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tennisIlove09
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:54 PM
Wimbledon Winners Will Meet In Zurich Quarterfinals
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Photo By Siggi Bucher By Adrianna Outlaw
10/21/2004

Wimbledon winners Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams will face off for the first time in the Swisscom Challenge quarterfinals tomorrow. The match won't be contested on grass, but both women will be playing to protect their turf from the baseline to secure a spot in the Zurich semifinal.
The seventh-seeded Williams fought off seven set points four set points in the first-set tiebreak and three in the second-set tiebreak to earn a hard-fought 7-6(11), 7-6(6) victory over Wimbledon junior finalist Ana Ivanovic of Serbia and Montenegro.

In perhaps the most dramatic match of the tournament, both women had chances to clinch both sets.

The 16-year-old qualifier faced set point serving at 5-6 in the first set, but Williams flailed a forehand return into the net and Ivanovic eventually held with a forehand winner to force the first-set tiebreaker. Trailing 3-5 in the tiebreak, Ivanovic increased her aggression, striking three straight winners to earn set point at 6-5. Williams saved the first set point with a service winner, but missed a relatively routine forehand to face a second set point. Showing signs of nerve, Ivanovic double faulted for 7-7. Williams netted another forehand return to hand the teenager a third set point, but saved it with another service winner. On the fourth set point, Williams whipped an overhead winner. At 11-11, Ivanovic pushed a forehand long to give Williams a set point. Delivering a stinging serve, Williams watched Ivanovic's serve sail over the baseline as she took the first-set tiebreak, 13-11.

Ivanovic, who upset 29th-ranked teenager Tatiana Golovin, 7-5, 6-7, 7-6 in an opening-round battle of teenage qualifiers, played fearless tennis to forge triple-set point in the second-set tiebreak at 6-3. But Williams withstood the challenge again, using her serve to set up successive winners off the backhand and forehand sides to close to 5-6. On her third set point, Ivanovic netted a forehand approach then followed with an errant forehand to hand Williams match point at 7-6. Williams ripped a deep serve and stepped into the court to smash a forehand winner to finish off a tense struggle. A relieved Williams smiled after wrapping up the win to set up her quarterfinal meeting with Sharapova.

"I have only played Venus in an exhibition earlier this year," said Sharapova, who beat defending champion Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final last summer. "It means the crowd has a good match to watch so early in the event. I'm looking forward to playing her."

U.S. Open and Roland Garros runner-up Elena Dementieva scored her third straight victory over Russian compatriot Elena Bovina with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-0 triumph today. The third-seeded Dementieva, who beat Bovina, 0-6, 6-0, 6-4, in the Hasselt final earlier this month, bowed to fellow Moscow native Anastasia Myskina in Sunday's Kremlin Cup final. It was her third loss in a final to a fellow Russian this year following a straight-sets setback to Svetlana Kuznetsova at the U.S. Open and Myskina at Roland Garros.

Dementieva will play Japan's Ai Sugiyama in tomorrow's quarterfinals for the right to play either Williams or Sharapova in the final four.

The top half of the draw features Swiss Patty Schnyder taking on Paola Suarez in the quarterfinals. Schnyder, who stopped Magdalena Maleeva in the first first round, overcame a slow start to dismiss Fabiola Zuluaga, 6-4, 6-3. Suarez held a 6-1, 2-2 lead over lucky loser Emilie Loit when the Frenchwoman retired with a strained left knee. The 16th-ranked Suarez has beaten the 15th-ranked Schnyder in five of seven meetings, however the left handed Swiss spin-control artist has won their last two meetings, including a 7-5, 6-3 victory in the third round of the Australian Open in January.