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andrewbroad
Jan 16th, 2007, 01:11 AM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

This message is a Vera-filtered version of my full tournament-preview, which you can find at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3827 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3827)
or
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=280903 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=280903)

1. Photos (full version only)
2. UK TV-alert
3. First-round draw (full version only)
4. Maria Sharapova preview (full version only)
5. Vera Zvonarëva preview
6. Anna Chakvetadze preview (full version only)
7. Daniela Hantuchová preview (full version only)
8. Iroda Tulyaganova preview (full version only)
9. Nicole Vaidišová preview (full version only)
10. Andrew's wishes (full version only)
11. Qualifying (full version only)
12. Order of Play for Monday (full version only)

It also incorporates extracts from the following sections of my Day 1 round-up:

5. First-round draw: Top half
6. Second-round draw: Bottom half
8. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
9. Order of Play for Tuesday

To avoid a clash between the two Section 5's, the old Section 5 is Section 7 of this message.

--------------
2. UK TV-alert
--------------

The evening-sessions of the Australian Open will be televised on BBCi from 08:30 GMT each day of the tournament (digital viewers press Red or select the appropriate Freeview-channel - 301 or 302, I don't know which yet).

My understanding is that this coverage will consist of the women's match on the evening-session of the Rod Laver Arena (today Serena Williams v Mara Santangelo), followed by the men's match, followed by recorded coverage of any Andy Murray match that will have taken place during the day-session (his matches will also be broadcast live on BBCi during the British night, and possibly on BBC 1 or BBC 2 if he reaches the third round - I mention this just in case they happen to slip any women's tennis into such coverage; in 2002, they showed five minutes of Daniela Hantuchová against Venus Williams).

Last year, the women's semi-finals took place during the day-session, and recorded coverage was shown on BBCi following live coverage of the evening-session that day.

The women's and men's singles-finals will be broadcast live on BBC 1 and BBC 2, respectively.

-----------------------------
5. First-round draw: Top half (to be played on Tuesday)
-----------------------------
5.1 Top quarter: Sharapova, Zvonarëva, Chakvetadze
--------------------------------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v Camille Pin (DAVAI MARIA!)
* Roberta Vinci v Anastassia Rodionova (Ąforza Roberta!)
* Renata Vorácová [Q] v Meghann Shaughnessy
* Emmanuelle Gagliardi v TATHIANA GARBIN [30]

* VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tzipora Obziler (DAVAI VERA!)
* Séverine Brémond v Tamira Paszek [Q] (allez Séverine!)
* Varvara Lepchenko v Agnieszka Radwanska (davai Varvara!)
* ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] v Vania King (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Sybille Bammer (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Yulia Beygelzimer v Laura Granville
* Sophie Ferguson [WC] v Jelena Kostanic Tosic
* Klára Zakopalová [Q] v SAMANTHA STOSUR [24] (pojdme Klára!)

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [28,DF] v Kaia Kanepi (Ąforza Flavia!)
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Chan,Yung-Jan (go Alicia!)
* Peng,Shuai [s] v Andreja Klepac [Q] (jia you Shuai!)
* Madison Brengle [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8]


5.2 Second quarter: Hantuchová
------------------------------

* Vasilisa Bardina v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (davai Vasilisa!)
* Akiko Morigami [s] v Tsvetana Pironkova (my Reason says Akiko, but my Passion says Tsvetana)
* Nicole Pratt v Virginie Razzano
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v Stéphanie Cohen-Aloro [Q] (davai Alyona!)

* Sandra Záhlavová [Q] v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [17] (pojdme Sandra!)
* Ashley Harkleroad v Yuan,Meng (go Ashley!)
* Aravane Rezaď v Emilie Loit (allez Aravane!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Alizé Cornet (PODME DANIELA!)

* Ekaterina Bychkova v DINARA SAFINA [9] (davai Ekaterina!)
* Youlia Fedossova [WC] v Catalina Castańo
* Ahsha Rolle v Lourdes Domínguez Lino
* Elena Bovina v LI,NA [19]

* Aiko Nakamura [s] v ELENI DANIILIDOU [32] (ganbatte Aiko!)
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Olga Savchuk (go Sania!)
* Alla Kudryavtseva [Q] v Emma Laine
* Nathalie Dechy v MARTINA HINGIS [6]

---------------------------------
6. Second-round draw: Bottom half (to be played on Wednesday)
---------------------------------

* Gisela Dulko [DF] v NADIA PETROVA [5] (Ąvamos Gisela!)
* Anne Kremer [Q] v Serena Williams (dajee Anne!)
* MARION BARTOLI [18,S] v Victoria Azarenka (allez Marion!)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v JELENA JANKOVIC [11] (Ąvamos Virginia!)

* SHAHAR PEER [16] v Meilen Tu (kadima Shahar!)
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [20,DF] v Zuzana Ondrášková (loyalty to Tatiana)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [26,DF] v Julia Vakulenko [Q] (loyalty to Maria)
* Monique Adamczak [WC] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (I want Adamczak to win this, to vindicate Iroda)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Martina Müller (davai Elena!)
* Maria Elena Camerin v Elena Vesnina (my loyalty is to Maria Elena)
* Iveta Benešová v KATARINA SREBOTNIK [21] (my loyalty is to Iveta)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Milagros Sequera (POJDME NICOLE!)

* Lucie Šafárová v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [14] (podjme Lucie!)
* Anastasiya Yakimova v AI SUGIYAMA [23]
* Eva Birnerová v Julia Schruff (I find Birnerová more attractive)
* Olga Poutchkova v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (davai Olga!)

-------------------------
7. Vera Zvonarëva preview
-------------------------
7.1 First round
---------------

Bepa has never played #121 Tzipora Obziler before. It should be a routine win, but Obziler won a $75k ITF tournament at Washington last August, and was a semi-finalist at WTA Guangzhou in October, so we shouldn't underestimate her too much.

One of the oldest players on the Tour at 33, I seem to remember her giving some top-ten American player a torrid time in Fed Cup a few years ago, but my memory lets me down there - as does the search-function on www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com).


7.2 Second round
----------------

Séverine Brémond reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2006, and finished the year with back-to-back WTA Tour semi-finals at Bangkok and Québec City. But Bepa has won their two meetings quite comfortably: 6-4 6-0 at Charleston 2004, and 7-6 6-3 at Memphis 2005.

Tamira Paszek, who turned 16 in December, has already won a WTA singles-title: Portoroz 2006. But Bepa should simply be too good for the world #187.


7.3 Third round
---------------

Ana Ivanovic [13] is a very talented player with a big forehand and a tendency to spread. She is a Reason-candidate for my Eternal Fanship (I'm not planning any more inductions in the foreseeable future).

Ana won her only prior meeting with Bepa 6-2 6-4 at Warsaw 2005, when Bepa was in the middle of her slump.

Ana is not on the best of form. She started 2007 with two impressive wins on the Gold Coast, but lost to Shahar Peer in the quarter-finals. She beat Nadia Petrova by retirement at Sydney, but couldn't withstand Nicole Vaidišová in the quarter-finals.

The pressure of expectation will be on Ana for this one, and after reaching the final of Auckland, Bepa might just have the form to spring a surprise.

Or Vania King might surprise Ana in the first round. The 17-year-old won her first WTA singles-title at Bangkok last October, winning six sets 6-1 on her way to the final. But I'm fairly optimistic about Ana coming through that one.


7.4 Fourth round
----------------

I would love a fourth-round match between Bepa and Maria Sharapova. They had such a fantastic rivalry in 2004; Maria moved ahead 3-2 with a win at San Diego 2006. They both have lovely groundstrokes of flairsome power; Maria with more ability to overpower her opponent; Bepa with more versatility and retrieval-skills. They are both tremendous fighters.

I'm not considering other possibilities than Maria getting to the quarter-finals at this stage, although a quarter-final against Anna Chakvetadze for either Maria or Bepa would be another mouthwatering match for me.

------------------------------------
8. Women's Doubles: First-round draw (Vera-filtered)
------------------------------------

* (VERA ZVONARËVA [EF]/NATHALIE DECHY)[8] v Varvara Lepchenko/Olga Poutchkova

Full WD draw:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/wd/)

----------------------------
9. Order of Play for Tuesday (Vera-filtered)
----------------------------

Court 7 (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 1r: LukᚠLacko v Robert Smeets [WC]
WS 1r: Sophie Ferguson v Jelena Kostanic Tosic
MS 1r: Alexander Waske v DMITRY TURSUNOV [21]
WS 1r: VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tzipora Obziler

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/)

An Australian heatwave is forecast for tomorrow, with temperatures over 40°C. It could be very tough for Vera, who I have suspected to have struggled in extreme heat before.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

andrewbroad
Jan 16th, 2007, 10:54 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

Bepa's first-round match didn't get on court on Tuesday, so I present Wednesday's order of play as a subset of my Day 2 round-up:

5. Second-round draw
7. Order of Play for Wednesday

--------------------
5. Second-round draw
--------------------
5.1 Top half (to be played on Thursday)
------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v Anastassia Rodionova (DAVAI MARIA!)
* Renata Vorácová [Q] v TATHIANA GARBIN [30]
* (VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tzipora Obziler) v (Séverine Brémond v Tamira Paszek [Q])
* ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] v Agnieszka Radwanska (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Laura Granville (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Jelena Kostanic Tošic v SAMANTHA STOSUR [24]
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Kaia Kanepi (go Alicia!)
* (Peng,Shuai [s] v Andreja Klepac [Q]) v (Madison Brengle [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8])

* Akiko Morigami [s] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (ganbatte Akiko!)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v Virginie Razzano (davai Alyona!)
* (Sandra Záhlavová [Q] v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [17]) v (Ashley Harkleroad v Yuan,Meng)
* (Aravane Rezaï v Emilie Loit) v (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Alizé Cornet)

* (Ekaterina Bychkova v DINARA SAFINA [9]) v (Youlia Fedossova [WC] v Catalina Castaño)
* (Ahsha Rolle v Lourdes Domínguez Lino) v (Elena Bovina v LI,NA [19])
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Aiko Nakamura [s]
* Alla Kudryavtseva [Q] v MARTINA HINGIS [6]


5.2 Bottom half (to be played on Wednesday)
---------------

* Gisela Dulko [DF] v NADIA PETROVA [5] (¡vamos Gisela!)
* Anne Kremer [Q] v Serena Williams (dajee Anne!)
* MARION BARTOLI [18,S] v Victoria Azarenka (allez Marion!)
* Virginia Ruano Pascual v JELENA JANKOVIC [11] (¡vamos Virginia!)

* SHAHAR PEER [16] v Meilen Tu (kadima Shahar!)
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [20,DF] v Zuzana Ondrášková (loyalty to Tatiana)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [26,DF] v Julia Vakulenko [Q] (loyalty to Maria)
* Monique Adamczak [WC] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (I want Adamczak to win this, to vindicate Iroda)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Martina Müller (davai Elena!)
* Maria Elena Camerin v Elena Vesnina (my loyalty is to Maria Elena)
* Iveta Benešová v KATARINA SREBOTNIK [21] (my loyalty is to Iveta)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Milagros Sequera (POJDME NICOLE!)

* Lucie Šafárová v FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [14] (podjme Lucie!)
* Anastasiya Yakimova v AI SUGIYAMA [23]
* Eva Birnerová v Julia Schruff (I find Birnerová more attractive)
* Olga Poutchkova v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (davai Olga!)

------------------------------
7. Order of Play for Wednesday (Vera-filtered)
------------------------------

Court 21 (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tzipora Obziler
WD 1r: (CARA BLACK/LIEZEL HUBER)[3] v Andreea Ehritt-Vanc/Anastassia Rodionova
WS 2r: SHAHAR PEER [16] v Meilen Tu
MD 1r: (ARNAUD CLEMENT/MICHAEL LLODRA)[16] v Lukasz Kubot/Oliver Marach

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

andrewbroad
Jan 17th, 2007, 10:37 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

This message is a subset of my Day 3 round-up:

5. First-round report
8. Second-round draw: Top half
9. Third-round draw: Bottom half
11. Mixed Doubles: First-round draw
12. Order of Play for Thursday

--------------
5. First round (Wednesday 17th January)
--------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] d. Tzipora Obziler, 6-3 6-4

Bepa served 7 aces, and had a W:UE ratio of 26:23.

Sorry for the lack of detail - I sleep during the Australian day, and the compressed schedule has left me with too many matches to catch up on in too short a time.

--------------------
8. Second-round draw
--------------------
8.1 Top half (to be played on Thursday)
------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v Anastassia Rodionova (DAVAI MARIA!)
* Renata Vorácová [Q] v TATHIANA GARBIN [30]
* VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tamira Paszek [Q] (DAVAI VERA!)
* ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] v Agnieszka Radwanska (ajde Ana!)

* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Laura Granville (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Jelena Kostanic Tošic v SAMANTHA STOSUR [24]
* Alicia Molik [WC] v Kaia Kanepi (go Alicia!)
* Peng,Shuai [s] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8] (jia you Shuai!)

* Akiko Morigami [s] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (ganbatte Akiko!)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v Virginie Razzano (davai Alyona!)
* Ashley Harkleroad v ANNA-LENA GRÖNEFELD [17] (go Ashley!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Emilie Loit (PODME DANIELA!)

* DINARA SAFINA [9] v Youlia Fedossova [WC] (allez Youlia!)
* Lourdes Domínguez Lino v LI,NA [19]
* Sania Mirza [DF] v Aiko Nakamura [s] (my loyalty is to Sania)
* Alla Kudryavtseva [Q] v MARTINA HINGIS [6]

-------------------
9. Third-round draw
-------------------
9.1 Bottom half (to be played on Friday)
---------------

* NADIA PETROVA [5] v Serena Williams
* Victoria Azarenka v JELENA JANKOVIC [11]
* TATIANA GOLOVIN [20,DF] v SHAHAR PEER [16] (both nice; my loyalty is to Tatiana)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [26,DF] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (davai Maria!)

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] v Maria Elena Camerin (my loyalty is to Maria Elena)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v KATARINA SREBOTNIK [21] (POJDME NICOLE!)
* Lucie Šafárová v Anastasiya Yakimova (pojdme Lucie!)
* Eva Birnerová v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (pojdme Eva!)

-----------------------------------
11. Mixed Doubles: First-round draw (Vera-filtered)
-----------------------------------

* Vera Zvonarëva/Andy Ram v Casey Dell'Acqua/Chris Guccione

Full XD draw:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/xd/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/xd/)

------------------------------
12. Order of Play for Thursday (Vera-filtered)
------------------------------

Court 7 (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 2r: VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v Tamira Paszek
MS 2r: Max Mirnyi v DMITRY TURSUNOV [21]
WD 1r: (VERA ZVONARËVA [EF]/NATHALIE DECHY)[8] v Varvara Lepchenko/Olga Poutchkova
MD 1r: Tomas Behrend/Guillermo García-López v (JONAS BJÖRKMAN/MAX MIRNYI)[2]
WD 1r: Francesca Schiavone/Patty Schnyder v (ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA/ELENA VESNINA)[13]

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

andrewbroad
Jan 19th, 2007, 10:30 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

This message is a Vera-filtered subset of my Day 4 round-up...

1. Photos
5. Second-round report
9. Women's Doubles

...merged with a Vera-filtered subset of my Day 5 round-up:

4. Third-round draw: Top half
5. Fourth-round draw: Bottom half
7. Women's Doubles
8. Order of Play for Saturday

Section 5 has been renumbered as Section 2 (so that the section-numbering is singly defined and monotonically increasing).
Sections 9 & 7 have been merged into a single Section 7.

---------
1. Photos
---------

Vera Zvonarëva:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=9834781 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=9834781)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva)

Various players on court including Vera:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=melbourne_r2 (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=melbourne_r2)

---------------
2. Second round (Thursday 18th January)
---------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] d. Tamira Paszek [Q], 6-1 6-3

With a W:UE ratio of 26:26, Bepa won 14 of 17 points at the net - and why not, when she has the most beautiful punch-volleys of anyone in my fanship?

First set: Bepa 5-0*, *5-1, 6-1.
Second set: Bepa 2-0*, *2-1... 3-3*, 6-3.

Some call the game at 3-3 "the vital seventh", and so it proved in the second set here, as Paszek dropped serve from 40/0 up!

Simon Meadows (who saw the match): "Yes having a 2-0 lead in the second and giving it up was a little frustrating but she certainly didn't let it get to her. What I did like was the way in both matches when it happened, she just forgot about it and got on with the match. I think we all know what Vera has been like in the past when something like this has happened, so for me, this is a big positive."


Third-round preview
-------------------

I stand by what I said in my tournament-preview about this match-up with Ana Ivanovic.

What has surprised me, however, is that Ana brushed aside the dangerous Vania King 6-2 6-0, then struggled quite a bit to beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2 3-6 6-2.

Bepa has nothing to lose in this match, as Ana is the higher seed. Whoever wins this one, her fourth-round match against Maria Sharapova will be a fascinating showdown!

-----------------------------
4. Third-round draw: Top half (to be played on Saturday)
-----------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v TATHIANA GARBIN [30] (DAVAI MARIA!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF] (both nice; my loyalty is to Vera)
* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v Jelena Kostanic Tošic (DAVAI ANNA!)
* Alicia Molik [WC] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8] (go Alicia!)

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [29] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (davai Alyona!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Ashley Harkleroad (both nice; my loyalty is to Daniela)
* DINARA SAFINA [9] v LI,NA [19]
* Aiko Nakamura [s] v MARTINA HINGIS [6] (ganbatte Aiko!)

---------------------------------
5. Fourth-round draw: Bottom half (to be played on Sunday)
---------------------------------

* JELENA JANKOVIC [11] v Serena Williams (ajde Jelena!)
* SHAHAR PEER [16] v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [3] (kadima Shahar!)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v ELENA DEMENTIEVA [7] (POJDME NICOLE!)
* Lucie Šafárová v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2] (pojdme Lucie!)

------------------
7. Women's Doubles (merged & Vera-filtered)
------------------
7.1 First round (Thursday 18th January)
---------------

+ (VERA ZVONARËVA [EF]/NATHALIE DECHY)[8] d. Varvara Lepchenko/Olga Poutchkova, 6-1 7-5


7.2 Second round (Friday 19th January)
----------------

+ (VERA ZVONARËVA [EF]/NATHALIE DECHY)[8] d. Vania King/Jelena Kostanic Tošic, 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-0


7.3 Third-round draw
--------------------

* (VERA ZVONARËVA [EF]/NATHALIE DECHY)[8] v Sun,Shengnan/Sun,Tiantian

-----------------------------
8. Order of Play for Saturday (Vera-filtered)
-----------------------------

Margaret Court Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 3r: Florian Mayer v TOMMY HAAS [12]
WS 3r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v Ashley Harkleroad
WS 3r: VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] v ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF]
MS 3r: ANDY MURRAY [15] v Juan Ignacio Chela

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

andrewbroad
Jan 22nd, 2007, 01:25 AM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

This message is a Vera-filtered subset of my Day 6 round-up...

1. Photos & videos
4. Third-round report

...merged with a Vera-filtered subset of my Day 7 round-up:

9. Fourth-round draw: Top half
10. Quarter-final draw: Bottom half
12. Women's Doubles
13. Mixed Doubles
15. Order of Play for Monday

------------------
1. Photos & videos (Vera-filtered)
------------------

Vera Zvonarëva:
http://zvonareva.com/ausopen2007/ (http://zvonareva.com/ausopen2007/)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=9841940 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=9841940)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=9852122 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showpost.php?p=9852122)

Vera Zvonarëva and Maria Sharapova:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6281513.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6281513.stm)

Vera Zvonarëva, Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/galleries/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/galleries/) (click "Day Six highlights photo gallery")

Vera Zvonarëva and Ana Ivanovic:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva)

Vera Zvonarëva, Maria Sharapova, Nicole Vaidišová, Lucie Šafárová, Shahar Peer, Elena Dementieva, Martina Hingis:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=melbourne_r3 (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/?Event=melbourne_r3)

Vera Zvonarëva, Ana Ivanovic, Aiko Nakamura, Alicia Molik:
http://www.tennis.info/AusOpen7.html (http://www.tennis.info/AusOpen7.html) (Third round - day 2)

Search Getty Images for "zvonareva"


1.2 Videos
----------

Vera Zvonarëva and Ana Ivanovic (no, I haven't watched these):
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6V23GUFC (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=6V23GUFC)
or
http://www.megaupload.com/fr/?d=8610EWYY (http://www.megaupload.com/fr/?d=8610EWYY)

--------------
4. Third round (Saturday 20th January)
--------------

Nice winner, nice loser, awesome scoreline!
+ VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] d. ANA IVANOVIC [13,DF], 6-1 6-2

www.wtatour.com (http://www.wtatour.com): "The 51-minute duel was a demolition job from start to finish, as the Russian matched Ivanovic's big groundstrokes but excelled on the defense. It will be Zvonarëva's first Grand Slam second week since 2004, when she achieved the feat three times: at this event, Wimbledon and the US Open."

Sebastian (http://blogs.tennisuniverse.com/zvonareva/News/6522): "In her match against Ivanovic, Vera stayed calm and focused and kept attacking Ana's backhand. She played solid baseline tennis and never let her opponent in the match."

>>>
Vicious Vera is Back; Clubs Ivanovic
By Matthew Cronin, Tennis Reporters.net

Ana Ivanovic surely has had worse matches, but never at a Slam. Vera Zvonarëva torched the talented Serb 6-1, 6-2, whose point-construction was about as well thought out as watching a toddler trying to build a tower with watery Play Dough. Ivanovic was incredibly impatient and when former top 10er Zvonarëva is in her "Vicious Vera" zone, that's the wrong way to play.

Zvonarëva is a relentless groundstroker who when confident, hits the ball very deep, plays inside the baseline and take the ball on the rise. She's a B-minus Monica Seles, without the composure, hunger, or return of serve, but with groundstrokes that resemble a thrashing machine. You have to mix it up against Vera Z., and Ivanovic didn't.

"I kept the same pace and didn't give her much to counter," Zvonarëva told Tennis Reporters.net. "You have to fight for every point, use your chances to stay aggressive, serve well, put the pressure on her return. Everything has to go well against the top players. I'm really happy with how I played from the first point to the end."

Zvonarëva is a curious but familiar case: a driven woman who cracked the top 10 as a teenager, and then emotionally fell apart and has yet to return. She's won five career titles, but has never stood out at the Slams, reaching the Round of 16 four times and a quarter-final once. The bright lights of the big courts have never been particularly kind to her, and after she busted into the top 10 as a 18 year-old back in 2004, she slowly slid backward. She was prone to crying in the middle of matches, even when she was ahead. But last year, she began to mature and won two small titles and ended the year ranked No. 24.

"I had it all in one year, my ranking dropped and it went back up again," she said. "I'm a more mature player now. In 2004, I was up and coming and everything was new to me. I know both sides of it: you can get injured and be out, and you can't always go up in the rankings."

She had trouble besting top-tenners (she fell to the likes Sharapova, Clijsters, Dementieva and Petrova, among others), but she certainly has the tools to make a top-15 drive again. At the start of the year, she reached the Auckland final, falling in the third set to Jelena Jankovic.

But taking down a young but fairly notable scalp like Ivanovic should do her well. The key for Zvonarëva is keeping a positive attitude, because she can get very negative.

"I just try to enjoy myself, but I know it's a great opportunity to be on the centre court of a Grand Slam and show your best," the 22nd seed said." That's my main goal. Last year I had some bad draws at the Grand Slams."

Speaking of tough draws, Zvonarëva's next opponent will be top seed Maria Sharapova. They've played six times, with Zvonarëva's taking two early contests and Sharapova winning their last match, at 2006 San Diego. Zvonarëva has shown an ability to grind down Sharapova, but the top seed also knows how to mix up speed and angles and not get coaxed into a flat-out bash-fest.

"She a fighter," said Zvonarëva, who is coached by American Sam Sumyk and trains in both Tampa and Moscow. "No matter what, she fights for every point; she knows what to do and what works for her. She always sticks to what she has to do, and I have to be ready for long match."

In some ways, this type of fourth-round match could be dicer for the rope-swinger Sharapova (see my article on foxsports.com). An in-form Ivanovic has better long-term potential than Zvonarëva (that is, if she can figure out how to change strategies mid-match), but Vera Z. can grind on a hot day, she could land plenty of body blows. But Sharapova is still the pick here.
<<<

This match was originally scheduled fourth on Margaret Court Arena, but was actually played fourth under the roof of Rod Laver Arena as torrential rain wreaked havoc with the order of play - I thought this was the Australian Open, not Wimbledon! ;)

The match started at 16:33 AEST, and I caught up with live scores from:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=281706&page=49 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=281706&page=49) (pp. 49-19)


First set
---------
ZVONARËV @* *@*@ 6
IVANOVIC __*____ 1

Ana serving 0-0: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
Bepa serving 1-0: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held.
Ana serving 0-2: held to love.

Bepa serving 2-1: Double fault. 0/15, 0/30 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Ana (BP #2). Serve + backhand winner. Deuce #2, ad Bepa, Deuce #3, ad Bepa. Held with a backhand winner.

Ana serving 1-3: Double fault. 0/15, 0/40 (3 BPs). Ana saved the first with a forehand winner. 15/40. Bepa broke with a forehand return-winner!

Bepa serving 4-1: Ana backhand return-winner. 0/15. Bepa forehand winner. 15/15. Double fault. 15/30, 30/30. Ana forehand "stunner". 30/40 (BP), 40/40. Double fault. Ad Ana (BP #2), Deuce #2. Bepa forehand winner. Ad Bepa, held.

Ana serving 1-5: 0/30. Bepa return-winner down the line. 0/40 (3 SPs), Bepa won the first set 6-1 at 16:56 (23 minutes).

rrfnpump: "she serves pretty awful today, but her baseline game is great"

Derek: "Bepa's really exposing Ana's lack of speed. :o"


Second set
----------
ZVONARËV *@*@__*@ 6
IVANOVIC ____@*__ 2

Bepa serving 0-0: 0/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held.
Ana serving 0-1: 15/0, 15/15. Ana forehand winner. 30/15. Double fault. 30/30, 40/30, 40/40. Double fault. Ad Bepa (BP), broken.

ezekiel: "she can't serve at all :mad: and has no balance losing all the points and getting demolished by Vera Zvonarëva :mad:"

Bepa serving 2-0: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held.

Derek:
>>>
The trend of this match is...

Bepa forcing Ana to make an error...
Ana hitting a UE...
Ana hitting a winner...
Ana hitting a UE...
Ana hitting a UE...

:tape:

Bepa is playing so good though! :eek:
<<<

Ana serving 0-3: 15/0, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP). Broken on a double fault.
Bepa serving 4-0: 15/0, 15/15. Double fault. 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.

Perhaps a momentary lapse in concentration for Bepa? That's the danger when you're winning too easily.

Ana serving 1-4: Ace. 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30. Ace.
Bepa serving 4-2: held to love.

Dexter: "Bepa's defense is too good."

Ana serving 2-5: 0/15, 30/15, 30/40 (MP #1), Bepa won 6-1 6-2 at 17:23 (second set 27 minutes, match 50 minutes).

Bepa broke 6 times from 7 BPs, while Ana broke just once from 5 BPs. The other statistics aren't really flattering, to be honest: Ana had a disastrous W:UE ratio of 13:26, while Bepa's was a negative 11:12. Ana won only 42% of points on her first serve and 35% on her second.


Ana quotes
----------

"It's not always that you have physical problems when you lose! <laughing>

"It was just a bad day. Everything I tried didn't work. It is very disappointing, but I have to give her credit. She played very good and served really well.

"Many times you learn more from losses than you do wins. I'm still learning how to deal with the pressure and the expectation, and I have many more years ahead of me."


Fourth-round preview
--------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF]

This really is the most mouthwatering match-up of flairsome power imaginable; it's got contrast of styles, I expect it to be very competitive (as per their head-to-heads and recent form), and I will be most upset if BBCi uses Andy Murray or anyone else as an excuse not to show it either live or recorded.

If Maria's third-round performance was indeed as unconvincing as Reuters claim, then she'll need to step it up in the fourth round as Vera is a brilliant player who thrashed Ana Ivanovic 6-1 6-2, and beat Maria twice in 2004! (Maria leads their head-to-head 3-2.)

Maria's struggle against Camille Pin is too long ago to be relevant on Monday, but Vera has the form and history to give Maria a very good match, perhaps even win!

Maria: "Vera is tough physically, gets a lot of balls back, makes you hit a lot of balls. Just a matter of giving her another ball to hit."

As an Eternal Fan of both Maria and Vera, who do I want to win? My Reason says Maria, because she's the only one of my players I can see beating Clijsters in the semi-finals and going on to win the title. The last thing I want to see is a final between Mingin' Clijsters and Muscular Mauresmo! ;) [edit: Mauresmo lost on Sunday]

But my Passion says Vera, because it would mean so much for her to reach only her second Grand Slam quarter-final - and very possibly her first semi-final - whereas Maria reaches the semi-finals of every single Grand Slam outside of the French Open.

I've actually written to the BBC begging them to show it! I'm not optimistic that they will, given that their coverage of women's tennis these first six days has been a disgraceful 7%.

Time definitely to put the "vera" back in "coverage"!

------------------------------
9. Fourth-round draw: Top half (to be played on Monday)
------------------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF] (mouthwatering match!)
* ANNA CHAKVETADZE [12,EF] v PATTY SCHNYDER [8] (DAVAI ANNA!)
* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4] (PODME DANIELA!)
* MARTINA HINGIS [6] v LI,NA [19] (hopp Martina!)

-----------------------------------
10. Quarter-final draw: Bottom half (to be played on Tuesday)
-----------------------------------

* SHAHAR PEER [16] v Serena Williams (kadima Shahar!)
* NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [10,EF] v Lucie Šafářová (both nice; my loyalty is to Nicole)

-------------------
12. Women's Doubles (Vera-filtered)
-------------------
12.2 Third round (Sunday 21st January)
----------------

- (VERA ZVONARËVA [EF]/NATHALIE DECHY)[8] lt. Sun,Shengnan/Sun,Tiantian, 3-6 3-6

-----------------
13. Mixed Doubles (Vera-filtered)
-----------------
13.1 First round (Sunday 21st January)
----------------

To be completed on Monday:

* Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Andy Ram v Casey Dell'Acqua/Chris Guccione, 5-4

----------------------------
15. Order of Play for Monday (Vera-filtered)
----------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 4r: MARTINA HINGIS [6] v LI,NA [19]
WS 4r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [15,EF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [4]
MS 4r: JAMES BLAKE [5] v FERNANDO GONZALEZ [10]
|
Evening-session (start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 4r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] v VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF]
MS 4r: ANDY MURRAY [15] v RAFAEL NADAL [2]

The moment Lleyton Hewitt lost, we knew that Murray v Nadal would be on the RLA evening-session. Maria v Vera need to be first on that session to be televised on BBCi, but this wasn't for sure because there wasn't a women's match there on Friday or Sunday. So when the order of play for Monday was announced, I was even happier than when I first saw Sunday's results! :D

Just to confirm the good news for UK viewers: Maria v Vera will be televised on BBCi (Freeview-channel 302) at 08:30 GMT on Monday. It's time to put the "vera" back in "coverage" :D

For UK viewers without access to BBCi, it may even be possible to catch the end of the match live on BBC Two from 10:00 GMT - a special programme intended for Murray v Nadal.

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/ (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

andrewbroad
Jan 31st, 2007, 12:40 AM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

This is a Vera-filtered subset of my Day 8 round-up...

1. Photos & video
3. Sharapova v Zvonarëva TV-report
9. Mixed Doubles
10. Girls' Singles
11. Order of Play for Monday

...merged with a Vera-filtered subset of my final round-up:

3. Wooden-Spoon List
8. WTA Singles Rankings

The new Sections 3 and 8 have been renumbered 12 and 13.

-----------------
1. Photos & video
-----------------
1.1 Photos
----------

Vera Zvonarëva and Maria Sharapova:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva)

Maria looks better in the photos, but Bepa looked better on TV.

Vera Zvonarëva only:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=100939&page=20 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=100939&page=20) (and p.19)

Search Getty Images for "zvonareva"


1.2 Video
---------

Barbara Schett interviews Vera Zvonarëva after 3r:
http://www.eurosport.co.uk/tennis/australian-open/2007/mc_vid32762.shtml (http://www.eurosport.co.uk/tennis/australian-open/2007/mc_vid32762.shtml)

I must admit that Babsi still looks very 'fit'! :)

------------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round TV-report: Sharapova v Zvonarëva (Monday 22nd January)
------------------------------------------------

Very nice winner, very nice loser:
+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [1,EF] d. VERA ZVONARËVA [22,EF], 7-5 6-4

I saw the whole match live on BBCi.

As Maria v Bepa contests go, IMO the first set was excellent, but the second set left much to be desired - I didn't really get the feeling that the UK viewers who had tuned in expecting to see Andy Murray would be amazed by what they saw.

Played in a mildly warm temperature of 23°C, this match was very tight and competitive in the first set, but Bepa reacted to the loss of the first set with a bad service-game at the start of the second - you just can't afford to do that against someone who holds serve as reliably as Maria.

The atmosphere went rather flat after that as Maria cruised towards victory without much resistance to her brilliant tennis - although a late surge from Bepa made Maria work very hard to push herself over the finish-line, trimming her lead from *5-2 to *5-4.

Maria and Bepa are two of the best fighters in tennis, so this was very tough and long in duration for a two-setter. And it could have been very different if that tight first set had gone Bepa's way, if she hadn't had that lapse at the start of the second, or if she'd capitalised at 0/40 on Maria's serve in the last game (the general consensus in the VZ community is that Bepa was too passive on those break-points).

The winner-counts were a bit low by Maria v Bepa standards. Maria had just 33 winners, Bepa just 11. I remember that when they played at the WTA Tour Championships 2004, Maria had 58 winners in the same number of games!

Sebastian (http://blogs.tennisuniverse.com/zvonareva/News/6529):
>>>
It was not a good day for Vera. Playing against Maria Sharapova she made too many unforced errors and was not agressive enough against a great serving Sharapova who went for her shots and never looked back. In the first set Vera could save 9 BPs, before getting broken in the eleventh game of the set. Till 2-5 in the second set, Vera didnt have a single BP, but then she could break and hold for 4-5. Serving for the match at 5-4 Sharapova went down 00-40, but could save all three Bps with great winners. Shortly after, Vera lost 57 46.

After a promising first week of the Australian Open, the last two days were not good for Vera who suffered from a cold and didnt have enough energy to play as she wanted herself to play. Still, the 4th round at a Grand Slam is a great achievement and Vera can be proud of herself. She now has little to defend till Roland Garros and should be able to move up further in the rankings... go Vera !!
<<<

Bepa won the toss and elected to receive. She looked absolutely delectable as she warmed up - even when they split-screened Maria and Bepa, I couldn't take my eyes off the lady in red!

My Reason says Maria, but my Passion says Vera.

The match started at 19:45 AEST.

I have incorporated some of Ben Dirs' game-by-game updates for BBC Sport <http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6286009.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/6286009.stm)>.


First set
---------
SHARAPOVA _* * * * *@* 7
ZVONARËVA * * * * *___ 5

Bepa serving 0-0: Bepa backhand just wide. 0/15. Maria forehand just long & just wide. 15/15. Maria forehand just wide. 30/15. Bepa backhand long by a whisker. 30/30. Maria sprayed a forehand long. 40/30. Maria netted a forehand.

A really rather inauspicious start for them both.

Sam Smith: "Potentially a very difficult match for Sharapova. Carnage in the women's draw!"

Sam Smith: "[Bepa] had the largest pasta known to man before she came out here! So she's expecting a long match."
John Lloyd: "She's not afraid of Sharapova with two wins against her - that's the main thing."
Sam Smith: "Sharapova quite nervous about this match."

Maria serving 0-1: Bepa forehand volley-winner after a beautiful spreading rally & net rally. 0/15. Maria off-forehand + crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Maria netted a forehand. 15/30. Bepa backhand return just long. 30/30. Service-winner. 40/30. Bepa forehand smash-winner behind Maria after a well-constructed point. 40/40. Bepa netted a forehand. Ad Maria. Bepa backhand return just long.

Ben Dirs: "Zvonarëva, a US Open doubles champion, comes to the net and puts away a forehand volley to go 0/15 up. But Sharapova loosens the shoulders and gets the serve working to move to 40/30. However, Zvonarëva hustles well and converts another volley to make it deuce before Sharapova wins the game with an ace."

Bepa really let Maria off the hook there with two cheap errors at the end.

Bepa serving 1-1: Maria netted a forehand under pressure. 15/0. Let serve not called! Maria off-forehand return-winner. 15/15. Bepa backhand just long (Bepa wasted a challenge). 15/30. Virtual ace out wide, on the junction! 30/30. Bepa came to the net, but a dipping shot at her feet made her earth a forehand half-volley. 30/40 (BP). Maria netted a forehand under mild pressure. 40/40. Service-winner. Ad Bepa. Maria netted a backhand return.

Sam Smith: "Fully pasta'd-up and ready for battle!"

Maria's grunt is rather quiet today - and according to the commentators who weren't denied the opportunity to watch her early rounds, this tournament!

Maria serving 1-2: Maria came to the net and Bepa netted a backhand pass. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/15. Bepa forehand long. 30/15. Maria went for a big swinging second serve ace down the middle - was called out, but Maria correctly challenged. No replay, even though I got the impression Bepa had a play on that serve? 40/15. Maria deep error-forcing crosscourt backhand.

Bepa serving 2-2: Maria crosscourt forehand winner. John Lloyd: "The depth so good." Sam Smith: "Fearless - never runs away from tense situations." 0/15. Maria forehand winner down the line (three strokes after a weak second serve). 0/30. Maria netted an easy forehand off a short ball. Should have been 0/40! 15/30. Bepa netted a forehand under pressure. John Lloyd: "First(?) serve has to be more accurate than that, or it's gonna get punished!" 15/40 (2 BPs). Maria forehand wide. 30/40. Maria forehand long by a whisker (Maria made an incorrect challenge). 40/40. Maria forehand just wide. Ad Bepa. Maria backhand wide by a whisker, and she didn't want to risk losing her one remaining challenge.

A let-off for Bepa after 15/40!

Maria serving 2-3: Bepa hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline, leaving Maria flat-footed at the back of the court! 0/15. Ace down the middle, on the centre-line (outside edge). 15/15. Bepa forehand long. John Lloyd: "Got to not give freebies away." 30/15. Maria came to the net behind a deep shot, forcing Bepa to hit an early forehand long. 40/15. Bepa backhand just long.

No breaks, but Maria holding serve more easily than Bepa.

Bepa serving 3-3: Bepa came to the net, forcing Maria to balloon a backhand wide. 15/0. Maria forehand just wide. 30/0. Bepa forced Maria to net a forehand. 40/0. Maria netted a forehand.

Sam Smith: "Real quality about Zvonarëva."
John Lloyd: "If she was from any other country, she'd be much more famous.
"If this was Federer v Nadal, side to side, we'd be raving about it!"

Ben Dirs: "More fine hustling from Zvonarëva, moving Sharapova around the back of the court on the opening three points before taking the game to love. Zvonarëva is scrapping and hanging in there well at the moment."

Maria serving 3-4: Maria backhand winner down the line, on the baseline. Ben Dirs: "Sharapova leaves her opponent striking the teapot pose after hitting the baseline with a vicious backhand winner." Sam Smith: "It's automatic. She's so polished." 15/0. Virtual ace out wide. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0. A deep return forced Maria backhand wide. 40/15. Ace out wide, in the corner.

John Lloyd: "In terms of the mental strength, she's the number one."

Bepa serving 4-4: Maria off-backhand return-winner. 0/15. Maria backhand return just wide. 15/15. Bepa hit a loose backhand long. 15/30. Maria netted a backhand after "gigantic" groundstrokes from Maria. 15/40 (2 BPs). Maria forehand long. 30/40. Maria netted a backhand. 40/40. Maria backhand just wide. Ad Bepa. Maria aggressive return + forehand drive-volley winner. Deuce #2. Maria forehand return just long. Ad Bepa. She netted a backhand and made a gesture of frustration & muttered. Deuce #3. Double fault. Bepa looks anxious now. Ad Maria (BP #3). Bepa saved it with an error-forcing backhand. Deuce #4. Maria backhand just long. Ad Bepa. She netted a forehand. Deuce #5. Maria backhand drive-volley winner. Ad Maria (BP #4). Bepa saved it with a brilliant pinpoint backhand winner down the line off a sliced backhand from Maria! Deuce #6. Maria off-forehand winner. Ad Maria (BP #5). Maria forehand long. Deuce #7. Bepa hit a brilliant crosscourt backhand pass-winner just inside the sideline. Sam Smith: "Where did she find that angle from?" Ad Bepa. Service-winner.

Ben Dirs: "Zvonarëva is really digging deep here, and doing exceptionally well not to crack under the weight of some gigantic groundstrokes. Lovely bit of touch from Zvonarëva, whipping a backhand down the line to save another break-point, and she then excels herself again, hanging on for dear life before leaving Sharapova rooted to the spot with a dipping crosscourt backhand. Five break-points saved in the game by Zvonarëva - gutsy, very gutsy."

Sam Smith: "They breed them tough in Moscow, and that's what Zvonarëva's all about."

I'm feeling a very strong loyalty towards Bepa right now. If she'd lost that game, it could have turned into a routine win for Maria, and my Passion wants these two to be out here till Christmas!

Sam Smith: "The sheer totality of commitment from Sharapova and the team is beyond belief."

Maria serving 4-5: Service-winner. 15/0. Bepa backhand long. 30/0. Bepa's forehand clipped the netcord and fell wide. She looked very frustrated. 40/0. Maria virtual crosscourt forehand winner.

Bepa serving 5-5: Ace down the middle, on the centre-line. 15/0. Maria backhand just long. 30/0. Bepa backhand just wide. 30/15. Maria hit a thunderbolt of a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/30. Ace down the middle - Maria challenged it, and used up her last remaining challenge! 40/30. Maria forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. 40/40. Double fault. Ad Maria (BP). Maria crosscourt backhand winner wide by a whisker, but no challenges left. Deuce #2. Maria forehand wide. Ad Bepa. Maria error-forcing forehand down the line. Deuce #3. Maria virtual forehand winner down the line. Ad Maria (BP #2). Bepa finally cracked under the strain and netted a tame backhand, allowing Maria to break at the 10th opportunity! Bepa smacked the court with her racket.

Sam Smith: "You have to feel for Zvonarëva - just having to battle so hard through these service-games."

I do, Sam, I do! :hearts:

John Lloyd: "That's the problem with playing other Russians - they're almost as tough as [Maria is]."

Maria serving 6-5: Maria crosscourt forehand winner just inside the baseline. 15/0. Maria forehand wide. 15/15. Bepa netted a backhand, and whacked her hips with her racket. 30/15. Bepa backhand wide. Sam Smith: "Zvonarëva goes into meltdown." 40/15 (2 SPs). Maria forehand just long. 40/30. Serve + off-forehand winner, and the first real fist-pump and "c'mon". Maria won the first set 7-5 at 20:46 AEST (61 minutes).

This match has me both shivering with excitement, and almost with tears in my eyes right now, as Bepa sits with her head in her towel.


Second set
----------
SHARAPOVA @* * *@__* 6
ZVONARËVA __* *__@*_ 4

Bepa serving 0-0: Maria error-forcing crosscourt forehand. 0/15. Bepa backhand long. 0/30. Maria forehand long. 15/30. Maria forehand on the line forced Bepa backhand wide. 15/40 (2 BPs). Double fault. Groans from the crowd.

Poor Bepa. She's just gone away from this match after being broken at 5-5, and now she's crying. I can almost emote with her.

Sam Smith: "No need for Zvonarëva to beat up on herself - she's playing a good match. But there's someone down the other end who's playing better."

Maria serving 1-0: Maria netted a backhand. 0/15. Ace down the middle. 15/15. Maria forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Maria forehand just long. 30/30. Bepa netted a backhand - her footwork has gone, along with her belief. 40/30. Maria netted a forehand off a deep return onto the baseline. 40/40. Bepa forehand very long - she broke a string in that rally. Sam Smith: "Her contact is so high up the frame." Ad Maria. Maria hit an error-forcing crosscourt backhand.

Good resistance from Bepa in that game, but I'm still getting a very negative vibe from her. Sam Smith: "Nowhere to go."

Bepa serving 0-2: Bepa forehand just wide. 0/15. Maria backhand long. 15/15. Maria netted a forehand under pressure. 30/15. Maria backhand long. 40/15. Maria netted a forehand.

Maria serving 2-1: Bepa netted a forehand. 15/0. Ace down the middle. 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Bepa netted a backhand volley. John Lloyd: "Didn't quite direct that approach-shot well enough." 40/15. Maria forehand drive-volley winner.

Bepa threw her racket. She's looking more fired up now, but there's an air of inevitability for Maria now, and not much noise from the crowd.

Sam Smith: "The life has just drained out of this match momentarily."

Bepa serving 1-3: Maria forehand long. 15/0. Maria forehand return just long. 30/0. Bepa came to the net, forcing Maria to hit a backhand pass wide. 40/0. Second serve: Maria off-forehand return-winner. 40/15. Bepa hit a well-placed forehand drive-volley winner.

Ben Dirs: "Good hustling from Zvonarëva, who hasn't given up the ghost by any means."

Maria serving 3-2: Service-winner (Bepa backhand lob-return just long). 15/0. Service-winner out wide, just inside the sideline. 30/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 30/15. Ace down the middle. 40/15. Maria forehand volley-winner after a spreading rally set up by a kicking serve out wide.

John Lloyd: "The winners have been stunning today, and there's been a lot of them."

Bepa serving 2-4: Maria netted a forehand under pressure. 15/0. Double fault. 15/15. Bepa netted a backhand. 15/30. Bepa forehand long. 15/40 (2 BPs). Double fault.

A tame break there, but Maria just seems so solid now - not giving Bepa any opportunities to get back into the match. All too clinical now.

Maria serving 5-2: Maria netted a backhand. 0/15. Maria crosscourt forehand winner after a good spreading rally. 15/15. Maria hit a crosscourt forehand onto the baseline - Bepa challenged, and Hawk-eye showed that it caught the very outside edge of the line! 30/15. Maria netted a forehand volley after three slices from Bepa on the stretch. 30/30. Maria missed a forehand smash from no-man's-land, running backwards, with a loud aeroplane above. 30/40 (BP). Maria sprayed a forehand long, handing Bepa her first break on her first break-point of the match!

Bepa serving 3-5: Bepa hit a backhand long, and swatted a ball away in frustration. 0/15. Maria opened up the court with a crosscourt backhand, and hit a blazing off-forehand winner just inside the sideline - lovely delay. 0/30. Service-winner. 15/30. Maria netted a forehand return. 30/30. Maria hit an error-forcing forehand. 30/40 (MP #1). Maria hit a forehand long off a short ball from Bepa. 40/40. Maria netted a forehand return. Ad Bepa. Ace down the middle.

Suddenly I sense a lifeline for Bepa! Maria's throwing in quite a few unforced errors now, and it's never easy to serve for the match when you've already failed.

The commentators said Bepa's attitude was much better now than at the start of this set.

Ben Dirs: "Emotional girl, Vera, and she looks like she's having a bit of a cry between ends."

Maria serving 5-4: Maria forehand long. John Lloyd: "Breaking down a lot earlier in these rallies than she was." 0/15. Bepa hit a breathtaking short-angled crosscourt backhand - only her 11th winner of the match. 0/30. Maria forehand just long under pressure. 0/40 (3 BPs). Maria forced Bepa backhand long. 15/40. Ace down the middle. 30/40. Maria hit a blazing crosscourt backhand onto the sideline! 40/40. Bepa earthed a mishit forehand. "C'mon!" screamed Maria. Ad Maria (MP #2). Double fault. Deuce #2. Maria hit a "sledgehammer" of an error-forcing crosscourt backhand. Ad Maria (MP #3). Maria netted a forehand off a deep forehand from Bepa that clipped the outside edge of the baseline! (Maria incorrectly challenged). Deuce #3. Maria backhand winner down the line. "Vamos!" Ad Maria (MP #4). Maria closed it out with a forehand winner down the line after an amazing final rally with Bepa retrieving for all she's worth! Maria won 7-5 6-4 at 21:32 (second set 46 minutes, match 1h47m).

My bladder is extremely relieved that Maria closed it out in that game, and I'm also glad I didn't have to change my video-cassette, which is within ten minutes of the end! ;)

Andrew Castle described this match with "clang, clang, clang" with no changes of pace or spins - did he even watch it with more than "when's this court going to be free for Murray?"! :rolleyes:

Sam Smith said at one point during the second set that Maria used to be one-dimensional (according to the hard-to-please Fred Stolle), but not anymore, which is what I've been trying to tell everyone in the last year or so.

And Bepa, of course, is an extremely versatile player, although she didn't get much chance to show the full range of her talents today because Maria kept her on the defensive.


Maria quotes
------------

"I felt like it was going to be tough. I challenged myself. I wanted to see what I could come up with today, because I felt like I needed to come up with something better than I did in my previous rounds. It was good to go out there and just finish the match. I was definitely lucky to get out of it the way that I did.

"Probably some of the longest rallies I've had this week. Tougher situations point‑wise, holding your serve, again being break-points down.

"I thought I definitely stepped it up. I had to. I felt like I was a lot looser. I was going for my shots a bit more. I felt like I was a little tentative in my previous matches - just trying to find my rhythm.

"Today when I came on the court, I knew she was going to be a challenge. I just had to go out there and step up to it."

[Re. serving for the match at 5-2]
"I don't think I played that bad. I did, I made a pretty easy error. I should have hit a volley when the whole court was open. I decided to hit a swing volley at 30/15. From that point on, I didn't think that I really just gave it to her. I mean, she worked hard for that game. She earned it. It was a little bit of up and down from that 5-2."

[Re. serving for the match at 5-4]
"I mean, look, I was down Love/40 on my serves, and I think I hit like three or four backhand winners. I can say that I'm pretty proud that I could come up with that in that sort of situation, because that's basically what it's all about.

"It was very good to win in two sets today, because I've had some tough matches against her. I came up with three really good shots to win it at the end there.

"I thought I played a lot better today than in the previous rounds. But I will definitely have to step it up again.

"I do think that men's fashion is a little boring on the tennis-court. I'd like to see them spice it up. You can't do white on white - that's just too boring."


It would be so cool if Maria and Bepa played each other in the Birmingham-final this year (as they would have done last year, but for Maria's aberration against Jamea Jackson).


Anna Chakvetadze said the following when asked to compare Maria with Bepa:
"They both play pretty similar. They hit very flat, good serve. Better backhand, I think. Well, I played against Vera on grass and I lost very close match. I don't know. They both very tough opponents. I have to be ready."

As a fan of all three, I think Maria and Bepa have the biggest contrast of styles - Maria with more power, Bepa with more versatility and retrieval-skills. I think Anna and Bepa are the most similar, and that Anna is more similar to Maria than Bepa is.

Any match between two of the three is absolutely mouthwatering to me! :hearts:

Maria's quarter-final against Anna was intriguingly similar to her match against Bepa - just as Anna herself is intriguingly similar to Bepa: cute, flairsome power, very emotional, and a tremendous fighter.

----------------
9. Mixed Doubles (Vera-filtered)
----------------
9.1 First round (Monday 22nd January)
---------------

- Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Andy Ram lt. Casey Dell'Acqua/Chris Guccione, 6-7 (1/7) 4-6

---------------------
12. Wooden-Spoon List
---------------------

http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/wooden_spoon/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/wooden_spoon/)

1. Serena Williams
2. MARIA SHARAPOVA (1)
3. NICOLE VAIDISOVA (10)
4. KIM CLIJSTERS (4)
5. SHAHAR PEER (16)
6. ANNA CHAKVETADZE (12)
7. Lucie Safarova
8. MARTINA HINGIS (6)
9. JELENA JANKOVIC (11)
10. VERA ZVONAREVA (22)
11. ELENA DEMENTIEVA (7)
12. DANIELA HANTUCHOVA (15)
13. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA (3)
14. PATTY SCHNYDER (8)
15. AMELIE MAURESMO (2)
16. LI,NA (19)
17. NADIA PETROVA (5)
18. TATHIANA GARBIN (30)
19. KATARINA SREBOTNIK (21)
20. ALYONA BONDARENKO (29)
21. TATIANA GOLOVIN (20)
22. Jelena Kostanic Tosic
23. Anastasiya Yakimova
24. Aiko Nakamura
25. Victoria Azarenka
26. ANA IVANOVIC (13)
27. Maria Elena Camerin
28. Ashley Harkleroad
29. MARIA KIRILENKO (26)
30. Alicia Molik (WC)
31. Eva Birnerova
32. DINARA SAFINA (9)
33. Anne Kremer (Q)
34. Anastassia Rodionova
35. Milagros Sequera
36. Akiko Morigami
37. Meilen Tu
38. Laura Granville
39. FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE (14)
40. Alla Kudryavtseva (Q)
41. Virginia Ruano Pascual
42. Tamira Paszek (Q)
43. Martina Muller
44. Emilie Loit
45. Monique Adamczak (WC)
46. Peng,Shuai
47. Olga Poutchkova
48. Lourdes Dominguez Lino
49. Gisela Dulko
50. Renata Voracova (Q)
51. Iveta Benesova
52. Virginie Razzano
53. Zuzana Ondraskova
54. SAMANTHA STOSUR (24)
55. AI SUGIYAMA (23)
56. Sania Mirza
57. MARION BARTOLI (18)
58. Agnieszka Radwanska
59. Elena Vesnina
60. ANNA-LENA GROENEFELD (17)
61. Julia Vakulenko (Q)
62. Kaia Kanepi
63. Julia Schruff
64. Youlia Fedossova (WC)
65. MARA SANTANGELO (27)
66. Camille Pin
67. Jill Craybas
68. Vasilisa Bardina
69. Romina Oprandi
70. Sybille Bammer
71. Alberta Brianti
72. Nathalie Dechy
73. Aleksandra Wozniak
74. Tzipora Obziler
75. Stephanie Foretz
76. Alize Cornet (Q)
77. Jessica Moore (WC)
78. Madison Brengle (WC)
79. Shenay Perry
80. Elena Bovina
81. Tamarine Tanasugarn
82. Emmanuelle Gagliardi
83. Casey Dellacqua (WC)
84. Stephanie Cohen-Aloro (Q)
85. Anna Smashnova
86. Sophie Ferguson (WC)
87. Laura Pous Tio
88. ELENI DANIILIDOU (32)
89. Yuliana Fedak
90. Vania King
91. Kirsten Flipkens
92. Yuan,Meng
93. Karolina Sprem
94. Chan,Yung-Jan
95. Martina Sucha
96. Ekaterina Bychkova
97. Michaella Krajicek
98. Roberta Vinci
99. Jarmila Gajdosova
100. Tsvetana Pironkova
101. Edina Gallovits
102. Yulia Beygelzimer
103. Sandra Kloesel
104. Emma Laine
105. Melinda Czink
106. Severine Bremond
107. Jorgelina Cravero (Q)
108. Aravane Rezai
109. Iroda Tulyaganova (WC)
110. Andreja Klepac (Q)
111. Marta Domachowska
112. Ahsha Rolle (Q)
113. Sun,Tiantian
114. Meghann Shaughnessy
115. Galina Voskoboeva
116. Nicole Pratt
117. Clarisa Fernandez
118. Klara Zakopalova (Q)
119. Sofia Arvidsson
120. Olga Savchuk
121. Vera Dushevina
122. Varvara Lepchenko
123. ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES (25)
124. Sandra Zahlavova (Q)
125. Elena Likhovtseva
126. FLAVIA PENNETTA (28)
127. ZHENG,JIE (31)
128. Catalina Castano

------------------------
13. WTA Singles Rankings (as of 29th January 2007)
------------------------

1. Maria Sharapova (3918)
2. Justine Henin-Hardenne (3311)
3. Amélie Mauresmo (2900)
4. Kim Clijsters (2577)
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova (2554)
6. Martina Hingis (2139)
7. Nadia Petrova (2057)
8. Elena Dementieva (2013)
9. Nicole Vaidišová (1782)
10. Jelena Janković (1558)
11. Patty Schnyder (1544)
12. Dinara Safina (1527)
13. Anna Chakvetadze (1470)
14. Serena Williams (1269)
15. Shahar Peer (1209)
16. Ana Ivanović (1160)
17. Li,Na (1106)
18. Daniela Hantuchová (988)
19. Tatiana Golovin (950)
20. Anna-Lena Grönefeld (944)
21. Vera Zvonarëva (932)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/verazvonareva/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)