mar 1st, 2004, 01:49 AM
I don't think it is injury or serious injury. It turned into a very weak tournament, with next highest ranked player after Vera being Coetzer ranked #38. Vera simply has no business playing this kind of stuff.

Epigone
Mar 1st, 2004, 02:17 AM
But 120 points are on offer to the winner, so I don't fault Vera for wanting to beat up on some lower ranked players for a nice haul of points.

Mathijs
Mar 1st, 2004, 12:50 PM
Get well soon Vera hope that it's not a serious injury :sad:

bubble
Mar 1st, 2004, 02:59 PM
Yeah, smart move by Vera to preserve her energy for the bigger tournaments... :)

Rest well Vera :)

goldenlox
Mar 1st, 2004, 09:08 PM
So many injuries. I want Vera healthy for the clay court season, plus these Tier I's.
This Mexico tournament is not a priority.

goldenlox
Mar 2nd, 2004, 02:27 AM
I agree about the 120 points. Players want to win. Vera must have something wrong, or she would play Mexico. She entered it.
Better to be safe if something's wrong.

TheBoiledEgg
Mar 2nd, 2004, 09:07 PM
Vera withdrew from Acapulco citing a left hamstring injury.
probably a strain, if it was then she should be ok for IW :)

- L i n a -
Mar 2nd, 2004, 09:11 PM
WTA should just let players say "I'm not playing this pathetic tournament".

goldenlox
Mar 2nd, 2004, 09:12 PM
Playing a doubles final after a 2-and-1/2 hour singles final is rough. I'm not surprised she didn't leave Memphis 100%.

Epigone
Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:51 AM
I know that I'm asking for a speculative answer, but do you think that Vera will play Vienna this year, or will she play Birmingham to prepare for Wimbledon? She has SF points to defend in Vienna and will most likely be seeded #1.

The reason I am asking is that I'm going to Europe in June and plan to go to the tournament in Vienna if Vera is playing there. I have to book my ticket soon and I'm trying to work out whether or not to fly into Vienna. If Vera isn't playing in Vienna, I'd prefer to start my trip somewhere else. Thanks :)

goldenlox
Mar 3rd, 2004, 01:59 AM
I don't know Vera's schedule at all. I hope she's exhausted from a long successful run at Roland Garros.

Epigone
Mar 3rd, 2004, 02:02 AM
I'd be happy enough to miss Vera in Vienna if she wins the French Open :D

goldenlox
Mar 3rd, 2004, 02:09 AM
In one of the first threads I posted in, I predicted that Vera would be the first Russian girl to win a major. The 2005 French.
I still think that, but I am excited by Sveta's recent form also. I think one of them will be first.

ys
Mar 7th, 2004, 12:01 AM
If you look at this picture -

http://www.tennisrulz.com/players/zvonareva/gallery/017.jpg

she has a _very_ western grip. Playing on low-bouncing surfaces, such as carpet or grass won't be easy for her. Imagine hitting a forehand on low ball with this kind of grip. Fast surface must be OK, as long as it is not low bounce. Here is interview with the coach who is responsible for this..
http://www.tennisplus.ru/nomer_article.asp?AID={2ADE5EA3-6BAF-4F99-93EC-B62ECB82793F}}

goldenlox
Mar 8th, 2004, 02:00 AM
Here is the interview Vera did at Indian Wells 2003, after beating Sveta 3-6, 7-6, 4-6-

MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. You appear to be very flushed. Are you having problems with the sun? Your face is pretty red is what I'm saying.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I just came from the court. I was playing like two hours and a half. Maybe that's why.

Q. Two hours and a half?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I guess.

Q. Do you have any goals for where you would like to go this year in the rankings after having made that advance a year ago from 371 to 45? Where are you trying to get this year?
VERA ZVONAREVA: In the beginning of the year, I just thought to be in the Top 30.

Q. Top 20?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Top 30. I'm playing ?? I just try to reach Top 30. Then if it goes well, maybe something else. But first I want to be in Top 30.

Q. How tough of a match was that? That was a real back?and?forth struggle.
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don't know, I just kept playing because I played Juniors, Orange Bowl final, against Svetlana. It was tough, it was really tough. And then when I was losing like 6?5 second set, I was like lucky couple times. I decided just I should keep playing.

Q. But you played a good tiebreaker.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, second set.

Q. But mentally I saw in the second set you were getting frustrated a lot.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, because I had some big mistakes. Like I should have win those points and I did mistakes. I was like, "Okay, what should I do? Try to hit again or I should play defense?"
When I tried to attack, I had the mistakes. It was like I didn't know what to do.

Q. So how did you manage to win the third set?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Then I said, "Okay, I try to count five balls in." It was going well, then I just started to play my game in the third set.

Q. So your conditioning was good enough to say, "I will play long points"?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, yeah, I was okay.

Q. You're a young player. There are a lot of young Russians. I wonder what you think of the limits on the number of tournaments that the young players can play. Do you think that's a good rule or do you think they should change the amount of tournaments the players can play when they're coming on tour?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Actually I think it's a good real because you get enough tournaments to play. If you are doing really well, they don't count the Grand Slams as a tournament. So I think it's pretty good, because if you start to play like 25 tournaments a year and then each year you have to defend points, you automatically start to play more tournaments, more and more, then you getting tired.
So if, for example, I started to play 15 tournaments a year, then I play 17, now it's maybe a little bit more. It's good.

Q. So you think the number is good that they have?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think it's good.

Q. Is it harder for you to play another Russian girl right around your age?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I think. I think it's hard to play against everyone. I don't know. Sometimes it's really good when you play Russians because you won't understand what level am I now and what level they are because we are growing up together. I don't know, actually. It's just like another ?? I mean, like to play against other players, the same.

Q. So mentally winning that match, that must have been very important for you today, to be able to beat her?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, it was important to beat her and to make my best on the court, because in the beginning I just missed a lot and I didn't play my tennis, my game. It was very important to play my game today. Actually, I did it in the third set.

Q. Over the past year, do you feel like your results have been very up and down a lot or are you finding a consistent level with your tennis?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, it's tough to say because last year, I played against players who were ranked like 80 and maybe lower, and some matches I played against high?ranked players. This year I started to play like main ?? like in the main draw of the tournament. So I play like high?ranked players.
It's tough to understand because I didn't play all those matches against them.

Q. When you're playing against the high?ranked players, do you feel your game is there to stay with them or are you still learning about how you need to play against the better players?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, each day is different. Sometimes I feel they just kill me. Sometimes I feel I'm just killing them. It depends.

Q. Has anybody ever told you that you look a little like Kim Clijsters?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No.

Q. When you played Clijsters at the US Open, you were very close to winning. Did you feel you had many chances in that match?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah.

Q. You lost 6?4 in the third.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Actually, I had chances in the second set against her. I was just really nervous. I didn't make it that time maybe.

Q. You won the first set, I gather?
VERA ZVONAREVA: Right. Maybe I will make it next time.

Q. What do you expect out of yourself other than rankings this year? What do you want to do with your tennis this year?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I just want to keep playing and try to play my best tennis each match.

Q. And what about here now that you're into the third round? I think you have Shaughnessy.
VERA ZVONAREVA: I'm not sure. I don't know.

Q. Talk about that a little bit, playing a player of that caliber.
VERA ZVONAREVA: Yeah, I mean, I never played against Shaughnessy before. I mean, I just want to try my best and then we'll see what's going to happen.

Q. Earlier you said in the match you played today you asked yourself, "What should I do? Try to hit again?" What did you decide?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, I remember, she played me a short ball and I hit it and I won it. I said, " Okay, next time the same." And it's happen next time. So I just found what I wanted to do.

tenn_ace
Mar 8th, 2004, 04:12 AM
Vera will be seeded #8 at IW (if nobody else withdraws) - a good opportunity to go deeper than last year...

Epigone
Mar 8th, 2004, 07:37 AM
Capriati defeated Vera 7-5 6-2 in the QF last year. Vera made 37 UEs compared to just 8 winners. I think that she is entering the tournament with a more well-rounded game than last year, so I'm hoping for a better result.

ghosts
Mar 8th, 2004, 09:22 AM
Vera :banana:

Epigone
Mar 8th, 2004, 10:09 PM
The draw for IW is out here (http://www.pacificlifeopen.com/10/common/TrackIt.asp?file=/10/oncourt/draws/WTAMDS_2004.pdf). Vera is seeded #6, has a 1st round bye and will then face the winner of the Ondraskova vs Mikaelian match. Provided everything goes according to plan, Vera will face Kim Clijsters in the QF.

Udachi Vera! :bounce:

goldenlox
Mar 8th, 2004, 10:12 PM
Good draw for Vera. One match at a time.

Zvonareva/bye
Ondraskova/Mikaelian
Schaul/Jankovic
bye/Obata

Dechy/bye
Q/Vakulenko
Kleibanova/Kostanic
bye/Smashnova

goldenlox
Mar 9th, 2004, 02:34 AM
Last year Vera lost to Denisa Chladkova in the first round of Key Biscayne. No bye.
Look how far she has come in one year. Vera should be in the top 10 when Miami is finished this year.

Bероника
Mar 10th, 2004, 07:41 PM
Good luck Vera!!!

Epigone
Mar 11th, 2004, 12:42 AM
Vera 's 2nd Round opponent will be Marie-Gayanay Mikaelian, who just defeated Zuzana Ondraskova 6-4 3-6 7-5

goldenlox
Mar 11th, 2004, 12:49 AM
Mikaelian lost to Vera D. in Dubai. Let's hope Vera is healthy after not playing Mexico.

Epigone
Mar 12th, 2004, 02:42 AM
Vera and Nastya won their 1st round doubles match 6-2 6-2 :bigclap:

Amazingly, this is their first doubles win in three appearances this year :eek:

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2004, 03:13 AM
Even though this doubles draw has many quality teams, Vera and Nastya drew well, Beygelzimer/Martinez Granados, in round one.
Vera plays singles on Friday.

Epigone
Mar 12th, 2004, 11:00 PM
Vera's match is about to start on Stadium 2.

Udachi Vera! Play your natural game and blast her off the court :D

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2004, 11:23 PM
Vera serving 3-1. This is a good matchup for Vera to start a Tier I.

Epigone
Mar 12th, 2004, 11:41 PM
Vera wins the first set 6-1 :dance:

Now she has to keep up the intensity.

goldenlox
Mar 12th, 2004, 11:43 PM
I like this. Get it over with, quick.

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2004, 12:04 AM
Vera serving 6-1, 4-1.

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2004, 12:17 AM
Vera serving 5-4. She still has trouble finishing.

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2004, 12:19 AM
Vera wins 6-1, 6-4. Next she plays Schaul, who is ranked about #60. And beat Bovina in Melbourne.

Epigone
Mar 13th, 2004, 12:20 AM
Vera wins 6-1 6-4 :dance: :woohoo:

Things looked very good at 5-1*, but then something went wrong and the score got to *5-4. I was about to make a post congratulating Vera for keeping up the intensity, but she let it slip. Nevertheless, she didn't lose the set, so :yeah: for a good first up performance.

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2004, 02:00 AM
Vera Zvonareva, the 6th seed here, is one of many talented young Russians on the tour. Still, she doesnít feel overly pressured to be the top-ranked Russian. ďWeĎre all friends, and we try to play doubles with other and help each other. Yeah, thereís competition with us, but itís competition with everybody. You donít want to just be the best of the Russians, you want to be the best, top ten in the world.Ē

When asked if she missed the presence of Serena Williams on the tour, Veraís impulse was to vaunt the depth of the tour. ďIt was really fun to watch her playing, she had so many great matches. But there are so many good players besides just Serena, Kim and Justine. People donít really see the good tennis the others play.Ē

Epigone
Mar 13th, 2004, 02:48 AM
Here is a report and pictures from IW on Wednesday.
http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=3153705&postcount=1

Poor Vera Z. had no one at her table at the beginning, but they started crowding around her table after a while.Vera :hug:

Everyone seems to ignore Vera :sad:. When I was in Sydney, I talked to her in the morning and she appeared surprised that I knew who she was. Everyone else appeared to be more interested in checking out Daniela Hantuchova. When she was practising in the afternoon, I was the only one watching her.

However, I don't think that she'll fly under the radar for much longer. Pretty soon, her results in big tournaments will be creating more news stories than Max and the IMG hype machine.

Vera, keep up the hard work because you'll be rewarded in the end. And use your spare time to relax and have fun, and not to sell computers :)

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2004, 02:50 AM
Trust me, she doesn't want to do 50 different interviews. Just like when a player wins, they don't want to sign 100 autographs. If no one's there, they can sign 2 or 3, and leave.

Epigone
Mar 13th, 2004, 03:34 AM
I realise that Vera doesn't want lots of media commitments, but she must be affected by the things going on around her. Just because she doesn't look like Anna, she doesn't get the modelling contract, or the job promoting computers, or the requests for dozens of other product endorsements. She wasn't named as one of the coolest girls in America by YM, nor does it appear that she is a teen who will change the world. I'm not saying that she wants those things, but I think that she would like some acknowledgement that she is the highest ranked teenager in the world.

Vera appears to be lacking in self-confidence, and I think that if she feels like people are supporting her and believing in her, it will give her a confidence boost and enable her to play even better. She doesn't have a hype machine telling her that she is the best, she is generally ignored by reporters at press sessions, and people take a look at her practising and just keep walking. That can't be good for her confidence.

goldenlox
Mar 13th, 2004, 03:39 AM
In Bovina's Herd, we've been discussing this for months. I think Sveta and Vera are better off without the distractions.
They didn't help Ashley and Dani. And I don't think they will help Maria.
Vera just won a tournament as the #1 seed. She's developing just fine.

KV
Mar 13th, 2004, 11:57 AM
Good win

Mathijs
Mar 13th, 2004, 01:46 PM
Well done Vera Good job!! keep on winning! :hearts: :hug:

tenn_ace
Mar 14th, 2004, 02:38 PM
next up is Schaul. she's tough. she moves well and can handle pace. Vera should be aware that Claudine is a lot better than her current ranking.

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2004, 03:56 PM
Vera has won 5 in a row, and 8 of 9. I think she has matured mentally. I hope she has.
But she can't look ahead. Schaul beat Bovina. Vera has to be focused.
Vera has a great opportunity, both here, and in Miami, to go top 10.
But beating Claudine is all that matters now.

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2004, 09:30 PM
Vera is on the court. Right now she is the Russian #3. But not far behind Elena D.

Epigone
Mar 14th, 2004, 09:50 PM
Vera has to take advantage of this great opportunity. With a run open to the SF and a weakened field expected in Miami, she can pick up a huge haul of points. Added to the fact that Nadia lost :sad:, Vera is going to be the next Russina in the top 10 (fingers crossed).

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2004, 09:54 PM
Vera up 4-1. I think Vera can get into the top 10, stay there, and be a contender for the French Open.
She has to continue her calm, mature play from Memphis.

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:08 PM
Vera up 6-2. Here's the hard part. Finish strong.

Epigone
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:11 PM
Vera leads 6-2 1-0*.

She has to maintain this intensity for the whole match, hold serve and consolidate her breaks.

KV
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:28 PM
Vera won 6-2 6-0. She's even better than last year. On her way for better things to come.

TheBoiledEgg
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:30 PM
nice win and awesome performance :)
no mercy given either :D :)

hopefully its Dechy next for Vera

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:30 PM
I didn't see it. I hope 2&0 means Vera played great.

Dava
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:31 PM
Well thatsa good result Claudine is no push over GO VERA!!!

ys
Mar 14th, 2004, 10:35 PM
Two wins away from Top 10.

Epigone
Mar 14th, 2004, 11:16 PM
The bagel in the second set was impressive. Hopefully it is a sign that Vera is more calm and focused on court.

bubble
Mar 14th, 2004, 11:16 PM
That was impressive..
Vera :)

goldenlox
Mar 14th, 2004, 11:31 PM
If Vera plays Anna SP and Zuluaga, she will need patience. To stay calm and under control.
But it's a great draw until the semis.

tenn_ace
Mar 14th, 2004, 11:37 PM
wow wow wow impressive stuff from Vera...

goldenlox
Mar 15th, 2004, 12:36 AM
It's Dechy next. She's ranked about #28, and beat Sveta in Gold Coast. Udachi Vera!

Mathijs
Mar 15th, 2004, 02:02 PM
Good result Vera and well done, good luck in the next round against Dechy. GO Vera! :worship: :bounce:

Epigone
Mar 16th, 2004, 08:11 PM
Vera's match is about to start on Stadium 3

I hope that Vera maintains the high intenisty displayed in her previous matches and finishes Dechy in two sets.

Go Vera!!! :bounce:

KV
Mar 16th, 2004, 08:46 PM
Vera leads N. Dechy 4-2

KV
Mar 16th, 2004, 08:52 PM
Vera leads N. Dechy 5-2

goldenlox
Mar 16th, 2004, 09:12 PM
Vera serving 6-2, 1-4.

Epigone
Mar 16th, 2004, 09:14 PM
Vera leads Dechy 6-2 *1-4

Vera has been broken twice, but has only taken one break back

goldenlox
Mar 16th, 2004, 09:20 PM
Vera has won 61% first serves, 57% second serves. But has 6 double faults. 6-2, 2-4.

goldenlox
Mar 16th, 2004, 09:30 PM
6-2, 2-6. Vera has a dream draw to the semis. If she is healthy, she needs to win this.

goldenlox
Mar 16th, 2004, 09:49 PM
On serve, 1-2. Vera will have to dig in and fight.

goldenlox
Mar 16th, 2004, 09:53 PM
Vera broken, she's in trouble. 1-3.

goldenlox
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:14 PM
Vera lost 2-6, 6-2, 6-2. After watching her fight in the Memphis final, this is disappointing.
But it's not the end of the world. Vera is still a teenager. There will be many more tournaments ahead.

KV
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:16 PM
Disappointing result, make it up in the following tournaments.

moo_ont
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:20 PM
Vera :( :sad: :sad: :(. After she had won the first set, I thought it was gonna be an easy match for Vera. But, don't be discouraged. Try your best in Miami, okay?

Epigone
Mar 16th, 2004, 10:22 PM
I am speechless :sad:

Vera served 10 DFs and was 3/15 on BP chances, including 0/6 on BPs in the 3rd set.

Vera will bounce back in Miami, and she only has one point to defend.

Vera and Nastya still have a doubles match this afternoon, so good luck!

VeraNuVirgosFan
Mar 17th, 2004, 04:06 AM
Vera, udachi at Miami!

goldenlox, did Dechy play this match well? Did they play each other before?

goldenlox
Mar 17th, 2004, 04:11 AM
I didn't see any of the women's matches today. Vera won 6-2, 6-0 yesterday.
Nastya almost lost yesterday. Today, I was expecting different results.
Vera and Dechy had never met.

VeraNuVirgosFan
Mar 17th, 2004, 04:22 AM
Thank you.

Mathijs
Mar 17th, 2004, 12:10 PM
best opportunity wasted to come in the semis :sad: :frown: oh well better luck in Miami Vera Udachi Vera!! :bounce: :worship:

Epigone
Mar 22nd, 2004, 10:33 PM
The draw for Miami has been released: http://www.nasdaq100open.com/draws/Event3Round1Segment1.html

I think that this is quite a good draw for Vera. Vera's 2nd round opponent will be either Tathiana Garbin or Melinda Czink. Vera has faced both of these players already this year. She defeated Garbin 6-1 7-5 in Memphis, and Czink 7-5 6-4 at the Australian Open. Hopefully her match this time will be a little easier.

If all goes well, Vera will face a QF matchup with Serena or, pending an upset, Maria Sharapova.

Epigone
Mar 22nd, 2004, 10:44 PM
Here is Vera's quarter of the draw:

Serena Williams (1) USA vs bye
Qualifier vs Angela Haynes USA

Qualifier vs Samantha Reeves USA
Bye vs Elena Likhovtseva (31) RUS

Maria Sharapova (17) RUS vs Bye
Katarina Srebotnik SLO vs Shinobu Asagoe JPN

Iva Majoli CRO vs Qualifier
Bye vs Anna Smashnova-Pistolesi (13) ISR


Paola Suarez (9) ARG vs bye
Denisa Chladkova CZE vs Ludmila Cervanova SVK

Myriam Casanova SUI vs Jamea Jackson USA
Bye vs Magui Serna (18) ESP

Petra Mandula (30) HUN vs bye
Ashley Harkleroad USA vs Jill Craybas USA

Tathiana Garbin ITA vs Melinda Czink HUN
Bye vs Vera Zvonareva (7) RUS

goldenlox
Mar 23rd, 2004, 02:11 AM
Vera should be able to get to the quarters, but let's go one at a time. Possible top 10 for Vera.

Mathijs
Mar 23rd, 2004, 07:15 PM
Go Vera i know you can do it! :bounce: :bounce: :kiss:

goldenlox
Mar 24th, 2004, 02:25 AM
Vera is playing doubles with Maria K. Let's see if this is a good team.

Epigone
Mar 24th, 2004, 08:17 AM
I suspected that Nastya might give doubles a miss in Miami, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see that Vera will be playing doubles with Maria K. Both Vera and Maria performed well in the doubles at IW, so I hope they will be able to continue their good form as a team.

goldenlox
Mar 24th, 2004, 09:09 PM
Vera plays Tathiana Garbin in her first match. Vera beat her 6-1, 7-5 in Memphis.

Epigone
Mar 24th, 2004, 09:24 PM
Here (http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=3058404&postcount=1235) is what happened in Vera's previous matchup with Garbin. Vera had 3 BP chances to bagel Garbin in the first set, but Garbin won that game. In the second set, Garbin almost broke Vera to take the match to a third set.

Vera will have to stay focused for the whole match. I don't want to see a repeat of IW.

goldenlox
Mar 24th, 2004, 09:28 PM
Vera has been pretty consistent this year. Dechy beat Anna SP and Zuluaga, also. And did well against Lindsay.
Before that, Vera won Memphis, and lost twice to Lindsay. After starting her year with a loss to Sveta.
I think Dechy is Vera's worst loss so far in 2004, and Dechy was playing well.
I expect Vera to win this.

Epigone
Mar 24th, 2004, 10:46 PM
I agree that the loss to Dechy was Vera's worst of 2004, but she also shouldn't have been defeated by Sveta on the Gold Coast. Vera is at the stage of her career where she shouldn't be losing in the early rounds to lower ranked players. In most tournaments, she will be seeded in the top 8, so she should make it to at least the QF. In this case, I expect Vera to be untroubled by Garbin :)

goldenlox
Mar 24th, 2004, 11:08 PM
Sveta has beaten Justine, Venus, and Ai in the last few weeks. That's not a bad loss. Vera and Sveta are close.
If Vera is going to be a factor here, and at the majors, she has to be able to go deep in this weak draw.

goldenlox
Mar 25th, 2004, 04:04 AM
Vera has won 11 of 15 matches this year. 9 of her last 11. She beat Raymond in the Memphis final.
But she had a lucky draw in Indian Wells, and did not take advantage. I think the clay season that is coming up will benefit her.
But Vera still needs to make another forward move. To challenge the elite players.
Vera is still a teenager, so there is no rush. I think she can improve her game. But her game is all about hard work from the baseline, like Elena D. Her mental toughness will determine how great her career is.

- L i n a -
Mar 25th, 2004, 04:33 AM
Vera has played well this year. She's been living up to her seeding. She's done that for a while, it's time to start making the next step.