DUBAI DUTY FREE WOMEN'S OPEN
(Dubai, United Arab Emirates; outdoor hard; WTA Tier II)
Why didn't Bepa defend the title she's won at Memphis for the last two years? Did she really think she was better off playing Dubai, or is she one of this year's "gold-exempt players" who aren't allowed to play Tier III in a week that there's a Tier II tournament?
Memphis would have been a nice cold climate with good memories for Bepa; she has fallen from #32 to #45 for not defending those ranking-points, and is now without a singles-title for the first time since May 2003.
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First round (Tuesday)
- Vera Zvonarëva lt. Selima Sfar [WC], 2-6 7-5 6-3
Another bad loss for Bepa, and her fifth in a row (starting with the Auckland final). Bepa fought back from 2-5* in the second set, and had break-points at 5-6* that would have forced a tiebreak, but the rest is history.
Sfar, aged 28 and ranked #254, is a perennial wild card here, and her victory ended her own losing-streak of nine
matches in a row, including tournaments on the lowly ITF circuit!
: "Unbelievable that Sfar is ranked so low! What a defense and contra-attacks I saw the match on Eurosport 2 and I don't find Vera played bad at all."
: "it wasnt just bad, it was awful. Vera..... she started to play well after going 2-5* down in 2nd but when she got it level, tensed up again. and all this against a player who's won 1 match out of her last 17"
Sfar has a great serve.
Sfar has a great dropshot.
Sfar was a great scrambler today.
Sfar has a good volley.
Vera wasn't too goot at running down dropshots (there were LOTS of them).
On easy put aways Vera managed to lose the point, or give the ball back to Sfar to continue the rally.
Vera was not volleying enough. I have a feeling that if she did, she would have won, because many points were just BEGGING for her to come to the net, but she much too often stayed back.
Vera chose to lob a lot and everything went out.
Had much too many UEs...
Vera should have won. But she couldn't hold it together.
Sfar played exceptionally for her ranking (she always troubles opponents in Dubai), but Vera...
How can Bepa go from playing so brilliantly to beat Maria Kirilenko 6-2 6-0 and Daniela Hantuchová
6-2 6-2 to reach the Auckland final, to suddenly not being able to win a match any more? Is it all to do with emotions and confidence, or does Bepa have health-problems again?
Precious and fragile gifts must be handled with care.
VERA ZVONARËVA/ELENA LIKHOVTSEVA :
1r + Anastassia Rodionova/Elena Vesnina [WC], 6-3 6-2
qf - Alyona Bondarenko/Kateryna Bondarenko [Q], 3-6 6-4 6-4
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/ (added 3 external links)