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Old Jul 14th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #12
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Andrew's TV-reports for the finals

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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
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Contents
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1. Photos
2. Women's Singles: Final TV-report: Zvonarëva v S.Williams
3. Women's Doubles: Final TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Shvedova/King

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1. Photos
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Day 8: various players including Vera:
* http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8772532.stm

Day 10: various players including Vera:
* http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/8779716.stm

Day 12: various players including Vera:
* http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...10-07-031.html

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2. Women's Singles: Final TV-report: Zvonarëva v S.Williams (Saturday 3rd July 2010)
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- VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] lt. SERENA WILLIAMS [1], 3-6 2-6

First, let me say how proud I am of Vera reaching the final. I've been an Eternal Fan of hers since January 2005, so it's great to see her progress in Major Women's Singles from quarter-finalist (French Open 2003) to semi-finalist (Australian Open 2009) to finalist. Her career could really mushroom from here!

It's so wonderful that it happened at Wimbledon: the greatest tournament in the world. Vera has been criminally ignored by the BBC in the past, but the amount of its 'coVERAage' from Wimbledon 2010 could well take me over a year to process, and being a Wimbledon-finalist means that the BBC is much more likely to televise Vera in the future!

The right-ankle injury that Vera suffered in April 2009, which required surgery in November 2009, was a major setback after reaching her first Major Women's Singles semi-final and winning her first Premier singles-title at Indian Wells. Reaching the Wimbledon final is an amazing step up from Vera's early exits at Rome, Madrid, the French Open and Eastbourne.

I didn't really get the feeling that Vera was blown away by Serena Williams. Indeed, Vera often took the initiative with deep groundstrokes, some approaches to the net, and even a couple of sliced forehands inspired by her semi-final opponent Tsvetana Pironkova!

It's more that Williams had an answer for everything. For one thing, she countered Vera's lateral retrieval with short-angled groundstrokes to the sidelines. It's much more difficult for Vera – and therefore it would be for anyone – when she has to chase down balls diagonally rather than parallel to the baseline.

Although the 3-6 2-6 scoreline suggests that it was a one-sided match, the first set was certainly close until *3-4, when Williams pegged Vera back from 40/15 to break for *5-3; Vera then pegged Williams back from 40/15 to Deuce before Williams sealed the first set 6-3.

Vera's first troublesome service-game came at *2-3 in the first set. She saved the first BP of the match at 30/40 with a one-two punch, then got out of that game with an ace down the middle followed by another good serve.

In that *3-4 game, when Vera led 40/15, Williams saved the first GP with a deep, error-forcing crosscourt backhand, then Vera double-faulted at 40/30. Vera saved one BP when Williams netted a backhand return off a second serve, but in the two key points of the match (from Deuce #2), Williams hit a Chakvetadze-esque backhand lob over Vera's left shoulder, forcing her to net an awkward high backhand volley, and then broke for *5-3 with a running forehand pass-winner down the line.

Those two points pretty much discouraged Vera from going to the net for the rest of the match. I think she should have gone in more after that, taking a chance on Williams not being able to come up with such exceptional lobs and passing-shots consistently.

At 3-5* in the first, Vera pegged Williams back from 40/15 (SP×2) to Deuce with a deep, error-forcing off-forehand after Williams had double-faulted on the first SP. But a service-winner set up SP #3, and Vera hit a makeable off-forehand just wide.

Vera led 30/15 at 3-6 *0-0, but made three errors to get broken – the first two were forced, but then Vera netted a makeable forehand, and emitted a long squeal of frustration.

At 3-6 *0-2, Vera stopped Williams's run of 5 games with a comfortable hold to 15, including an ace out wide that clipped the sideline.

Vera's grunting increased in pitch and anxiety as she fought for a tough service-game at 3-6 *1-3. She recovered from 15/40 with a service-winner out wide, and a deep first serve + pinpoint off-forehand winner right in the corner. Another one-two punch gave Vera a GP, but she cracked first in a crosscourt-backhand drill. Williams hit a deep, error-forcing backhand to reach BP #3; Vera double-faulted to go 1-4* down, and waved her arms in frustration.

Vera added a modicum of respectability to the scoreline as she held to 15 for 2-5*, but Williams served out the championship to love with a 122mph ace down the middle; a deep, kicking second serve; a forehand smash-winner; and finally a long rally in which Vera's backhand landed on the baseline, but which ended with Williams hitting a high off-forehand drive-volley winner.

Vera never had a BP in this match, while Williams converted 3 of 7. Williams dominated with a W:UE ratio of 24:15 to Vera's 9:11; Williams served 9 aces (bringing her total for the tournament to 89 aces in 14 sets), and won a perfect 14 of 14 points at the net to Vera's 6 of 12.

Vera reacted to her loss by sitting in her chair, blinking back tears. But looking at her going up to receive the silver runner's-up plate from the Duke of Kent, I would certainly have signed for this at the start of the tournament (although preferably against Maria Sharapova in the final!).

Vera becomes the only member of my Eternal Fanship ever to reach a Major Women's Singles final but never to win one (yet). Monica Seles, Iva Majoli and Maria Sharapova all went into their first Major finals as heavy underdogs, but all three won in straight sets!

Maria is the only player other than Venus Williams ever to beat Serena in a Major final, so Vera shouldn't feel too bad about her inability to become only the third player ever to do so.

Vera did very well in her on-court interview, despite struggling with her voice at the start. After congratulating Williams with generous praise, she said: "Maybe I was not able to show my best today, but Serena didn't allow me to show my best – she was playing really well. In a couple of hours, I will look back and realise that this was my dream as a little kid: to be playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon."

She also thanked Niek van Dijk (who did her ankle-surgery last November, and was there in the Players' Box) for saving her career, saying that she had feared that she might never play again.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 22nd August 2011 - yes, that's over a year from now), because, with Vera being a member of my Eternal Fanship, I want to extract much more detail from the match before I release my point-by-point description.


First set
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ZVONARËV _*_*_*___ 3
WILLIAMS *_*_*_*@* 6

The match started at 14:12 BST.

Williams serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 0-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). 40/30 (GP #3). Held.

Williams serving 1-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Williams (GP #2). Held.

Vera serving 1-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

Williams serving 2-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 2-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (GP #1). Held.

Williams serving 3-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

Vera serving 3-4 (new balls): 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Williams (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Williams (BP #2). Broken.

Williams serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1 for Williams). 40/30 (SP #2 for Williams). Deuce #1. Ad Williams (SP #3 for Williams). Williams won the first set 6-3 at 14:48 BST (36m).


Second set
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ZVONARËV __*___*_ 2
WILLIAMS @*_*@*_* 6

Vera serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Williams serving 1-0: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 0-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Williams serving 2-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 1-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (GP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Williams (BP #3). Broken.

Williams serving 4-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 1-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

Williams serving 5-2 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (CP #1 for Williams). Williams won 6-3 6-2 at 15:20 BST (second set 31m, match 1h07m).

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3. Women's Doubles: Final TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Shvedova/King (Saturday 3rd July 2010)
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- Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina lt. Yaroslava Shvedova/Vania King, 6-7 (6/8) 2-6

Vera suffered one of her infamous emotional meltdowns, bursting into tears when she lost the first set, as the thought of losing two Wimbledon finals in one day became too much for her.

It's a shame that Vera and Elena's famous upset of the Williams-sisters wasn't rewarded with the title, but at least Vera can console herself with two Major Mixed Doubles titles (US Open 2004, Wimbledon 2006) and one Major Women's Doubles title (US Open 2006).

I'm happy for Shvedova that she won her first Major title, as she's pretty gorgeous, and thanked me for holding a door open for her in the hotel in which we were both staying at Birmingham 2008 – thus becoming the first WTA player ever to speak to me. Shvedova already was the most famous person I've ever met, and now she's a Wimbledon champion!

I hope that I shall prove to be a similar good-luck charm for Stefanie Vögele, who became the second (and latest) WTA player ever to speak to me when she thanked me for stepping out of her way as she came off Court 1 at Birmingham 2009.

Shvedova and King seems like a strange partnership, because they're as different as chalk and cheese – in terms of nationality, height, and attractiveness – but obviously they work very well together. Shvedova has all the power, while King is the brains behind the operation, always giving Shvedova instructions.

It was a very entertaining match: not only for Vera's emotions, but for Elena's shouts of "aya" in lieu of grunting and "vita" <sp?> when she and Vera won certain points, and the extensive use of the I-formation (whereby the server's partner crouches sexily at the middle of the net, ready to jump up and hit a volley off the return).

Shvedova made a very sharp start, opening the match with an ace down the middle as she held to love. Serena Williams wasn't the only big server that Vera faced on Saturday!

Elena found herself serving at *0-1 (15/40), but she recovered magnificently with a service-winner, two aces in a row, and a crosscourt backhand virtual winner.

King at *1-1 was broken to 15, courtesy of Elena's high crosscourt forehand volley-winner, and Vera's crosscourt forehand winner after running down a dropshot.

Vera consolidated the break by holding for 3-1* after one deuce, but when Elena served at *3-2, Shvedova hit a laser-like backhand return-winner down the line to set up BP×2 at 15/40, and though the Russians saved those well, King converted a third BP with a forehand smash-winner.

Vera hit two good volleys to reach 0/30 on King's serve at *3-3, but two service-winners and two unforced errors let King off the hook: *3-4. BBC commentator Sam Smith praised Vera as one of the best volleyers among the Russians.

Vera at *3-4 was broken to 30: courtesy of a double fault, a netted backhand, and a winning forehand smash from each of her opponents.

Shvedova choked when she served for the set at *5-3, as she negated two aces with four errors (one forced by Vera's deep crosscourt backhand, three unforced). Elena at *4-5 held to love with two aces and two more unforced errors by Shvedova.

King at *5-5 held to love, with Elena making a couple of unforced errors, and Shvedova a forehand volley-winner.

Vera at *5-6 held to 30 in a spectacular game in which the other three players each hit a volley-winner, and Vera at 40/30 hit a magnificent crosscourt forehand half-volley lob-winner just inside the baseline!

In the first-set tiebreak, Elena took a *2/0 lead with a short-angled crosscourt forehand pass-winner and an ace, but the Russians went *2/3 down after Shvedova hit a forehand volley-winner, and Vera and Elena each missed a makeable backhand return. Vera got down nice and low to fire off an off-backhand volley-winner just inside the sideline for *3/3.

Shvedova at *4/3 lost the point because Elena's passing-shot touched her hair. The Russians had the first SP at 6/5*, but Vera hit a forehand just long, and at 6/6*, she and Elena both tried to hit the same ball, sending it into the net. King converted her team's SP with an error-forcing forehand volley, and Vera sat at the set-break in floods of tears, as Elena put her arm around her consolingly.

Vera threw her racket twice at the start of the second set, after making two unforced errors to put Elena 15/30 down. But Elena held to 30 when Vera jumped up from the I-formation to hit a forehand smash-winner.

After that, Shvedova and King became very confident, reeling off five games in a row as Shvedova in particular hit a lot of forehand volley-winners. They were riding a tidal wave of momentum, and the contrast between their constant smiles and Vera's body-language in the second set could hardly have been greater. Winning a Major final is about embracing the occasion, and Shvedova and King were certainly the ones who did that.

Vera at *1-5 held to 15, although she looked close to tears again after serving a double fault at 40/0. At 2-5*, Vera hit an error-forcing forehand volley for 0/15, but that was to be the last point she would win at Wimbledon 2010, as King served out the match to 15, sealing victory with a first serve out wide that forced Elena to hit a forehand return wide.

Shvedova and King looked absolutely delighted, bouncing around with huge smiles on their faces, while Vera sat in her chair in floods of tears, her head only partially covered by her towel as Elena sat with her, wiping away her tears. Talk about a fantastic camera-angle!

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 19th September 2011 - yes, that's over a year from now), because, with Vera being a member of my Eternal Fanship, I want to extract much more detail from the match before I release my point-by-point description.


First set
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ZVON/VESN _*@*____@*_*_ 6(6)
SHVE/KING *___*@*@__*_T 7(8)

The match started at 18:22 BST.

Shvedova serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Elena serving 0-1: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Elena (GP #1). Held.

King serving 1-1: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Vera serving 2-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (GP #1). Held.

Shvedova serving 1-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Elena serving 3-2: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Shvedova (BP #1). Broken.

King serving 3-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 3-4 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Shvedova serving 5-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Elena serving 4-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

King serving 5-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 5-6: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Held.

6-6 tiebreak (all scores (Zvonarëva/Vesnina)/(Shvedova/King)): 0/0*. *1/0. *2/0. 2/1*. 2/2*. *2/3. *3/3. 3/4*. 4/4*. *4/5. *5/5. 6/5* (SP #1 for Vera/Elena). 6/6*. *6/7 (SP #1 for Shvedova/King). Shvedova/King won the first set 7-6 (8/6) at 19:20 BST (58m).


Second set
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ZVON/VESN *_____*_ 2
SHVE/KING _*@*@*_* 6

Elena serving 0-0: The scoreboard froze at 19:20 BST. The scoreboard resumed at 19:24 BST (3m). 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Shvedova serving 0-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 1-1: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

King serving 2-1 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Elena serving 1-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Shvedova (BP #1). Broken.

Shvedova serving 4-1: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 1-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

King serving 5-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (CP #1 for Shvedova/King). Shvedova/King won 7-6 (8/6) 6-2 at 19:56 BST (second set 34m, match 1h33m).

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
__________________
My Eternal Fanship: 1. Monica Seles; 2. Мария Шарапова (‘Maria Sharapova’); 3. Daniela Hantuchová; 4. Jelena Dokić; 5. Iva Majoli; 6. Karina Habšudová; 7. Вера Звонарёва (‘Vera Zvonarëva’); 8. Nicole Vaidišová; 9. Анна Чакветадзе (‘Anna Chakvetadze’); 10. Lucie Šafářová; 11. Ирода Туляганова (‘Iroda Tulyaganova’); 12. Magdaléna Rybáriková; 13. Sabine Lisicki
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