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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 05:48 AM   #1
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Wimbledon 2010: Andrew's TV-reports (full Women's Doubles final report added)

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. First-round draw
3. Vera Zvonarëva preview (1r: Nuria Llagostera Vives)
4. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
5. Order of play for Monday

Master thread for my Wimbledon 2010 reports:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showthread.php?t=412612

Abbreviations:
[Q] qualifier
[WC] wild card
[LL] lucky loser
[A] alternate
[EF] member of my Eternal Fanship
[DF] member of my demi-fanship
[s] Selesian (two hands both sides)

---------
1. Photos
---------
1.1 General links
-----------------

I will post these links only once.

Where to look at many players:
* http://www.tennis.com/galleries/index.aspx
* http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/gallery
* http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/tennis/photos.html

Where to search for specific players:
* http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/pl...rankingsw.html
* http://uk.news.search.yahoo.com/
* http://www.fotosports.com/
* Getty Images


1.2 Daily photos
----------------

Pre-Wimbledon party (various players including Vera):
* http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/g...256674_2074079

-------------------
2. First-round draw
-------------------
2.1 Top quarter: Chakvetadze, Šafářová, Hantuchová, Sharapova
-------------------------------------------------------------

* Michelle Larcher de Brito v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (ˇvamos Michelle!)
* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] v Andrea Petković (DAVAI ANNA!!)
* Ayumi Morita [s] v Tamarine Tanasugarn (ganbatte Ayumi!)
* LUCIE ŠAFÁŘOVÁ [25,EF] v Dominika Cibulková (my loyalty is to LUCIE)

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [24,EF] v Vania King (POĎME DANIELA!!)
* Elena Vesnina v Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová (davai Elena!)
* Alizé Cornet v Ioana Raluca Olaru (my loyalty is to Alizé)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [16,EF] v Anastasia Pivovarova [LL] (my loyalty is to MARIA)

* Chanelle Scheepers [WC] v LI,NA [9]
* Mariana Duque Marińo v Kurumi Nara [Q]
* Anastasia Rodionova v Anne Keothavong
* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [19] v Akgul Amanmuradova

* SARA ERRANI [32] v Julie Coin (forza Sara!)
* Arantxa Parra Santonja [s] v Olga Govortsova (my Passion says Olga, but my Reason says Arantxa)
* Jill Craybas v Alberta Brianti
* Melinda Czink v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [7]


2.2 Second quarter: Magdaléna Rybáriková
----------------------------------------

* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] v Tathiana Garbin (kom sĺ Caro!)
* Arantxa Rus v Chang,Kai-Chen
* Roberta Vinci v Sybille Bammer (forza Roberta!)
* Iveta Benešová v ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] (pojďme Iveta!)

* ZHENG,JIE [23] v Pauline Parmentier (jia you Jie!)
* Sorana Cîrstea v Petra Kvitová (hai Sorana!)
* Casey Dell'Acqua v Bojana Jovanovski
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [14,DF] v Mirjana Lučić [Q] (davai Vika!)

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [10,DF] v Anabel Medina Garrigues (forza Flavia!)
* Gisela Dulko [DF] v Monica Niculescu [Q,S] (my loyalty is to Gisela)
* Klára Zakopalová v Yvonne Meusburger (pojďme Klára!)
* Magdaléna Rybáriková [EF] v ARAVANE REZAĎ [18,DF] (my loyalty is to MAGDA)

* Kimiko Date Krumm v ALEXANDRA DULGHERU [13]
* Heather Watson [WC] v Romina Sarina Oprandi [Q]
* Tímea Bacsinszky v Edina Gallovits (hopp Tímea!)
* SAMANTHA STOSUR [6] v Kaia Kanepi [Q] (c'mon Sam!)


2.3 Third quarter: Vera Zvonarëva
---------------------------------

* Maria Elena Camerin v KIM CLIJSTERS [8] (forza Maria Elena!)
* Karolina Šprem [DF] v Bethanie Mattek-Sands [Q] (ajmo Karolina!)
* Anastasiya Yakimova [Q] v Shenay Perry [Q]
* Stefanie Vögele [DF] v MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF] (the way I feel about this match is complicated)

* Anastasija Sevastova v JUSTINE HENIN [17] (c'mon Anastasija!)
* Mariya Korytsseva v Kristina Barrois
* Chan,Yung-Jan v Patty Schnyder
* Tatjana Malek v NADIA PETROVA [12] (komm jetzt Tatjana!)

* YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF] v Alison Riske [WC] (komaan Yanina!)
* Kirsten Flipkens v Stéphanie Dubois [LL]
* Noppawan Lertcheewakarn [WC,S] v Andrea Hlaváčková [Q] (my Passion says Andrea, but my Reason says Noppawan)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q] (DAVAI VERA!!)

* ALYONA BONDARENKO [28] v Katie O'Brien [WC] (my loyalty is to Alyona)
* Lucie Hradecká [s] v Varvara Lepchenko (my loyalty is to Lucie)
* Aleksandra Woźniak v Eleni Daniilidou [Q]
* Laura Robson [WC,DF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] (c'mon Laura!)


2.4 Bottom quarter
------------------

* FRANCESCA SCHIAVONE [5] v Vera Dushevina
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v Anna Lapushchenkova (aide Tsvetana!)
* Regina Kulikova v Melanie South [WC]
* YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA [30] v Polona Hercog (my loyalty is to Slava)

* KATERYNA BONDARENKO [34] v Gréta Arn [Q]
* Alicia Molik v Zuzana Kučová (c'mon Alicia!)
* Elena Baltacha v Petra Martić (my loyalty is to Elena, though Petra might grow on me)
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Julia Görges (my loyalty is to Marion)

* Ana Ivanović [DF] v SHAHAR PE'ER [13] (my loyalty is to Ana)
* Sania Mirza-Malik [DF] v Angelique Kerber (c'mon Sania!)
* Jarmila Groth v Renata Voráčová
* MELANIE OUDIN [33] v Anna-Lena Grönefeld

* Sandra Záhlavová v ALISA KLEYBANOVA [26] (pojďme Sandra!)
* Sofia Arvidsson v Alla Kudryavtseva
* Ágnes Szávay v Ekaterina Makarova (my loyalty is to Ágnes)
* Rossana de los Ríos v VENUS WILLIAMS [2]

-------------------------
3. Vera Zvonarëva preview
-------------------------

Vera Zvonarëva is a cute and flairsomely talented player, whom I admire for her beautifully-produced groundstrokes of flairsome power, for the way she combines amazing lateral-retrieval abilities with powerful hitting, and most of all for her tremendous fighting spirit.

Last year was shaping up to be the best year of Vera's career, as she reached her first Major semi-final at the Australian Open 2009, and won her first Premier singles-title at Indian Wells.

But on 16th April 2009, Vera suffered a very nasty right-ankle injury whilst playing at Charleston. She missed the French Open 2009, struggled through the rest of the season in pain, and had surgery in November.

Vera has a decent 21:10 win/loss record for 2010 so far, but has dropped from #9 to #21 in the rankings after failing to defend her Australian Open 2009 semi-final and Indian Wells 2009 title. Her highlights of 2010 so far have been the successful defence of her Pattaya City title, and reaching the Charleston final, but she seems to have lost her confidence after an embarrassingly one-sided loss in the latter.

Vera was still struggling with her ankle in early January, retiring from the first round of Sydney.

Vera eased into the fourth round of the Australian Open, beating #108 Kristína Kučová 6-2 6-0, #45 Iveta Benešová 6-0 6-3 and #36 Gisela Dulko 6-1 7-5, but ran out of gas as she lost 4-6 6-4 6-0 to #7 Victoria Azarenka after leading 6-4 *4-2.

Vera was apparently back to full fitness in February, as she successfully defended her Pattaya City title, beating #118 Ksenia Pervak and #72 Alberta Brianti both 6-3 6-2, #50 Sybille Bammer 6-0 7-6, #48 Yaroslava Shvedova 6-2 4-6 6-3, and #87 Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-4 6-4.

Indeed, Vera was developing a reputation as an iron woman as she played every single day from Thursday 11th February (Pattaya City 2r) to Thursday 18th February (Dubai QF). At Dubai, she beat #28 Elena Vesnina 6-4 4-6 7-5, #83 Kirsten Flipkens 6-0 6-0 and #8 Jelena Janković 6-3 6-2, but finally hit the wall against #6 Victoria Azarenka, crying on court as she lost 6-1 6-3.

Vera reached the fourth rounds of Indian Wells and Miami by beating four players outside the top 41, but lost to #11 Samantha Stosur 6-2 7-5 and #33 Justine Henin 6-1 6-4, respectively.

Vera reached the final of Charleston for the second time in her career, beating #103 Rossana de los Ríos 6-2 6-0, #25 Alyona Bondarenko 6-2 6-1, #36 Melanie Oudin 7-5 6-2, and Caroline Woźniacki 5-2 (Woźniacki sprained her right ankle and had to retire). But in the final, she suffered a crushing 6-0 6-3 loss to #11 Samantha Stosur, who was absolutely on fire. The highlight of the match was Vera's racket-smashing tantrum after double-faulting for 0-6 *0-3 (15/40).

Sadly, the Charleston final seems to have affected Vera's confidence, for she suffered a 6-4 6-0 loss to #62 Petra Kvitová in the first round of Rome, and nobody said she was injured.

At Madrid, Vera extended her ownership of #37 Melanie Oudin to 3:0 with a 6-3 6-4 victory, but couldn't repeat her French Open 2003 win over #3 Venus Williams, losing 7-5 6-3 after leading 4-2* (40/15*) in the first set and 3-1* in the second.

Vera started the French Open with an easy 6-3 6-1 win over #75 Alberta Brianti, but suffered a very disappointing 6-4 6-4 loss to #92 Anastasia Rodionova in the second round.

And she extended her losing-streak to two matches by going down 6-3 3-6 7-5 to #23 María José Martínez Sánchez in the first round of Eastbourne – her only grass-court match ahead of Wimbledon (why doesn't she play Birmingham anymore?). In a game of six deuces at 1:1 5-5*, Vera had 2 BPs that would have left her serving for the match at *6-5.


3.1 First-round preview
-----------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q]

On paper, this should be an easy win for Vera against the world #177, whom she leads 2:1 head-to-head:
- 2005 Miami 2r: Llagostera Vives won 3-6 6-3 6-1
+ 2008 Linz 2r: Vera won 6-2 6-0
+ 2009 US Open 1r: Vera won 6-0 6-4

Llagostera Vives is the shortest tennis-player I know: just 5'1" in her bare feet. She has a weak serve, and a lack of reach that Vera should be able to exploit with her superb angles. Llagostera Vives has solid groundstrokes, and wins points with placement rather than power.

Not surprisingly, grass is a terrible surface for Llagostera Vives: she's lost in the first round of four of her five Wimbledons (which isn't many for a 30-year-old). The exception was 2004, when she won four matches to reach the second round as a qualifier. You don't certainly qualify for Wimbledon by being completely useless on grass!

Llagostera Vives has had a very light schedule of tournaments so far in 2010, with a win/loss record of 9:7.

Llagostera Vives fell in the second qualifying-round of the Australian Open to #124 Renata Voráčová, and in the second qualifying-round of Dubai to #127 Vesna Manasieva.

Llagostera Vives won two matches to qualify for Indian Wells (#105 Evgeniya Rodina 3-6 7-6 6-2 and #74 Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-3 6-1), and lost in the first round proper to #63 Anastasija Sevastova: 6-2 3-6 6-1.

Llagostera Vives fell in the second qualifying-round of Marbella to #95 Yvonne Meusburger, in the second qualifying-round of Barcelona to #119 Arantxa Rus, and in the first qualifying-round of Rome to #114 Bojana Jovanovski.

Llagostera Vives won three matches to qualify for the French Open: #119 Valérie Tétreault and #235 Anais Laurendon both 6-1 6-1, and #132 Kathrin Wörle 7-6 7-5. She lost in the first round proper to #18 Shahar Pe'er: 6-1 6-4.

Llagostera Vives has qualified for the main draw with the following results:
1q + #159 Darya Kustova, 6-2 6-1
2q + #127 Sesil Karatantcheva, 6-3 2-6 6-3
3q + #126 VESNA MANASIEVA [15], 7-6 (7/4) 6-4

Llagostera Vives certainly had to do it the hard way: in 2q, she was 1:1 *1-3 down; in 3q, she saved SP at *5-6 (30/40), and was 0-3* and 3-4* down in the second!

Vera – despite her recent poor form – should be far too strong for Llagostera Vives. The question I'm asking is not whether she can win, but whether she can win 6-0 6-0.


3.2 Later rounds
----------------

In the second round, Vera would face the winner of #147-ranked qualifier Andrea Hlaváčková and #303-ranked Wimbledon 2009 Girls' Singles champion Noppawan Lertcheewakarn.

In the third round, Vera could face #18 Yanina Wickmayer, although Wickmayer has a horrible first-round draw in #145 Alison Riske, who beat her at Birmingham with an amazing display of aggressive all-court tennis.

In the fourth round, Vera could face #4 Jelena Janković (though I hope Wimbledon 2008 Girls' Singles champion Laura Robson will rise to the occasion and have something to say about that).

------------------------------------
4. Women's Doubles: First-round draw
------------------------------------

* Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina v (Mariya Koryttseva/Daria Kustova)[Q]

Full draw:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/draws/wd/

---------------------------
5. Order of play for Monday
---------------------------

Court 19 (start 12:00 BST = 11:00 GMT)
1. WS 1r: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q]
2. MS 1r: VICTOR HANESCU [31] v Andrey Kuznetsov
3. WS 1r: Mariya Korytsseva v Kristina Barrois

Why does Vera always get put on the lowest-possible court in the early rounds of a Major? It's not a televised court, so I won't get to watch any of my Eternal Fanship on Monday.

The televised courts this year are Centre Court, Court One, Court 2, Court 5 (formerly known as Court 3), Court 12 and Court 18.

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
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

Last edited by andrewbroad : Jan 13th, 2013 at 11:05 PM. Reason: edit Title
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 11:56 AM   #2
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Andrew's first-round report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. First-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Llagostera Vives
2. Second-round draw
3. Order of play for Wednesday

--------------------------------------------------------------
3. First-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Llagostera Vives (Monday 21st June 2010)
--------------------------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q], 6-4 6-1

A comfortable win for Vera – although it's annoying that she dropped five games to an opponent whom I felt she could shut out.

Vera wasted a BP in the first game of the match, but won the first set on the strength of a break in the third game.

Vera didn't drop another game after 6-4 *0-1, although Llagostera Vives wasted 2 GPs at *1-3.


First set
---------
ZVONARËVA _*@*_*_*_* 6
LLAGOSTER *___*_*_*_ 4

The match started at 12:17 BST.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Llagostera Vives serving 2-4: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

Vera serving 4-3 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. Held.

Llagostera Vives serving 3-5: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. Held.

Vera serving 5-4: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Vera). Vera won the first set 6-4 at 12:44 BST (27m).


Second set
----------
ZVONARËVA _*@*@*@ 6
LLAGOSTER *______ 1

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

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

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

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

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

Vera serving 4-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Held.

Llagostera Vives serving 1-5 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (MP #1 for Vera). Deuce #1. Ad Llagostera Vives (GP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Vera (MP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Vera (MP #3). Vera won 6-4 6-1 at 13:20 BST (second set 35m, match 1h03m).

--------------------
2. Second-round draw
--------------------
2.1 Top half: Chakvetadze, Hantuchová, Sharapova
------------------------------------------------

* Anna Chakvetadze [EF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (DAVAI ANNA!!)
* Dominika Cibulková v Ayumi Morita [s] (my loyalty is to Domi)
* (DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [24,EF] or Vania King) v Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [16,EF] v Ioana Raluca Olaru (my loyalty is to MARIA)

* LI,NA [9] v Kurumi Nara [Q]
* Anastasia Rodionova v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [19]
* Arantxa Parra Santonja [s] v SARA ERRANI [32]
* AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [7] v Alberta Brianti

* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3] v Chang,Kai-Chen (kom sĺ Caro!)
* Roberta Vinci v ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] (forza Roberta!)
* ZHENG,JIE [23] v Petra Kvitová (jia you Jie!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [14,DF] v Bojana Jovanovski (davai Vika!)

* FLAVIA PENNETTA [10,DF] v Monica Niculescu [Q,S] (my loyalty is to Flavia)
* ARAVANE REZAĎ [18,DF] v Klára Zakopalová (my Passion says Klára, but my Reason says Aravane)
* ALEXANDRA DULGHERU [31] v Romina Sarina Oprandi [Q]
* Edina Gallovits v Kaia Kanepi [Q]


2.2 Bottom half: Vera Zvonarëva
-------------------------------

* Karolina Šprem [DF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [8] (ajmo Karolina!)
* MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF] v Shenay Perry [Q] (davai Maria!)
* JUSTINE HENIN [17] v Kristina Barrois
* Chan,Yung-Jan v NADIA PETROVA [12]

* YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF] v Kirsten Flipkens (my loyalty is to Yanina)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Andrea Hlaváčková [Q] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [28] v Varvara Lepchenko (my loyalty is to Alyona)
* JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] v Aleksandra Woźniak

* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v Vera Dushevina (aide Tsvetana!)
* YAROSLAVA SHVEDOVA [30] v Regina Kulikova (davai Slava!)
* Alicia Molik v Gréta Arn [Q] (c'mon Alicia!)
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Petra Martić (my Passion says Petra, but my Reason says Marion)

* SHAHAR PE'ER [13] v Angelique Kerber (my loyalty is to Shahar)
* Jarmila Groth v MELANIE OUDIN [33] (c'mon Jarmila!)
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [26] v Alla Kudryavtseva
* Ekaterina Makarova v VENUS WILLIAMS [2] (davai Ekaterina!)

------------------------------
3. Order of play for Wednesday
------------------------------

Court 14 (start 12:00 BST = 11:00 GMT)
1. MS 2r: Viktor Troicki v JÜRGEN MELZER [16]
2. MS 1r: Thiemo de Bakker v Santiago Giraldo, 2:2 to finish
3. WS 2r: Jarmila Groth v MELANIE OUDIN [33]
4. WS 2r: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Andrea Hlaváčková [Q]
5. MS 1r: (MAHESH BHUPATHI/MAX MIRNYI)[4] v Maximo González/Sebastian Prieto

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
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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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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Re: Wimbledon 2010: Andrew's reports (preview + 1r)

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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 03:11 PM   #4
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Re: Wimbledon 2010: Andrew's reports (preview + 1r)

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Old Jun 25th, 2010, 07:59 AM   #5
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Andrew's second-round report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Second-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Hlaváčková
2. Third-round draw
3. Third-round preview: Zvonarëva v Wickmayer
4. Women's Doubles: First round
5. Order of play for Friday

---------------------------------------------------------
1. Second-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Hlaváčková (Wednesday 23rd June 2010)
---------------------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. Andrea Hlaváčková [Q], 6-1 6-4

Vera raced to a 5-0* lead against the world #147, although she saved 40/30 GPs at 1-0* and 3-0*, and BP at *2-0 (30/40). She saved BP×2 at *5-1 (15/40), and converted her first SP.

Vera broke at the start of the second set (after saving GP), but was promptly broken back to 15. She broke again to 30 for *2-1, and the remaining games were serve-dominated, with no BPs.


First set
---------
ZVONARËVA *@*@*_* 6
HLAVÁČKOV _____*_ 1

The match was fourth on Court 14, and started at 19:11 BST.

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

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

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

Hlaváčková serving 0-3: 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (BP #1). I saw this point in a BBC Red Button round-up: Vera hit a deep backhand down the line, forcing Hlaváčková to stretch wide and net a forehand. Broken.

Vera serving 4-0: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. Held.

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

Vera serving 5-1: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (SP #1). Vera won the first set 6-1 at 19:38 BST (26m).


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hlaváčková serving 2-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Hlaváčková (GP #3). Held.

Vera serving 4-3: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Held.

Hlaváčková serving 3-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Hlaváčková (GP #2). Held.

Vera serving 5-4 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #1 for Vera). Vera won 6-1 6-4 at 20:15 BST (second set 37m, match 1h04m).

-------------------
2. Third-round draw
-------------------

* Dominika Cibulková v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (poďme Domi!)
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [16,EF] v Barbora Záhlavová Strýcová (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* Anastasia Rodionova v LI,NA [9]
* SARA ERRANI [32] v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [7] (forza Sara!)

* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3,DF] v ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA [29] (kom sĺ Caro!)
* VICTORIA AZARENKA [14,DF] v Petra Kvitová (davai Vika!)
* FLAVIA PENNETTA [10,DF] v Klára Zakopalová (my loyalty is to Flavia)
* ALEXANDRA DULGHERU [31] v Kaia Kanepi [Q]

* MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [8] (davai Maria!)
* NADIA PETROVA [12] v JUSTINE HENIN [17] (I support Petrova because everyone's talking about a Clijsters v Henin fourth round as though Henin were seeded to get there)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF] (my loyalty is to VERA)
* ALYONA BONDARENKO [28] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] (davai Alyona!)

* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v Regina Kulikova (aide Tsvetana!)
* MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Gréta Arn [Q] (allez Marion!)
* Jarmila Groth v Angelique Kerber
* ALISA KLEYBANOVA [26] v VENUS WILLIAMS [2]

---------------------------------------------
3. Third-round preview: Zvonarëva v Wickmayer
---------------------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF]

20-year-old Yanina is one of the most improved players on the WTA Tour in the last year. Vera won their only previous meeting – in the third round of Los Angeles 2009 – 7-6 4-6 6-4.

Yanina went through a nightmare-ordeal at the end of 2009, as she was provisionally given a one-year suspension from tennis for failing three times to report her whereabouts for drug-testing (though she never actually missed a test). I firmly believe that she was a victim of misadministration, and is innocent of any wrongdoing.

Yanina's suspension has been overturned for now, allowing her to play from January 2010 until the court makes its final decision, and she has compiled an impressive 29:10 win/loss record for the year so far (including her first two rounds at Wimbledon). Her ranking has been as high as #12 this year, but has just dropped to #18.

Yanina proved how tough she is mentally by sweeping to the title at Auckland without dropping a set: #77 Julia Görges 6-3 7-5, #72 Ioana Raluca Olaru and #69 Kimiko Date Krumm both 6-2 6-2, #30 Shahar Pe'er 6-4 7-5, and #12 Flavia Pennetta 6-3 6-2 in the final.

In a bizarre twist, Yanina was forced to qualify for the Australian Open despite her ranking of #16, as her suspension was only lifted after the entries had closed, and the tournament-organisers reprehensibly refused to give her a wild card. She almost lost to #149 Yurika Sema in the first round of qualifying (4-6 6-0 7-5), but stormed through the next two matches 6-0 6-1 and 6-0 6-0 to take her rightful place in the main draw.

As a qualifier, Yanina was unseeded, but she justified the seeding she should have had to reach the fourth round by beating #53 Alexandra Dulgheru 1-6 7-5 10-8, #12 Flavia Pennetta (again) 7-6 6-1, #46 Sara Errani 6-1 6-7 6-3, and then losing to unranked Justine Henin 7-6 1-6 6-3 despite a stunning performance that has persuaded me to promote Yanina to my demi-fanship.

IMO, Yanina is the best thing to happen to Belgian tennis since the golden years of Sabine Appelmans and Dominique Monami (aka Dominique van Roost).

Yanina looks like a Major champion in the making, with her big serves, big groundstrokes that don't break down, and she's not afraid to go to the net. She showed remarkable strength to hang in there with Henin as well as she did, and Henin had to come up with something extra-special to beat her.

Yanina beat #9 Agnieszka Radwańska 1-6 7-6 7-5 and #135 Marta Domachowska 4-6 6-1 6-3 in Belgium's Fed Cup tie against Poland, but then lost 6-4 3-6 7-5 to #82 Petra Martić in the first round of WTA Paris, and 3-6 6-2 7-5 to #22 Shahar Pe'er in the first round of Dubai.

Yanina reached the fourth round of Indian Wells, losing 6-4 6-4 to #33 María José Martínez Sánchez, and the quarter-finals of Miami, losing 6-4 7-5 to #15 Marion Bartoli.

Yanina's clay-court season started with three-set wins over #126 Kaia Kanepi and #220 Maret Ani in Belgium's Fed Cup tie against Estonia, and then at Stuttgart, she beat #17 Francesca Schiavone 6-3 6-3, but lost 6-3 7-5 to #24 Justine Henin: the eventual champion.

At Rome, Yanina beat #115 Karolina Šprem 6-3 1-6 6-4 and #22 Aravane Rezaď 6-3 6-7 7-5, but lost 6-2 6-0 to #7 Jelena Janković.

On 8th May, Yanina had surgery to remove a bone-spur from her right elbow. It was pretty amazing that she played the French Open so soon after surgery, but she beat #80 Sandra Záhlavová 6-1 6-1 and #55 Sybille Bammer 7-6 1-6 7-5 before falling 7-5 6-3 to #26 Daniela Hantuchová in the third round.

At Birmingham, Yanina beat two good grass-court players – #258 Laura Robson 7-5 6-4 and #72 Tamarine Tanasugarn 6-4 6-4 – to reach the quarter-finals, where she lost to #185-ranked 19-year-old Alison Riske, who was on red-hot form and won 6-7 6-4 6-3. At Eastbourne, Yanina suffered a humiliating 6-1 6-1 loss to #9 Kim Clijsters in the first round.

Yanina has reached the third round with the following results:
1r + #145 Alison Riske [WC], 6-4 5-7 6-3
2r + #59 Kirsten Flipkens, 7-6 (11/9) 6-4

Vera has reached the third round with the following results:
1r + #177 Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q], 6-4 6-1
2r + #147 Andrea Hlaváčková [Q], 6-1 6-4

Conclusion: I expect a tough match, which could go either way. My gut feeling is that Vera will have the edge because of her greater experience.

-------------------------------
4. Women's Doubles: First round
-------------------------------
4.1 First-round results (Thursday 24th June 2010)
------------------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina d. (Mariya Koryttseva/Daria Kustova)[Q], 7-5 6-4

Archive of point-by-point scores:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=18040865


4.2 Second-round draw
---------------------

* Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina v (CHUANG,CHIA-JUNG/OLGA GOVORTSOVA)[17]

Full draw:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/draws/wd/

---------------------------
5. Order of play for Friday
---------------------------

Court 12 (start 12:00 BST = 11:00 GMT)
1. WS 3r: MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] v Gréta Arn [Q]
2. WS 3r: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF]
3. MS 3r: TOMÁŠ BERDYCH [12] v Denis Istomin
4. XD 1r: Alla Kudryavtseva/Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi v Lindsay Davenport/Bob Bryan
5. XD 1r: Julian Knowle [s]/Yaroslava Shvedova v Andrea Petković/Philipp Marx (1:1 to finish)

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
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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Andrew's third-round report / XD TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Third-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Wickmayer
2. Fourth-round draw
3. Fourth-round preview: Zvonarëva v Janković
4. Women's Doubles: Second round
5. Mixed Doubles: First-round TV-report: Zvonarëva/Sa v Robson/J.Murray
6. Mixed Doubles: Second-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva/Sa v Benešová/Dlouhý
7. Order of play for Monday

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1. Third-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva v Wickmayer (Friday 25th June 2010)
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+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF], 6-4 6-2

The BBC has yet to televise any of Vera's singles-matches this Wimbledon, even though I now have a wider choice of courts with freesat (in 2004–2009, I only had Freeview). At least the BBC did put the "vera" back in its coverage later on Friday, when it televised her first-round Mixed Doubles match!

It was tougher than the 6-4 6-2 scoreline implies, as Vera saved GPs in four of the games that she won. Yanina needed 4 GPs to hold her opening service-game, in which Vera had a BP. With Vera holding serve much more comfortably than Yanina, Vera saved 2 GPs at 2-2* before breaking for *3-2.

Vera saved BP×3 at *3-2 (0/40) to hold for 4-2*, and again at *4-3 (0/40) to hold for 5-3*! An exchange of love service-holds gave Vera the first set 6-4.

The second set was a little more straightforward, as Vera was never troubled on serve. She broke for *2-1, had BP×2 at 3-1*, and saved 3 GPs before breaking for *5-2 and converting her second MP from *5-2 (40/15).


First set
---------
ZVONARËVA _*_*@*_*_* 6
WICKMAYER *_*___*_*_ 4

The match was second on Court 12, and started at 13:54 BST.

Wickmayer serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Wickmayer (GP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Vera (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Wickmayer (GP #4). Held.

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

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

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

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

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

Wickmayer serving 2-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

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

Wickmayer serving 3-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 5-4: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Vera). Vera won the first set 6-4 at 14:36 BST (42m).


Second set
----------
ZVONARËVA _*@*_*@* 6
WICKMAYER *___*___ 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vera serving 5-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #1 for Vera). 40/30 (MP #2 for Vera). Vera won 6-4 6-2 at 15:10 BST (second set 33m, match 1h15m).

I saw the last point in a BBC Two round-up: Vera finished in style with a serve out wide to force a short return that sat up nicely for her to hit a deep forehand down the line (rather than going for the obvious crosscourt forehand winner); Yanina hit a dipping backhand, but Vera picked it off with a gorgeous off-backhand drop-volley winner that skimmed off the court like a stone over water.


Statistics
----------

Vera served 6 aces and 8 double faults, Wickmayer 2 aces and 5 double faults.

Vera had a W:UE ratio of 31:13 (first set 16:9, second set 15:4), while Wickmayer's was 22:17 (first set 14:11, second set 8:6).

Wickmayer had the faster fastest serve (111–108 mph), while Vera was slightly better on average: first serve 103 mph for both girls, second serve 92–91 mph.

Vera won 79% of her service-points (first set 78%, second set 82%). She got 64% of her first serves in, winning 94% of the points when she did so, and 44% on second serve. From the first set to the second, she improved these percentages from (60% in, 94% won, 42% won) to (70% in, 93% won, 50% won)

Wickmayer won 59% of her service-points (first set 64%, second set 52%). She got 63% of her first serves in, winning 65% of the points when she did so, and 41% on second serve. Her first-serves-in percentage was the same for both sets, while her first-serve winning-percentage fell from 81% to 45%, and her second-serve winning-percentage improved from 27% to 58%.

Vera converted 3 of 9 BPs (first set 1 of 3, second set 2 of 6).

Wickmayer converted 0 of 6 BPs (all in the first set: 2-3* (40/0*) + 3-4* (40/0*)).

Vera won 9 of 9 points at the net, Wickmayer 6 of 6.

In points, Vera won 70-53 (first set 38-33, second set 32-20).

--------------------
2. Fourth-round draw
--------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [16,EF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (DAVAI MARIA!!)
* LI,NA [9] v AGNIESZKA RADWAŃSKA [7]
* CAROLINE WOŹNIACKI [3,DF] v Petra Kvitová (kom sĺ Caro!)
* Klára Zakopalová v Kaia Kanepi [Q] (pojďme Klára!)

* JUSTINE HENIN [17] v KIM CLIJSTERS [8] (a win for Henin would be much the lesser evil)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4] (DAVAI VERA!!)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S] (my Reason says Marion, but my Passion says Tsvetana)
* Jarmila Groth v VENUS WILLIAMS [2] (c'mon Jarmila!)

---------------------------------------------
3. Fourth-round preview: Zvonarëva v Janković
---------------------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4]

Jelena Janković is an aggressive counterpuncher who was ranked #1 in the world back in 2008, but has never won a Major (in Women's Singles).

Janković has a narrow 6:5 lead in their head-to-head:
- 2004 Linz QF: Janković won 6-4 6-4
+ 2005 Rome 2r: Vera won 6-4 6-1
+ 2006 Cincinnati QF: Vera won 6-1 6-1
- 2007 Auckland final: Janković won 7-6 5-7 6-3
- 2008 Miami SF: Janković won 6-1 6-4
+ 2008 Charleston QF: Vera won 6-2 3-6 6-2
- 2008 Beijing SF: Janković won 6-4 2-6 6-4
- 2008 Moscow final: Janković won 6-2 6-4
+ 2008 WTA Tour Championships: Vera won 2-6 6-3 6-4
+ 2010 Dubai 2r: Vera won 6-3 6-2

Janković is currently ranked #3, and has a 32:11 record for 2010 so far (including her three wins here) to Vera's 24:10.

Janković's 2010 started poorly, as she lost to #40 Ágnes Szávay in the first round of Sydney, and 6-2 6-3 to #30 Alyona Bondarenko in the third round of the Australian Open.

In Serbia's Fed Cup tie against Russia, Janković scored wins over #4 Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 2-6 6-3 and #31 Alisa Kleybanova 4-6 6-4 6-0.

Janković was thrashed 6-3 6-2 by in-form #14 Vera in the third round of Dubai, then lost to #72 Anastasija Sevastova 5-7 6-4 6-4 in the first round of Monterrey.

Janković enjoyed a return to form by sweeping to the Indian Wells title, beating #75 Petra Martić 6-3 7-6, #49 Sara Errani 2-6 7-6 6-4, #20 Shahar Pe'er 6-2 6-2, #27 Alisa Kleybanova 6-4 6-4, #11 Samantha Stosur 6-2 6-4, and #4 Caroline Woźniacki 6-2 6-4 in the final.

Stosur took her revenge by beating Janković 6-1 7-6 in the fourth round of Miami. Janković beat two players outside the top 123 to reach the quarter-finals of Charleston.

Janković's next two matches were losses to #24/23 Daniela Hantuchová: 1-6 6-3 6-3 in their Charleston quarter-final, and 7-6 7-5 in the Slovakia v Serbia Fed Cup tie. Janković beat #53 Magdaléna Rybáriková 7-6 6-3 in her other singles-rubber, despite struggling with a wrist-injury that hampered her backhand.

Janković scored 6-2 6-2 wins over #34 Gisela Dulko and #99 Tsvetana Pironkova at Stuttgart, then lost her quarter-final 3-6 7-6 6-3 to #24 Justine Henin.

Janković reached the final of Rome by beating #128 Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-3 3-6 6-1, #12 Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-0, #4 Venus Williams 6-0 6-1(!) and #1 Serena Williams 4-6 6-3 7-6 (7/5). But she lost the final 7-6 7-5 to #26 María José Martínez Sánchez.

At Madrid, Janković beat #42 Ana Ivanović 4-6 6-4 6-1 and #54 Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-0, but lost 7-5 6-4 to Aravane Rezaď.

At the French Open, Janković reached the semi-finals, beating #94 Alicia Molik 6-0 6-4, #118 Kaia Kanepi 6-2 3-6 6-4, #31 Alyona Bondarenko 6-4 7-6, #26 Daniela Hantuchová 6-4 6-2, and #36 Yaroslava Shvedova 7-5 6-4, but was thrashed 6-1 6-2 by #7 Samantha Stosur in the semis.

Janković has reached the fourth round with the following results:
1r + #234 Laura Robson [WC,DF], 6-3 7-6 (7/5)
2r + #60 Aleksandra Woźniak, 4-6 6-2 6-4
3r + #30 ALYONA BONDARENKO [28], 6-0 6-3

Vera has reached the fourth round with the following results:
1r + #177 Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q], 6-4 6-1
2r + #147 Andrea Hlaváčková [Q], 6-1 6-4
3r + #18 YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF], 6-4 6-2

Conclusion: With their 6:5 head-to-head, its tough to call, but Vera seems to have the form to pull off the upset. She has the more one-sided scorelines for the first two rounds, and to beat Wickmayer 6-4 6-2 on grass is very impressive. For Janković, beating Alyona Bondarenko 6-0 6-3 is very impressive on paper, but Bondarenko played very poorly from what I saw of that match on TV, while Janković had a right-thigh injury.

--------------------------------
4. Women's Doubles: Second round
--------------------------------
4.1 Second-round result (Saturday 26th June 2010)
-----------------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina d. (CHUANG,CHIA-JUNG/OLGA GOVORTSOVA)[17], 6-4 5-7 7-5

Archive of point-by-point scores:
http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=18054181


4.2 Third-round draw
--------------------

* Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina v (IVETA BENEŠOVÁ/BARBORA ZÁHLAVOVÁ STRÝCOVÁ)[12]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Mixed Doubles: First-round TV-report: Zvonarëva/Sa v Robson/J.Murray (Friday 25th June 2010)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Andre Sa d. Laura Robson [DF]/Jamie Murray, 6-3 6-3

An entertaining doubles-match, played at the breakneck pace of a James Bond film - no lengthy discussions between points for these four!

Vera showed the kind of brilliance that made her a Mixed Doubles champion at Wimbledon 2006 (with Andy Ram): big forehand drives, backhand winners down the line, numerous punch-volley winners, a couple of drop-volley winners, dipping passing-shots, and a winning lob. Such was their confidence in her that she received serve in the ad-court! And she looked very fetching in a bare-shouldered top!

Vera seems to have chosen a good partner: Sa served well (there were no breaks against Vera/Sa in the match), and hit some blinding volleys. I think they have what it takes to win Vera's second Wimbledon title!

Robson played well, but was let down by an erratic partner in Jamie Murray, who was broken in the last game of the first set (Vera/Sa were already up a break from Robson's first service-game), and suffered the only break of the second set.

Jamie Murray is no longer the force that won the Wimbledon 2007 Mixed Doubles (with Jelena Janković), so Robson would do well to choose a better partner next time. She reached the Hopman Cup final with Jamie's brother Andy, but I don't suppose Andy would be up for playing Mixed Doubles at the Majors.

The only moment of concern for Vera came when she was serving at 6-3 *4-2 (40/0), but lost four points in a row to give the Britons a BP. Had they converted it, the momentum could have swung in their favour.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 1st November 2010), 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
---------
ZV/SA _*@*_*_*@ 6
RO/MU *___*_*__ 3

The match was dynamically scheduled fourth on Centre Court, and started at 19:01 BST.

Murray serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Murray (GP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Vera (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Murray (GP #4). Held.

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

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

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

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

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

Robson serving 2-4: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

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

Murray serving 3-5: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (SP #1 for Vera/Sa). Vera/Sa won the first set 6-3 at 19:33 BST (31m).


Second set
----------
ZV/SA *@*_*_*_* 6
RO/MU ___*_*_*_ 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vera serving 4-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). 40/30 (GP #3). Deuce #1. Ad Murray (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Vera (GP #4). Held.

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

Sa serving 5-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #1 for Vera/Sa). Vera/Sa won 6-3 6-3 at 20:03 BST (second set 29m, match 1h01m).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
6. Mixed Doubles: Second-round scoreboard-report: Zvonarëva/Sa v Benešová/Dlouhý (Saturday 26th June 2010)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

- Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Andre Sa lt. (IVETA BENEŠOVÁ/LUKÁŠ DLOUHÝ)[9], 7-6 (7/4) 4-6 4-6

A very disappointing loss, given how brilliant Vera and Sa were in their BBC-televised first-round match, and how much I was looking forward to watching more of Vera trying to regain the title she won in 2006.

A three-minute scoreboard-freeze at 7-6 *0-0 (Deuce #4) suggests a possible injury-break. I just hope Vera's okay going into the second week.

The first set went all with serve, with Vera/Sa wasting BP at 4-4*, and saving SP at *4-5.

The second set was decided by a single break: against Vera/Sa for 1-2*. They wasted two break-back points at 3-4*.

The third set was also decided by a single break: against Vera/Sa for 3-4*. They had wasted BP×2 at 3-2* (40/15*), and also – as in the second set – wasted two break-back points at 3-4*.


First set
---------
ZV/SA _*_*_*_*_*_*T 7(7)
BE/DL *_*_*_*_*_*__ 6(4)

The match started at 18:16 BST.

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

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

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 1-1: 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

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

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

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

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

Vera/Sa serving 3-4 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 4-4: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera/Sa (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (GP #1). Held.

Vera/Sa serving 4-5: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (SP #1 for Benešová/Dlouhý). Deuce #1. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #1). Held.

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 5-5: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. Held.

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

6-6 tiebreak (all scores (Vera/Sa)/(Benešová/Dlouhý)): 0/0*. *1/0. *1/1. 1/2*. 2/2*. *3/2. *4/2. 4/3*. 4/4*. *5/4. *6/4 (SP #1 for Vera/Sa). Vera/Sa won the first set 7-6 (7/4) at 19:01 BST (44m).


Second set
----------
ZV/SA *___*_*_*_ 4
BE/DL _*@*_*_*_* 6

Vera/Sa serving 0-0: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #2). Deuce #4. The scoreboard froze at 19:09 BST. The scoreboard resumed at 19:12 BST (3m). Ad Vera/Sa (GP #3). Held.

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

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

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

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

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

Vera/Sa serving 2-4: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 4-3: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (GP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Vera/Sa (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (GP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (GP #3). Deuce #5. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (GP #4). Held.

Vera/Sa serving 3-5: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #3). Deuce #3. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #4). Deuce #4. Ad Vera/Sa (GP #5). Held.

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 5-4: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1 for Benešová/Dlouhý). Benešová/Dlouhý won the second set 6-4 at 19:53 BST (second set 52m, match so far 1h37m).


Third set
---------
ZV/SA *_*_*___*_ 4
BE/DL _*_*_*@*_* 6

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

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 0-1: 15/0. Held.

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

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

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

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

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

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 4-3: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Vera/Sa (BP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Vera/Sa (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Benešová/Dlouhý (GP #3). Held.

Vera/Sa serving 3-5: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. Held.

Benešová/Dlouhý serving 5-4: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #1 for Benešová/Dlouhý). Benešová/Dlouhý won 6-7 (4/7) 6-4 6-4 at 20:30 BST (third set 36m, match 2h14m).

---------------------------
7. Order of play for Monday
---------------------------

Court 12 (start 12:00 BST = 11:00 GMT)
1. WS 4r: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4]
2. MS 4r: JULIEN BENNETEAU [32] v JO-WILFRIED TSONGA [10]
3. MS 4r: ROBIN SÖDERLING [6] v DAVID FERRER [9]
4. XD 2r: Vladimíra Uhlířová/Martin Damm v (CARA BLACK/LEANDER PAES)[2]

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
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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

Last edited by andrewbroad : Jul 14th, 2010 at 12:39 AM. Reason: minor correction
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Old Jun 28th, 2010, 05:53 AM   #7
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Re: Wimbledon 2010: Andrew's reports (preview + 1r + 2r + 3r + XD)

Nice preview
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Old Jun 29th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #8
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Andrew's fourth-round TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Janković
3. Quarter-final draw
4. Quarter-final preview: Zvonarëva v Clijsters
5. Andrew's wishes
6. Order of play for Tuesday

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

Various players from Day 5, including Vera:
* http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...10-06-251.html

-----------------------------------------------
2. Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Janković (Monday 28th June 2010)
-----------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4], 6-1 3-0 (30/15) retired (low-back injury)

It's unfortunate that Janković was injured, but I'm very pleased with Vera's form going into her first Wimbledon singles quarter-final - just the third Major singles quarter-final she's ever reached in her career, following the French Open 2003 and her Australian Open 2009 semi-final.

Vera was on fire in this match, and richly deserved her victory. She hit several pinpoint backhand winners down the line, and numerous other winners (finishing with a total of 18).

Vera was taken to Deuce in her opening service-game, but held, and then broke to 30 with the help of an off-forehand dropshot-winner and a forehand drive-volley winner. She served a quadruple fault from *2-0 (40/0), but made up for it with an ace out wide for 3-0*.

Vera hit a crosscourt backhand winner, but otherwise took advantage of two Janković backhand errors and a double fault to break again for *4-0. She recovered from 15/40 to Deuce, but was broken for 4-1*.

Vera broke for *5-1 with the help of a pinpoint backhand winner down the line, then served out the first set to 15 with an off-forehand winner, a stunning forehand winner down the line, and an ace down the middle at set-point.

The first game of the second set was the best in the match, as they hit five winners between them, and Vera eventually broke for 6-1 *1-0 after four deuces. Vera held for 2-0* with an off-backhand winner and an ace down the middle.

Janković quadruple-faulted to go down 1-6 *0-2 (0/40), and sprayed a wild backhand very long at 30/40, giving Vera 6-1 *3-0.

Janković took a medical time-out, lying face down on a towel to get her lower back massaged. The next game began with Vera serving two aces down the middle, with a double fault in between, then Janković shook hands with Vera at 6-1 *3-0 (30/15).

Janković was in tears, while Vera looked wonderfully sympathetic - she's one of the most compassionate players I've ever known.

Vera said: "To be honest, I wasn't paying any attention to what was going on on the other side. I didn't notice anything until she called the trainer to the court. I'm not sure what it was. She said something was bothering her. I wish her a quick recovery, and I hope it's not serious."

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 21st February 2011), 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
---------
ZVONARËV *@*@_@* 6
JANKOVIĆ ____@__ 1

The match started at 12:16 BST.

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

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

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

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

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

Janković serving 1-4: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Vera serving 5-1: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Vera). 40/15 (SP #2 for Vera). Vera won the first set 6-1 at 12:41 BST (24m).


Second set
----------
ZVONARËV @*@ 3
JANKOVIĆ ___ 0 retired

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

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

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

Vera serving 3-0: The scoreboard froze at 12:52 BST. The scoreboard resumed at 12:58 BST (5m). 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. Vera won 6-1 3-0 (Janković retired with a low-back injury) at 12:59 BST (second set 18m, match 43m).

---------------------
3. Quarter-final draw
---------------------

* LI,NA [9] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
* Petra Kvitová v Kaia Kanepi [Q] (pojďme Petra!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [8] (DAVAI VERA!!)
* Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] v VENUS WILLIAMS [2] (aide Tsvetana!)

-----------------------------------------------
4. Quarter-final preview: Zvonarëva v Clijsters
-----------------------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [8]

Vera's head-to-head against Clijsters doesn't make for pretty reading, as she trails 0:5:
- 2002 US Open 3r: Clijsters won 1-6 7-5 6-4
- 2006 Eastbourne 2r: Clijsters won 3-0 retired (right achilles strain)
- 2006 Wimbledon 1r: Clijsters won 7-5 6-3
- 2006 Stanford qf: Clijsters won 6-2 3-6 6-1
- 2006 Hasselt sf: Clijsters won 6-4 3-6 6-4

Clijsters retired in 2007 to get married and have a baby. She came back in 2009, and sensationally won the US Open in only her second tournament back. She's currently ranked #8, and has a 22:4 win/loss record for 2010 so far (including her four wins here) to Vera's 25:10.

Clijsters started 2010 by winning Brisbane, beating unranked Justine Henin 6-3 4-6 7-6 (8/6) in the final. But her Australian Open campaign ended with a deliciously embarrassing third-round loss to #19 Nadia Petrova: 6-0 6-1.

Clijsters lost in the third round of Indian Wells to #27 Alisa Kleybanova: 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7/4). But she returned to form to win Miami, upsetting #7 Victoria Azarenka 6-4 6-0 in the fourth round, #10 Samantha Stosur 6-3 7-5 in the quarter-finals, and #5 Venus Williams 6-2 6-1 in the final.

Clijsters's only clay-court tournament of the year - Marbella - ended with a second-round loss to #258 Beatriz García Vidagany: 7-5 4-6 6-4. Clijsters beat #220 Maret Ani in a Fed Cup rubber, but missed the rest of the clay-court season with a foot-injury.

Clijsters made another strong comeback at Eastbourne, with humiliating wins over #16 Yanina Wickmayer (6-1 6-1) and #26 Lucie Šafářová (6-1 6-0), before losing 7-6 6-4 to #15 Victoria Azarenka in the quarter-finals.

Clijsters has reached the quarter-finals here with the following results:
1r + #121 Maria Elena Camerin, 6-0 6-3
2r + #104 Karolina Šprem [DF], 6-3 6-2
3r + #28 MARIA KIRILENKO [27,DF], 6-3 6-3
4r + #16 JUSTINE HENIN [17], 2-6 6-2 6-3

Vera has reached the quarter-finals here with the following results:
1r + #177 Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q], 6-4 6-1
2r + #147 Andrea Hlaváčková [Q], 6-1 6-4
3r + #18 YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF], 6-4 6-2
4r + #3 JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4], 6-1 3-0 retired

Conclusion: it's not looking pretty, but at least I'm happy with Vera's form going into this quarter-final. It certainly has good potential to be an entertaining match, as the quality of the rallies in their Wimbledon 2006 first round was just breathtaking!

------------------
5. Andrew's wishes
------------------

VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF]:
qf + KIM CLIJSTERS [8]
sf + Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
_f + Petra Kvitová

----------------------------
6. Order of play for Tuesday
----------------------------

Centre Court (start 13:00 BST = 12:00 GMT)
1. WS qf: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v KIM CLIJSTERS [8]
2. WS qf: LI,NA [9] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
3. MD 3r: Carsten Ball/Chris Guccione v (BOB BRYAN/MIKE BRYAN)[2]

I also look forward to watching Vera's Women's Doubles third-round match, which is third on Court 2.

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
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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Old Jul 1st, 2010, 07:36 AM   #9
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Andrew's quarter-final TV-report / Women's Doubles TV-reports

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Quarter-final TV-report: Zvonarëva v Clijsters
3. Semi-final draw
4. Semi-final preview: Zvonarëva v Pironkova
5. Women's Doubles: Third-round TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Benešová/Záhlavová Strýcová
6. Women's Doubles: Quarter-final TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Williams×2
7. Order of play for Thursday

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

Various players including Vera:
* http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...10-06-291.html
* http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...10-06-301.html

-------------------------------------------------
2. Quarter-final TV-report: Zvonarëva v Clijsters (Tuesday 29th June 2010)
-------------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. KIM CLIJSTERS [8], 3-6 6-4 6-2

Vera couldn't have picked a better time to beat Clijsters for her first-ever time in six meetings, as it sets up the mouth-watering semi-final with Tsvetana Pironkova for which I had been wishing ever since Ana Ivanović lost on Day 1. Vera has reached her second-ever Major semi-final (her first coming at the Australian Open 2009 from only her third-ever Major quarter-final.

BBC commentator John McEnroe said that Vera was as calm and emotionally stable as he'd ever seen her on a big occasion. Mark Petchey said that Vera had prevented Clijsters from playing well by serving well.

The match was hard-fought from the start, with Vera's pinpoint down-the-line backhand setting up BP at 0-0* (Ad). Clijsters did well to hold that game, and Vera's beautiful short-angled one-handed backhand punch-volley winner on the stretch at 30/40* deserves a special mention!

Vera saved BP×3 at *1-2 (0/40), and hit a backhand drop-volley winner to set up GP, which she converted to hold for 2-2*.

Vera at *2-3 hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner, an aces down the middle and a high off-forehand punch-volley winner as she held to 15 for 3-3*.

With Clijsters as tight as a drum and haemorrhaging unforced errors, Vera had another BP in a game of five deuces at 3-3*, but Clijsters hit two winners to reach GP. Vera then sprayed a wild crosscourt forehand way long and wide, and emitted a cute little squeal.

Vera reacted to the disappointment of the missed BP by throwing in a bad service-game at *3-4, with a double fault and two unforced errors as Clijsters settled down. Clijsters served out the first set to 30 at *5-3.

In the second set, Vera had BP at 1-0* (40/30*), but Clijsters recovered well to hold serve. This time, Vera put the disappointment behind her by holding to love in the next game, and then breaking for *3-1 as Clijsters's forehand broke down after she led 30/0.

Vera came through a tough service-game of two deuces to make it 3-6 4-1*. She held again for 5-2* after an off-forehand drive-volley winner onto the sideline and an off-forehand smash-winner.

A very convincing hold to love by Clijsters forced Vera to serve for the set at *5-3; she was robbed by two dead netcord winners from Clijsters - one at BP. However, Vera broke in the next game to take the second set 6-4, courtesy of two double faults by Clijsters - one at SP.

In the third set, Vera held to love for 1-0* (sealed with an off-forehand winner), and 2 BPs went begging in a game of four deuces (Clijsters saved them with an ace out wide and a one-two punch).

Vera went 1:1 *1-1 (0/30) down, but recovered with a high off-forehand punch-volley winner, a crosscourt forehand winner, and a forehand smash-winner, and secured a vital hold for 2-1*.

Vera used deep, error-forcing groundstrokes to break for 1:1 *3-1, and held to 15 for 4-1* as Clijsters made a series of cheap errors.

Vera's victory seemed in danger at *4-2 (15/30), and that was probably the key point of the match: Vera went to the net, got away with hitting her first volley straight back to Clijsters, and hit a down-the-line backhand volley-winner on her next stroke. Vera then hit a deep, error-forcing forehand followed by an ace down the middle to hold for 5-2*.

Clijsters opened her *2-5 service-game with a double fault, and Vera hit two error-forcing down-the-line drives (on backhand, one forehand) to set up MP×2 at 40/15*. A nailbiting rally, during which I thought my heart was going to explode, ended with Clijsters hitting an off-forehand winner to save the first MP, but she netted a forehand on the third stroke of the second MP.

Vera's BBC interview: "I'm still excited about the match, but it is definitely one of my dreams to play here in the semi-final. I remember as a kid watching Wimbledon on TV. I'm really looking forward to my semi-final. It's amazing, because I played her a few times and we always had tough matches, but she was just better than me on those days. I was able to hang in there, and play some good tennis out there. Right now, I think women's tennis is at a high level: there is a lot of competition, and so many girls are playing great. It's going to be a tough match."

Vera was remarkably calm and composed in that interview, given how excited I was feeling at that moment! She didn't react with surprise when the interviewer told her that her next opponent would be Tsvetana Pironkova rather than Venus Williams.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 28th March 2011), 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
---------
ZVONARËVA _*_*_*___ 3
CLIJSTERS *_*_*_*@* 6

The match started at 13:09 BST.

Clijsters serving 0-0: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Clijsters (GP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Zvonarëva (BP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Clijsters (GP #4). Held.

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

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

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

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

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

Clijsters serving 3-3: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Clijsters (GP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Clijsters (GP #3). Deuce #3. Ad Clijsters (GP #4). Deuce #4. Ad Zvonarëva (BP #1). Deuce #5. Ad Clijsters (GP #5). Held.

Zvonarëva serving 3-4 (new balls): 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). Broken.

Clijsters serving 5-3: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (SP #1 for Clijsters). Clijsters won the first set 6-3 at 13:47 BST (37m).


Second set
----------
ZVONARËVA *_*@*_*__@ 6
CLIJSTERS _*___*_*@_ 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zvonarëva serving 4-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

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

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

Clijsters serving 4-5: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (SP #1 for Vera). 30/40 (SP #2 for Vera). Zvonarëva won the second set 6-4 at 14:24 BST (second set 36m, match so far 1h14m).


Third set
---------
ZVONARËVA *_*@*_*@ 6
CLIJSTERS _*___*__ 2

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

Clijsters serving 0-1: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Clijsters (GP #1). Deuce #2. Ad Vera (BP #2). Deuce #3. Ad Clijsters (GP #2). Deuce #4. Ad Clijsters (GP #3). Held.

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

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

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

Clijsters serving 1-4: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). 40/30 (GP #3). Held.

Zvonarëva serving 4-2 (new balls): 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

Clijsters serving 2-5: 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (MP #1 for Vera). 30/40 (MP #2 for Vera). Vera won 3-6 6-4 6-2 at 14:57 BST (third set 33m, match 1h47m).

------------------
3. Semi-final draw
------------------

* Petra Kvitová v SERENA WILLIAMS [1] (pojďme Petra!)
* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Tsvetana Pironkova [DF] (my loyalty is to VERA)

--------------------------------------------
4. Semi-final preview: Zvonarëva v Pironkova
--------------------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]

I have been wishing for a Zvonarëva v Pironkova semi-final ever since Ana Ivanović lost on Day 1. I never in my wildest dreams expected to get it!!

The BBC commentators all seem to think that Vera will win this because she's been around the upper echelons of women's tennis for several years now, and has far more big-match experience than Tsvetana. Tracy Austin said that Vera was very instinctive off the ground, now manages her emotions much better than in the past, and that perhaps her time has come.

Vera needs to avoid falling into the trap of, "I've just beaten Kim Clijsters - how can I lose to the world #82?" This is a golden opportunity for Vera to reach her first Major singles-final, and it would rankle in the mind perhaps forever if she were to blow it, but she has to forget about the occasion and just approach it as she would a second-round match in a WTA tournament.

Tsvetana is a very dangerous opponent, who has pulled off a handful of huge upsets in her career: Venus Williams at the Australian Open 2006 as well as Wimbledon 2010, Ivanović at Rome 2008 (shortly before Ana won the French Open), and Elena Dementieva at Warsaw 2010.

Tsvetana thrashed Vera 6-0 6-2 in their only previous meeting: the second round of Moscow 2009, which Vera needed to win if she was to qualify for the season-ending championships. Vera was struggling with the right-ankle injury that would require surgery one month later, and also with injuries to both knees. She was a pale shadow of her normal self, making a catalogue of unforced errors while Tsvetana was more aggressive.

Obviously, Tsvetana will be facing a very different Vera on Thursday, but it's always a psychological boost to go onto court with a win over your opponent.

Tsvetana moves extremely well for a tall girl (5'11"), and has a big first serve and a killer backhand. On the other hand, she has a weak second serve, and tends to steer her forehand rather than nailing it like her backhand. When approaching the net to Tsvetana's forehand, look for it to go crosscourt. Against Venus Williams, Tsvetana hit a lot of sliced forehands, and did a great job of mixing it up.

Tsvetana has a 28:14 win/loss record for 2010 so far, including her five wins here.

After a series of first- and second-round losses in January and February, Tsvetana won three matches to reach the second round of Indian Wells as a qualifier, losing 6-7 6-3 6-1 to #27 Alisa Kleybanova.

Tsvetana then reached the semi-finals of ITF Fort Walton Beach, but lost 6-4 6-4 to Sophie Ferguson. She won three matches to reach the second round of Miami, losing 3-6 6-3 6-4 to #2 Caroline Woźniacki.

After falling in the third round of qualifying for Barcelona, Tsvetana won four matches - all in straight sets against players outside the top 206 - to reach the second round of Stuttgart as a qualifier, but lost 6-2 6-2 to #7 Jelena Janković.

Tsvetana lost in the first rounds of qualifying for Rome and Madrid, then won five matches to reach the quarter-finals of Warsaw as a qualifier, beating #5 Elena Dementieva 7-5 4-6 6-4 in the second round, but losing 6-4 7-5 to the defending and eventual champion: #32 Alexandra Dulgheru. Tsvetana lost to #23 Justine Henin in the first round of the French Open.

Tsvetana beat #281 Katarina Srebotnik 4-6 6-3 6-4 in the first qualifying-round at Eastbourne, but then lost 2-6 6-3 6-4 to #344 Heather Watson!

Tsvetana has reached the semi-finals with the following results:
1r + #96 Anna Lapushchenkova, 6-0 7-6 (9/7)
2r + #56 Vera Dushevina, 6-3 6-4
3r + #69 Regina Kulikova, 6-4 2-0 retired (low-back injury)
4r + #13 MARION BARTOLI [11,DF,S], 6-4 6-4
qf + #2 VENUS WILLIAMS [2], 6-2 6-3

Vera has reached the semi-finals with the following results:
1r + #177 Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q], 6-4 6-1
2r + #147 Andrea Hlaváčková [Q], 6-1 6-4
3r + #18 YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF], 6-4 6-2
4r + #3 JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4], 6-1 3-0 retired
qf + #8 KIM CLIJSTERS [8], 3-6 6-4 6-2

Conclusion: Venus Williams failed to find a winning strategy against Tsvetana, but Vera is much smarter, and will. This is Vera's match to win or lose, and it will all come down to whether she will embrace the occasion, or feel the pressure and freeze. I'm quite sure that Tsvetana will embrace the occasion, as she has nothing to lose, and isn't the type of person to get intimidated.

One thing's for sure: it will be wonderful to see the winner of this match in the final on Saturday!

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
5. Women's Doubles: Third-round TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Benešová/Záhlavová Strýcová (Tuesday 29th June 2010)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina d. (IVETA BENEŠOVÁ/BARBORA ZÁHLAVOVÁ STRÝCOVÁ)[12], 6-3 6-2

I saw this match on BBC Red Button. Less spectacular than Vera's first-round Mixed Doubles win the other day, this was a solid win over the Czech pair, of whom Iveta did not play well. The Russians went through the match unbroken, scoring one break late in the first set, and two more early in the second.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 11th April 2011), 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
---------
ZVONARË/VESNINA *_*_*_*@* 6
BENEŠOV/ZÁHLAVO _*_*_*___ 3

The match started at 16:51 BST.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vesnina serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Vera/Vesnina). 40/15 (SP #2 for Vera/Vesnina). Vera/Vesnina won the first set 6-3 at 17:29 BST (38m).


Second set
----------
ZVONARË/VESNINA @*@*_*_* 6
BENEŠOV/ZÁHLAVO ____*_*_ 2

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

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

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

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

Benešová serving 0-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Benešová (GP #2). Held.

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

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

Vera serving 5-2 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (MP #1 for Vera). Vera/Vesnina won 6-3 6-2 at 18:01 BST (second set 31m, match 1h10m).

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
6. Women's Doubles: Quarter-final TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Williams×2 (Wednesday 30th June 2010)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina d. (SERENA WILLIAMS/VENUS WILLIAMS)[1], 3-6 6-3 6-4

Vera and Elena put up an amazing performance to hand the Williams-sisters their first doubles-loss of 2010. Some people say that this is an even bigger shock than Venus losing to Tsvetana Pironkova in the singles, because many expected the Williams-sisters to win a calendar-year Grand Slam in Women's Doubles.

Indeed, the Williams-sisters started the match looking like they could dominate doubles for decades to come, as they combined one sister's serve with the other's intimidating presence at the net. They won the first set by virtue of a break of Vera's serve in the fourth game.

But the Russians executed great tactics in the second and third sets, such as using the 'I' formation on their first serves to keep the Williamses guessing, and intercepting the Williamses' crosscourt shots to hit winning volleys down the middle.

In the second set, the Russians saved a BP against Vera at *1-1 (30/40), and another three against Elena at *2-2 (30/40 + Ad×2). They then broke Venus for a *4-2 lead, and went on to win the second set by holding serve.

In the third set, Elena faced BP at *0-1 (30/40), but saved it with an ace down the middle. Then Vera broke Serena for *2-1 with the shot of the match: a gorgeous short-angled crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner!

Elena hit a high forehand volley-winner crosscourt to save break-back point against Vera at 1:1 *2-1 (30/40). The rest of the match went with serve, and it was Elena who had the honour of serving it out at *5-4.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 2nd May 2011), 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
---------
VESNINA/ZVONARË _*___*_*_ 3
WILLIAM/WILLIAM *_*@*_*_* 6

The match started at 12:15 BST.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serena serving 4-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

Vera serving 2-5 (new balls): 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (SP #1 for Williams/Williams). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (GP #1). Held.

Venus serving 5-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 40/30 (SP #2 for Williams/Williams). Deuce #1. Ad Venus (SP #3 for Williams/Williams). Williams/Williams won the first set 6-3 at 12:47 BST (31m).


Second set
----------
VESNINA/ZVONARË *_*_*@*_* 6
WILLIAM/WILLIAM _*_*___*_ 3

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

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

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

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

Elena serving 2-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Venus (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Elena (GP #1). Deuce #3. Ad Venus (BP #3). Deuce #4. Ad Elena (GP #2). Held.

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

Vera serving 4-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

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

Elena serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1 for Vera/Elena). Vera/Elena won the second set 6-3 at 13:31 BST (second set 44m, match so far 1h15m).


Third set
---------
VESNINA/ZVONARË _*@*_*_*_* 6
WILLIAM/WILLIAM *___*_*_*_ 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serena serving 2-4: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). Held.

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

Venus serving 3-5: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (GP #1). 40/15 (GP #2). Held.

Elena serving 5-4: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (MP #1 for Vera/Elena). Vera/Elena won 3-6 6-3 6-4 at 14:15 BST (third set 43m, match 1h59m).

-----------------------------
7. Order of play for Thursday
-----------------------------

Centre Court (start 13:00 BST = 12:00 GMT)
1. WS sf: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v Tsvetana Pironkova [DF]
2. WS sf: Petra Kvitová v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
3. MD sf: Juan Ignacio Chela/Eduardo Schwank v (ROBERT LINDSTEDT/HORIA TECAU)[16]

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
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Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 02:03 AM   #10
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Re: Wimbledon 2010: Andrew's TV-reports (preview + 1r + 2r + 3r + 4r + QF + XD + WD)

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Old Jul 3rd, 2010, 06:51 AM   #11
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Andrew's WS + WD semi-final TV-reports

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

1. Photos
2. Semi-final TV-report: Zvonarëva v Pironkova
3. Women's Singles: Final-preview: Zvonarëva v S.Williams
4. Women's Doubles: Semi-final TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Dulko/Pennetta
5. Order of play for Saturday

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

Various players including Vera:
* http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...10-07-011.html
* http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...10-07-021.html

----------------------------------------------
2. Semi-final TV-report: Zvonarëva v Pironkova (Thursday 1st July 2010)
----------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. Tsvetana Pironkova [DF], 3-6 6-3 6-2

This promised to be a mouth-watering match between two of the most flairsomely talented and attractive players, and it didn't disappoint, as Vera and Tsvetana produced a contest worthy of a Major semi-final.

Tsvetana went onto court fired up, smiling, and ready to embrace the occasion. She played an uninhibitedly brilliant first set, with her explosive first serve and killer backhand in fine form. Even her forehand was a weapon, as she mixed it up by walloping some and slicing others, disrupting Vera's rhythm.

I only saw the second set of Tsvetana's quarter-final win over Venus Williams - and only recorded - because it clashed with Vera's quarter-final, but there's nothing like watching her play live against a member of my Eternal Fanship to appreciate how good she really is.

I must confess that enjoyed watching Tsvetana's performance, even though it was threatening to beat her. I've admired Tsvetana's beauty for several years now, and promoted her to my demi-fanship in 2008 based on Passion alone, but now I definitely admire her tennis as well. While I'm not planning to induct any more players into my Eternal Fanship for the foreseeable future, Tsvetana has certainly laid down a marker for me to consider, the next time I contemplate inducting someone.

Vera found herself facing BP×3 at *2-3 (0/40), after Tsvetana had played three good points: the last of them an off-forehand winner just inside the baseline. Vera saved the first BP with an ace out wide, but was beaten by a dead netcord winner on the second.

Vera couldn't recover that break, and in due course, Tsvetana had three SPs at *5-3 (40/0). Vera saved the first with a dropshot-winner (Tsvetana almost ran into the net trying to reach it). Tsvetana wasted the second SP by netting a choky backhand, but got away with a woefully short second serve on the third SP, as Vera netted a backhand several strokes later.

In the second set, Vera raised her level, while Tsvetana's level dropped. A few unforced errors were creeping into Tsvetana's game that she just wasn't making in that fairy-tale first set.

Tsvetana came through a tough service-game of two deuces at 6-3 *1-2, with Vera hitting a cheap forehand long at Deuce #1.

The key game came on Tsvetana's serve at 6-3 *2-3. Vera pegged Tsvetana back to Deuce with an 82mph off-backhand winner, saved a second GP, forced her first BP of the match, and converted it with a great spreading rally, finishing with an off-backhand winner.

And so Vera came to serve for the second set at *5-3. She served it out to 15, finishing with a dead netcord winner to atone for the one that had broken her serve in the first set.

Starting the third set with power and precision, Vera broke to 30 in the opening game. Tsvetana lost her footing and had a nasty-looking fall just as Vera moved to *1-0 (30/0) with an off-forehand winner, but Tsvetana was okay, and the fall appeared to have distracted Vera as she double-faulted and netted a forehand for 30/30. She nevertheless consolidated the break: 2-0*.

Vera had further BPs at 1:1 2-0* (40/15*), but Vera wasted them with two backhand errors - one forced, one not - and Tsvetana held for 1-2*.

Vera appeared to be faltering as she sprayed a wild off-forehand long at 1:1 *2-1 (30/15), but Tsvetana let her off the hook with two unforced backhand errors, and looked very disappointed.

Vera saved GP at 1:1 3-1* (30/40*) by winning a nailbiting rally with an amazing crosscourt backhand dropshot-winner. Vera's dipping crosscourt backhand pass set up BP, which she converted when Tsvetana hit a wild backhand very long: *4-1.

With Vera's grunting sounding increasingly anxious, she found herself facing BP×2 at 1:1 *4-1 (15/40), but Tsvetana made two return-errors - one forced, one not - and then Vera held serve with two backhand winners down the line: the first being a drive-volley.

Tsvetana took one last chance to shine at 1:1 *1-5, hitting a crosscourt backhand winner onto the baseline, and a beautiful off-backhand winner just inside both sideline and baseline.

Serving for the match at 1:1 *5-2, Vera started by winning an amazing rally with an off-forehand winner! She had her first MP at 40/15, but another amazing rally ended with Tsvetana hitting a dropshot and Vera hitting a makeable forehand pass just long. At 40/30 (MP #2), a first serve out wide + off-forehand forced Tsvetana to earth a backhand.

Vera was very calm and composed throughout the match. The old Vera would have got upset about the netcord that broke her serve in the first set, and no doubt numerous other issues, but as Simon Reed put it: "She countered the demons that she had within her, and they didn't become a factor at all."

I hope and expect that Tsvetana can use her Wimbledon-run as a launching-pad for a much better career than the one she had before Wimbledon. I've never seen her play with so much confidence before; she looks strong mentally, and her game doesn't look like the kind of game that easily dissolves into a stream of unforced errors.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 26th July 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
---------
ZVONARËVA _*_*___*_ 3
PIRONKOVA *_*_*@*_* 6

The match started at 13:09 BST.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tsvetana serving 4-2: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #1). Held.

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

Tsvetana serving 5-3: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0 (SP #1 for Tsvetana). 40/15 (SP #2 for Tsvetana). 40/30 (SP #3 for Tsvetana). Tsvetana won the first set 6-3 at 13:41 BST (31m).


Second set
----------
ZVONARËVA *_*_*@*_* 6
PIRONKOVA _*_*___*_ 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vera serving 4-2: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). 40/30 (GP #2). Held.

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

Vera serving 5-3: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1 for Vera). Vera won the second set 6-3 at 14:17 BST (second set 36m, match so far 1h08m).


Third set
---------
ZVONARËVA @*_*@*_* 6
PIRONKOVA __*___*_ 2

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

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

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

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

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

Vera serving 4-1: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (GP #1). Held.

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

Vera serving 5-2 (new balls): 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #1 for Vera). 40/30 (MP #1 for Vera). Vera won 3-6 6-3 6-2 at 14:55 BST (third set 38m, match 1h46m).

---------------------------------------------------------
3. Women's Singles: Final-preview: Zvonarëva v S.Williams
---------------------------------------------------------

* VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]

The BBC analysts are talking about Williams as though her name were already engraved on the roll of honour for 2010, calling Vera "not just an outsider, but a super-outsider".

I totally disagree with this assessment. Williams is serving the best I've ever seen her serve, and was utterly ruthless and devastating in her first two matches here, but from the third round onwards, she has looked vulnerable when her opponents have managed to engage her in rallies, often failing to get into position, and hence making errors. She has even admitted that she isn't on top form, and claimed that she is surprised to be in the final again.

So the key for Vera will be to get a high percentage of service-returns back into court, and build the points from there using her instinctive groundstrokes of flairsome power. Vera has excellent lateral retrieval, so that will help her to return the huge serves, and will make Williams feel that she has to go for the lines with her groundstrokes.

Vera is 1:5 against Williams in their head-to-head:
- 2002 French Open 4r: Williams won 4-6 6-0 6-1
- 2004 Los Angeles qf: Williams won 4-6 6-3 6-3
- 2004 Beijing sf: Williams won 6-2 6-3
+ 2006 Cincinnati sf: Vera won 6-2 6-3
- 2007 US Open: 3r: Williams won 6-4 7-6 (7/4)
- 2008 Charleston final: Williams won 6-4 3-6 6-3

Williams has a 24:4 win/loss record for 2010 so far (including her six wins here). After being resoundingly defeated by #5 Elena Dementieva in the Sydney final (6-3 6-2), she won her fifth Australian Open title, beating surprise finalist Justine Henin 6-4 3-6 6-2 in a high-quality final.

Williams didn't play again until Rome, where she reached the semi-finals but lost to #7 Jelena Janković 4-6 6-3 7-6 in the quarter-finals. She lost 4-6 6-2 6-3 to #18 Nadia Petrova at Madrid, and alternated struggles with blistering wins at the French Open, finally falling 6-2 6-7 8-6 to #7 Samantha Stosur after wasting a match-point in their quarter-final.

Williams has reached the final with the following results:
1r + #148 Michelle Larcher de Brito, 6-0 6-4
2r + #118 Anna Chakvetadze [EF], 6-0 6-1
3r + #46 Dominika Cibulková, 6-0 7-5
4r + #17 MARIA SHARAPOVA [16,EF], 7-6 (11/9) 6-4
qf + #12 LI,NA [9], 7-5 6-3
sf + #62 Petra Kvitová, 7-6 (7/5) 6-2

Vera has reached the final with the following results:
1r + #177 Nuria Llagostera Vives [Q], 6-4 6-1
2r + #147 Andrea Hlaváčková [Q], 6-1 6-4
3r + #18 YANINA WICKMAYER [15,DF], 6-4 6-2
4r + #3 JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4], 6-1 3-0 retired
qf + #8 KIM CLIJSTERS [8], 3-6 6-4 6-2
sf + #82 Tsvetana Pironkova [DF], 3-6 6-3 6-2

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Women's Doubles: Semi-final TV-report: Zvonarëva/Vesnina v Dulko/Pennetta (Friday 2nd July 2010)
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina d. (GISELA DULKO [DF]/FLAVIA PENNETTA [DF])[4], 6-3 6-1

Vera and Elena followed up their sensational win over the Williams-sisters with another brilliant performance, as the played perfectly in tandem, and had too much power for Gisela and Flavia, who have won Premier doubles-titles together at Miami, Stuttgart and Rome this year.

Vera made a full effort in this match, rather than trying to save herself for the Women's Singles final by not running balls down.

The final scoreline may look very one-sided, but the first seven games were extremely hard-fought, with the Russians wasting 4 BPs in Flavia's opening service-game (0-0*), and one more against Gisela's serve before Elena converted their sixth BP of the match with a backhand volley-winner down the middle: *2-1.

Vera saved 4 BPs on her own serve before Flavia broke back with a forehand punch-volley winner down the middle: *2-2. It looked as though the I-formation - which had done so much damage against the Williams-sisters - wasn't going to work against Gisela and Flavia.

The Russians wasted BP×2 at *2-2 (15/40) before breaking Flavia anyway for *3-2. The Russians wasted BP×3 at 4-2* before Gisela held to make it *4-3.

After that, Gisela and Flavia's resistance crumbled, as the Russians won seven games in a row to lead 6-3 5-0* before Flavia held serve - incredibly for her first time in the match - to make it a breadstick rather than a bagel.

During those seven games, Vera sealed the first set with a backhand winner down the line, hit a gorgeous short-angled crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner to take a 1:0 1-0* lead, and a crosscourt forehand volley-winner to take the 6-3 *5-0 lead.

With Vera serving for the match at *5-1, Elena hit three volley-winners for 40/15, and Vera hit a beautiful rolled crosscourt forehand volley to set up a thunderous crosscourt backhand drive-volley for Elena.

I'll post my full TV-report at a later date (ETA 9th 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
---------
ZVONA/VESNI _*@_@*_*@ 6
DULKO/PENNE *__@__*__ 3

The match started at 13:12 BST.

Flavia serving 0-0: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Vera (BP #2). Deuce #2. Ad Vera (BP #3). Deuce #3. Ad Vera (BP #4). Deuce #4. Ad Flavia (GP #1). Held.

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

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

Vera serving 2-1: 15/0. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). 30/40 (BP #2). Deuce #1. Ad Flavia (BP #3). Deuce #2. Ad Flavia (BP #4). Deuce #3. Ad Flavia (BP #5). Broken.

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

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

Gisela serving 2-4: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). 15/40 (BP #2). 30/40 (BP #3). Deuce #1. Ad Gisela (GP #1). Held.

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

Flavia serving 3-5: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (SP #1 for Vera/Elena). Vera/Elena won the first set 6-3 at 13:55 BST (42m).


Second set
----------
ZVONA/VESNI *@*@*_* 6
DULKO/PENNE _____*_ 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vera serving 5-1: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (MP #1 for Vera/Elena). Vera/Elena won 6-3 6-1 at 14:19 BST (second set 23m, match 1h06m).

-----------------------------
5. Order of play for Saturday
-----------------------------

Centre Court (start 14:00 BST = 13:00 GMT)
1. WS final: VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] v SERENA WILLIAMS [1]
2. MD final: (ROBERT LINDSTEDT/HORIA TECAU)[16] v Jürgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner
3. WD final: Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Elena Vesnina v Yaroslava Shvedova/Vania King

Full order of play:
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

P.S. I plan to post my reports on the finals early next week: most likely on Tuesday.
__________________
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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Andrew's TV-reports for the finals

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================
Contents
--------

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

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

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

-----------------------------------------------------------
2. Women's Singles: Final TV-report: Zvonarëva v S.Williams (Saturday 3rd July 2010)
-----------------------------------------------------------

- 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
---------
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
----------
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).

----------------------------------------------------------------------
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).

--
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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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Old Apr 23rd, 2011, 02:40 PM   #13
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Full Mixed Doubles first-round TV-report

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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================

I apologise for the very long delay in getting round to my full TV-reports on Vera’s Wimbledon 2010 campaign. Since Wimbledon 2010, I have started a new job that keeps me extremely busy, and my website is no longer online, since Sqweebs closed down its free hosting-service in January. So I’m posting my reports here, at a lower level of detail than originally planned, with the goal of finishing Wimbledon 2010 before Wimbledon 2011 begins.

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Mixed Doubles: First-round TV-report: Zvonarëva/Sa v Robson/J. Murray (Friday 25th June 2010)
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+ Vera Zvonarëva [EF]/Andre Sa d. Laura Robson [DF]/Jamie Murray, 6-3 6-3

An entertaining doubles-match, played at the breakneck pace of a James Bond film – no lengthy discussions between points for these four!

Vera showed the kind of brilliance that made her a Mixed Doubles champion at Wimbledon 2006 (with Andy Ram): big forehand drives, backhand winners down the line, numerous punch-volley winners, a couple of drop-volley winners, dipping passing-shots, and a winning lob. Such was their confidence in her that she received serve in the ad-court! And she looked very fetching in a bare-shouldered top!

Vera seems to have chosen a good partner: Sa served well (there were no breaks against Vera/Sa in the match), and hit some blinding volleys. I think they have what it takes to win Vera’s second Wimbledon title!

16-year-old Robson played well, but was let down by an erratic partner in Jamie Murray, who was broken in the last game of the first set (Vera/Sa were already up a break from Robson’s first service-game), and suffered the only break of the second set.

Jamie Murray is no longer the force that won the Wimbledon 2007 Mixed Doubles (with Jelena Janković), so Robson would do well to choose a better partner next time. She reached the Hopman Cup final with Jamie’s brother Andy, but I don’t suppose Andy would be up for playing Mixed Doubles at the Majors.

The only moment of concern for Vera came when she was serving at 6-3 *4-2 (40/0), but lost four points in a row to give the Britons a BP. Had they converted it, the momentum could have swung in their favour.


First set
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ZV/SA _*@*_*_*@ 6
MU/RO *___*_*__ 3

The match was dynamically scheduled fourth on Centre Court, and started at 19:01 BST.

Both Robson and Murray are left-handed. Robson received in the deuce-court, which is normal for the woman in Mixed Doubles, while Vera received in the ad-court, which is a very bold statement!

Murray serving 0-0: Robson hit a forehand smash-winner (Vera tried jumping for it at the back of the court). Service-winner. Held.

Sa serving 0-1: Double fault (second serve wide). 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Murray to hit a backhand lob long. 15/15. A net-rally ended with Vera hitting a backhand volley wide, and there was a nice smile on Robson’s face. 15/30. A dipping return forced Sa to net a backhand volley. 15/40 (BP #1). Ace down the middle. 30/40 (BP #2). Sa on the third stroke hit a crosscourt forehand half-volley winner. Deuce #1. Deep second serve out wide forced Robson to net a backhand return. Ad Sa (GP #1). A deep ball forced Sa to hit a forehand long. Deuce #2. Vera on the third stroke hit an off-forehand punch-volley winner down the middle off Robson’s return. Virginia Wade: “Pace does not worry Zvonarëva.” Ad Sa. Sa’s off-forehand volley forced Murray to run outside the tramlines and net a left-handed forehand.

Robson serving 1-1: Deep first serve down the middle forced Sa to bunt a backhand return long. 15/0. A deep ball induced Robson to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Murray intercepted Sa’s return to hit an off-forehand volley-winner. 30/15. Murray hit a wonderful short-angled crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Vera bisected the Britons with a “really clever” forehand volley to force a floater from Robson, on which Sa pounced to hit a forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #2). Vera’s down-the-line backhand return forced a short backhand volley from Murray, which Sa dispatched with a sliced off-backhand pass-winner back behind Murray. Deuce #1. Vera cut off Robson’s crosscourt backhand to hit a forehand punch-volley winner down the middle. Ad Vera/Sa (BP #1). Vera nailed a huge forehand winner down the Britons’ right sideline. Broken.

Simon Reed: “Zvonarëva has had a couple of hiccups in her career, and each time, it’s been the Mixed Doubles that has sorted it out. She won the Mixed Doubles here in 2006 with Ram when she was on the crest of a slump, and a couple of years earlier won the US Open with Bob Bryan, and that lifted her. Her career has been up and down. She’s an emotional young lady.”
Virginia Wade: “There were those couple of years for Zvonarëva when she had been playing really well, and then she would get so upset on the court. We all remember a match she played on the stadium of the US Open, where she was a set and a break up, but when she sat at the changeover, she was crying into her towel, and went on to lose that match. In the last couple of years, she has calmed right down and played so well, and then she had a terrible injury last year in April.”

Vera serving 2-1: Robson hit an off-forehand wide off a deep ball. 15/0. Murray went to the net, but Vera hit a dipping crosscourt backhand to his feet, forcing him to net a backhand half-volley. 30/0. Murray hit a crosscourt forehand straight into Sa’s body, forcing him into error. 30/15. Murray hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 30/30. Murray, running wide at the net, netted a backhand volley. 40/30 (GP #1). Murray backhand return just long. Held.

Murray serving 1-3: Vera at the net hit an awkward low backhand volley wide. 15/0. First serve out wide forced Vera to net a backhand return. 30/0. Murray tried to serve and volley, but Sa’s dipping crosscourt forehand return forced him to net a backhand volley. 30/15. Deep first serve out wide: Vera hit a down-the-line backhand return-winner past Robson at the net. 30/30. Deep first serve down the middle forced Sa to hit a forehand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Murray on the third stroke hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Held.

Sa serving 3-2: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Sa’s deep forehand volley forced Murray to hit a forehand long. 30/0. Ace down the middle: 115 mph, on the service-line. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve long). Deep serve out wide forced Robson to hit a backhand return wide.

Robson serving 2-4: Deep first serve out wide forced Sa to hit a forehand return long. 15/0. Robson dominated the point and hit a high crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 30/0. Vera hit a beautiful crosscourt backhand drop-volley winner. 30/15. Vera hit a down-the-line backhand return winner. 30/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Sa to hit a forehand return long. 40/30 (GP #1). Murray went to the net and hit a forehand volley-winner. Held.

Simon Reed: “Robson looks born for the big stage. Her temperament is very good.”

Vera serving 4-3 (new balls): Sa hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Murray backhand return long. 30/0. Deep first serve out wide forced Robson to hit a backhand return long. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep service-winner out wide. Held.

Murray serving 3-5: Murray on the third stroke netted a forehand volley off a dipping return. 0/15. Vera hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 0/30. Murray on the third stroke netted a backhand volley. 0/40 (GP #1 for Vera/Sa). Robson’s forehand smash forced a floater that sat up nicely for Murray to... net a forehand smash. Held. Vera/Sa won the first set 6-3 at 19:33 BST (31m).

Vera is playing brilliantly – even the commentators admit that she is the best player on the court right now. Robson is playing well, but is being let down by an erratic partner.


Second set
----------
ZV/SA *@*_*_*_* 6
RO/MU ___*_*_*_ 3

Sa serving 0-0: Deep, body-jamming first serve forced Robson to net a backhand return, but a Hawk-Eye challenge showed that it was just long. Sa’s deep crosscourt forehand volley forced Robson to hit a backhand lob wide. 15/0. Sa forced Murray to hit a backhand lob long. 30/0. Ace down the middle: on the service-line. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced Murray to net a forehand return. Held.

Murray serving 0-1: Vera’s depth forced Murray to hit a backhand long. 0/15. Murray crosscourt backhand winner. 15/15. Sa’s dipping forehand forced Robson to hit a forehand long. 15/30. Robson left a lob from Vera that landed just inside the baseline for a winner! 15/40 (BP #1). Sa hit a stinging forehand return-winner down the line. Broken.

Vera serving 2-0: Double fault (second serve just wide). 0/15. Murray hit a deep backhand onto the baseline, forcing Vera to hit a backhand long. 0/30. Ace out wide. 15/30. Deep first serve out wide forced Murray to hit a forehand long. 30/30. Murray at the net overran Vera’s crosscourt forehand, netting a forehand pass. 40/30 (GP #1). Second serve out wide induced Murray to net a forehand return. Held

Well recovered from 0/30!

Robson serving 0-3: A great rally ended with Robson hitting a crosscourt forehand virtual winner past Vera. 15/0. The Britons wasted a challenge on a serve that was way wide. Murray, driven into the tramlines, hit a backhand long. 15/15. Robson’s off-forehand induced Sa to hit a forehand long. 30/15. Murray on the third stroke tipped a backhand drop-volley winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Murray dispatched a floater with a forehand smash-winner. Held.

Sa serving 3-1: Ace out wide. 15/0. Murray dumped a forehand into the bottom of the net. 30/0. Ace down the middle. 40/0 (GP #1). Vera’s crosscourt backhand drop-volley forced Murray to hit a running forehand long. Held.

It’s great to see Vera laughing with her partner at the changeover. Virginia Wade described her as usually “businesslike” and shy.

Murray serving 1-4: Robson on the third stroke hit a crisp off-backhand punch-volley winner. 0/15. Murray ran down a short floater and hit an off-forehand punch-volley winner. 30/0. Murray hit a backhand virtual winner past Vera. 40/0 (GP #1). Ace out wide. Vera and Sa wasted a challenge. Held.

Vera serving 4-2: First serve out wide forced a short return that sat up nicely for Sa to hit a forehand volley-winner. 15/0. Robson netted a forehand volley. Simon Reed: “Normally, she has very quick hands.” 30/0. Sa on the third stroke hit a backhand volley-winner. 40/0 (GP #1). Murray’s deep off-backhand return forced Vera to earth a backhand. 40/15 (GP #2). Murray intercepted Vera’s crosscourt forehand and hit an off-backhand volley-winner. 40/30 (GP #3). Murray hit a error-forcing forehand return down the middle. Deuce #1. Robson’s deep crosscourt backhand return induced Vera to spray a crosscourt forehand wide. Ad Murray (BP #1). Sa pounced on a floating return to hit a backhand volley-winner. Deuce #2. Vera hit a crosscourt forehand virtual winner. Ad Vera (GP #4). First serve out wide + Sa crosscourt forehand winner. Held.

Robson serving 2-5 (new balls): Robson netted a backhand three strokes after Vera hit a lovely acute-angled crosscourt backhand volley. 0/15. Serve + Murray forehand volley-winner. 15/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Sa to net a forehand return. 30/15. Murray intercepted Vera’s crosscourt backhand to hit a sharp forehand volley-winner down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). Murray hit an off-forehand volley-winner. Held.

Sa serving 5-3: Deep ace out wide. 15/0. Murray’s dipping crosscourt forehand pass forced Sa to net an awkward low backhand volley. 15/15. Deep second serve induced Robson to hit a forehand return wide. 30/15. Vera’s off-backhand into Robson’s body forced her to net a backhand volley. Vera apologised to her. Ace out wide. Vera/Sa won 6-3 6-3 at 20:03 BST (second set 29m, match 1h01m).

Virginia Wade: “Vera Zvonarëva was really the outstanding player there. She was absolutely superb. It’s not as if Andre Sa let her down in any way at all: he was sharp and good and quick. Zvonarëva is still in all three events, so she’s having a super Wimbledon. She has tremendous instinct in singles and doubles.”


Article
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Robson’s sights on junior crown after doubles exit (Sandy Macaskill, The Daily Telegraph – UK)
>>>
“Body is in pieces but the mind is strong – keep the dream alive,” Jamie Murray proclaimed on Twitter on Friday, before he and Laura Robson took to a Centre Court finally sheathed in shadow for the first round of their Mixed Doubles.

Pretty stirring stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree. Sadly, Andre Sa and Vera Zvonarëva are not followers of his social networking site – or, if they are, they are not that easily swayed – for they killed the dream stone-dead on Friday night.

Robson had already departed the first round of the ladies’ doubles the day before, while Murray had gone out of the men’s – he and his partner Jonny Marray put up quite a fight, going down in five sets to Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjić, the decider lasting 28 games (is that all?).

But this performance confirmed what his post had revealed, that the match had taken its toll. The British pair was thrashed in straight sets: 6-3 6-3.

At least, perhaps, it will be a relief to Kathy Robson. Her daughter might still have a hankering for Marat Safin, but let’s not forget, Murray has previous with his Mixed Doubles partners.

He famously whittled away the hours en route to winning the title back in 2007 by flirting happily with his partner Jelena Janković, until – rumour has it – her mother warned him away.

Of course, in reality, this partnership was never going to be like that, the 16-year-old Robson grinning at Murray like he was her older brother as they emerged on court, Murray loping in that curious way of his, Robson bounding alongside. Even so, the chemistry was off.

Sure, there were the high-fives between every point, the whispered strategy behind mouths obscured by a ball, but none of the instinctive communication successful doubles-pairings need.

Going for the same volleys, not knowing who was going forward and who back, or side to side, for that matter. Pretty basic stuff. Murray didn’t even let the lady leave court first.

The signs were ominous from the off. For starters, it took five minutes for Murray, sporting a crew-cut that a Marine would be proud of, to hold the first service-game of the match.

Robson was clearly nervous, at one point patting a dreadful volley into the net after Zvonarëva chased down a delightfully angled drop-shot from Murray, a point that should never have been lost.

Then they were unable to break, even though Sa was serving so slowly that his first effort rarely topped out at over 115 mph. No need for him to lighten up when it was Robson’s turn to face, then.

The first set disappeared in the blink of an eye, the second even faster. Robson’s serve was broken as Zvonarëva, drawing a bead on her opponent’s serve, whipped a forehand return down the line for a *2-1 lead in the first set.

From there, it was all downhill for their opponents, the Brazilian and Russian taking the match in a minute over the hour.

<snip>
<<<

--
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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Old May 24th, 2011, 02:34 AM   #14
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Full fourth-round TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================---------------------------
Fourth-round TV-report: Zvonarëva v Janković (Monday 28th June 2010)
--------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. JELENA JANKOVIĆ [4], 6-1 3-0 (30/15) retired (low-back injury)

It’s unfortunate that Janković was injured, but I’m very pleased with Vera’s form going into her first Wimbledon singles quarter-final – just the third Major singles quarter-final she’s ever reached in her career, following the French Open 2003 and her Australian Open 2009 semi-final.

Vera was on fire in this match, and richly deserved her victory. She hit several pinpoint backhand winners down the line, and numerous other winners (finishing with a total of 18).

Vera was taken to Deuce in her opening service-game, but held, and then broke to 30 with the help of an off-forehand dropshot-winner and a forehand drive-volley winner. She served a quadruple fault from *2-0 (40/0), but made up for it with an ace out wide for 3-0*.

Vera hit a crosscourt backhand winner, but otherwise took advantage of two Janković backhand errors and a double fault to break again for *4-0. She recovered from 15/40 to Deuce, but was broken for 4-1*.

Vera broke for *5-1 with the help of a pinpoint backhand winner down the line, then served out the first set to 15 with an off-forehand winner, a stunning forehand winner down the line, and an ace down the middle at set-point.

The first game of the second set was the best in the match, as they hit five winners between them, and Vera eventually broke for 6-1 *1-0 after four deuces. Vera held for 2-0* with an off-backhand winner and an ace down the middle.

Janković quadruple-faulted to go down 1-6 *0-2 (0/40), and sprayed a wild backhand very long at 30/40, giving Vera 6-1 *3-0.

Janković took a medical time-out, lying face down on a towel to get her lower back massaged. The next game began with Vera serving two aces down the middle, with a double fault in between, then Janković shook hands with Vera at 6-1 *3-0 (30/15).

Janković was in tears, while Vera looked wonderfully sympathetic – she’s one of the most compassionate players I’ve ever known.

Vera said: “To be honest, I wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on on the other side. I didn’t notice anything until she called the trainer to the court. I’m not sure what it was. She said something was bothering her. I wish her a quick recovery, and I hope it’s not serious.”


First set
---------
ZVONARËV *@*@_@* 6
JANKOVIĆ ____@__ 1

The match was first on Court 12, and started at 12:16 BST.

Vera serving 0-0: Vera on the third stroke hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 0/15. Janković off-forehand just wide. 15/15. Janković’s deep crosscourt forehand just inside the baseline forced Vera to bunt a forehand lob wide. 15/30. Janković netted a forehand. 30/30. Janković hit a down-the-line backhand just wide. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault #1 (second serve just long). Deuce #1. Ace #1: first serve out wide. Ad Vera (GP #1). Second serve... a longish baseline-rally ended with Janković hitting a crosscourt backhand wide. Held.

Virginia Wade: “I’m expecting this to be a real catfight, this match. In many ways, these two players are similar, because they both have phenomenal instinct off the ground. They just have such good timing off their groundstrokes. Zvonarëva /can/ be a little more aggressive.”

Janković serving 0-1: Janković went to the net behind a deep crosscourt backhand, forcing Vera to hit a backhand long. 15/0. A great rally culminated with Vera hitting a deep down-the-line backhand onto the baseline, pushing Janković close to the back fence, where she slipped and fell after bunting a forehand that clipped the netcord, and Vera was there to hit an off-forehand dropshot-winner. She held up her left palm in apology, as Janković was still sitting where she had fallen; she got up rather gingerly. 15/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Vera to hit a backhand return wide. 30/15. Vera went to the net, forced a floater, and hit a down-the-line forehand drive-volley winner that just clipped the outside edge of the sideline. Virginia Wade: “The ability of Vera Zvonarëva to really /hit/ that forehand, and then sneak in and hit shots like that, might make a difference.” 30/30. Vera hit a searing backhand down the line for a virtual winner: right in the corner. 30/40 (BP #1). Janković crosscourt forehand just wide. Broken.

Virginia Wade: “Something both of these players do so well is move their opponent around, really to the extremities of the court. Zvonarëva is hitting the ball a little bit earlier.”

Vera serving 2-0: Vera’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Janković to hit a forehand long. 15/0. Janković went for a big backhand down the line, but it was just wide. 30/0. Service-winner down the middle. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve just long). 40/15 (GP #2). Quadruple fault (second serve long again). Virginia Wade: “In Zvonarëva’s game, literally the one weakness she has is that there’s not a great deal of confidence with the second serve.” 40/30 (GP #3). Ace #2: first serve out wide, on the service-line. Held.

Virginia Wade: “[Janković is] being beaten by slightly faster balls that Vera can produce. They both are absolutely fantastically instinctive off the ground, and have such good timing. They’re as good as it gets, both of these two. I really love the way they move to the ball, get their preparation early, and strike the ball on the rise usually. The problem for Janković is that when it gets tight, she’ll not be able to hit /through/ her forehand. Zvonarëva /can/ hit through her forehand. They both have a few little temperamental weaknesses, and Zvonarëva used to go nuts on the court for no reason at all.”

Janković serving 0-3: Vera opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand onto the sideline, and hit a crosscourt backhand winner into the space she created. 0/15. Deep first serve forced a short return, giving Janković an easy crosscourt forehand winner. 15/15. Deep first serve down the middle forced Vera to net a backhand return. 30/15. Janković on the third stroke hit a backhand just long. 30/30. Janković netted a backhand. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Vera serving 4-0: Vera’s deep crosscourt backhand induced Janković to spray a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/0. First serve out wide: Janković hit an off-forehand return-winner just inside the sideline. 15/15. Janković’s down-the-line forehand forced a short ball that sat up nicely for Janković to hit a down-the-line forehand winner back behind Vera. 15/30. Double fault #4 (second serve into the net). 15/40 (BP #1). Serve + off-forehand deep into the corner forced Janković to stretch wide and earth a backhand. 30/40 (BP #2). First serve out wide + off-backhand winner deep in the corner. Deuce #1. Janković’s deep forehand down the line forced Vera to hit a backhand long. Ad Janković (BP #3). Vera went to the net, but Janković’s dipping forehand down the line forced her to net a low backhand volley. Broken.

Virginia Wade: “I can’t work out technically why she serves double faults, because there’s nothing wrong with her service-action. Zvonarëva had had some injuries earlier in her career. In 2007, she had something [a wrist-injury] that kept her off the Tour for a while. But she came back so strong, and much much calmer, in 2008. She got to the final of the season-ending championships, then was doing really well at the beginning of 2009. And then she got to Charleston, and she had a horrible twisted ankle with a fracture, and that completely put her back again. Now she’s finally beginning to find confidence and play well again.”

Janković serving 1-4: Second serve: Vera crosscourt forehand return wide. 0/15. Janković on the third stroke hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line. 15/15. Janković went to the net behind a deep crosscourt backhand on the service-line, forcing Vera to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/15. Off-forehand return + pinpoint backhand winner down the line: right in the corner. 30/30. Vera hit a deep, body-jamming forehand, forcing Janković to hit a wild off-backhand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Vera serving 5-1: Vera opened up the court with an off-backhand, and hit an off-forehand winner. 15/0. Vera, driven wide by a short-angled forehand onto the sideline from Janković, hit a stunning forehand winner down the line! Barry Davies: “She was practically in the front row when she played that!” Virginia Wade: “You’re admiring the placement from both girls. Zvonarëva anticipated, but it still didn’t look like she could get there.” Deep first serve out wide (on the service-line) forced Janković to hit a forehand return wide. 40/0 (SP #1 for Vera). Vera on the third stroke hit a down-the-line backhand just wide. 40/15 (SP #2 for Vera). Ace #3: first serve down the middle. Vera won the first set 6-1 at 12:40 BST (24m).

Virginia Wade: “Absolutely excellent first set. Janković worked out and got stronger, but I’m happy to say that she’s decided that wasn’t the right way to go. It was making her muscle-bound, and now she’s got back to her lithe condition.”


Second set
----------
ZVONARËV @*@ 3
JANKOVIĆ ___ 0 retired

Janković serving 0-0: First serve out wide + off-backhand back behind Vera forced Vera to stretch wide and net a forehand. 15/0. Vera crosscourt backhand + pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 15/15. First serve out wide + crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Janković on the third stroke netted a backhand. 30/30. Janković hit a stunning backhand winner down the line: right in the corner. 40/30 (GP #1). Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). Deuce #1. Vera on the fourth stroke hit a pinpoint crosscourt backhand winner onto the sideline. Ad Vera (BP #1). Vera’s return clipped the baseline... after a longish rally, she went to the net behind a down-the-line forehand, but Janković hit a crosscourt backhand pass-winner. Barry Davies: “Janković thought that she won that rally twice.” Deuce #2. First serve: Vera’s deep backhand return down the middle forced Janković to hit an off-forehand wide. Ad Vera (BP #2). Double fault #4 (second serve into the net). Broken.

So far, Vera is playing brilliantly, Janković very poorly apart from the occasional good point. It’s getting late early.

Vera serving 1-0: Janković backhand long. 15/0. Vera forced a short ball, and hit an off-backhand winner. 30/0. Ace #4: first serve down the middle. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Janković to net a backhand return. Held.

Virginia Wade: “I think Janković is beginning to think that she’s hurting.”
Barry Davies: “Mentally or anatomically?”
Virginia Wade: “I was thinking... she’s obviously strained a muscle in her leg, and when you’re doing as badly as this, it begins to get into your head.”

Janković serving 0-2: Janković forehand long. 0/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). Janković asked the umpire to see the trainer. He said she could wait until the changeover. 0/30. Quadruple fault (second-serve foot-fault). 0/40 (BP #1). Janković forced a floater, and dispatched it with a deep off-forehand forehand smash, forcing Vera to net a backhand. 15/40 (BP #2). First serve down the middle + crosscourt forehand winner. 30/40 (BP #3). Janković on the fourth stroke sprayed a wild backhand very long. Broken.

Barry Davies: “It’s something close to an /annihilation/ at this stage.”
Virginia Wade: “I’m assuming that Janković’s leg is hurting, but Zvonarëva is as ruthless as can be. Now Zvonarëva hasn’t always made smooth sailing out of her tennis-life. We all remember a match that she played at the US Open 2004: she was a set and a break up against Dementieva, and suddenly she changed ends and she’s got her head in her towel and she’s sobbing! And she went on to lose the match. So she can have terrible mental nightmares. She’s definitely improved in that category.”

Janković took a medical time-out, lying face down on a towel to get her lower back massaged.

Barry Davies: “However unfortunate for her opponent, that’s tough on Zvonarëva. She has to think about it for an extra time.”

There was a nice lingering close-up of Vera’s ankles as the TV-camera tried to get a look at the scar from her right-ankle surgery last November.

Vera serving 3-0: Ace #5: first serve down the middle. 15/0. Double fault (second serve just long). 15/15. Ace #6: first serve down the middle. 30/15. Janković went to the net to shake hands with Vera. Vera won 6-1 3-0 (30/15) (Janković retired with a low-back injury) at 12:59 BST (second set 18m, match 43m). Janković was in tears, while Vera looked wonderfully sympathetic.

Virginia Wade: “I think Zvonarëva is actually hitting really good form right at the right moment. Her next opponent will be the winner of Clijsters and Henin. If it’s Clijsters, we’ll see some absolutely amazing groundstrokes from the two of them. If it’s Henin, we’ll see a lot of variety. Whoever comes through, it should be a great match tomorrow.”


Article
-------

No.4 seed Janković pulls out [skytext 483]
>>>
Jelena Janković became a high-ranking casualty in the Ladies’ Singles at Wimbledon when she was forced to retire from her fourth-round match against Russia’s Vera Zvonarëva.

The No.4 seed from Serbia was trailing 0-3 in the second set – after losing the first 1-6 – when she decided to call it a day.

Janković won just 17 points in a first set that lasted only 24 minutes on Court 2, before being broken twice at the start of the second.

The No.21-seeded Zvonarëva, who is through to the last eight at SW19 for the first time, will now face Belgium’s Kim Clijsters in the last eight.

Zvonarëva said: “To be honest, I wasn’t paying any attention to what was going on on the other side. I didn’t notice anything until she called the trainer to the court.

“I’m not sure what it was. She said something was bothering her. I wish her a quick recovery, and I hope it’s not serious.”
<<<

--
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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Old Jul 18th, 2011, 09:41 PM   #15
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Full quarter-final TV-report

=================
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
=================-----------------------------
Quarter-final TV-report: Zvonarëva v Clijsters (Tuesday 29th June 2010)
----------------------------------------------

+ VERA ZVONARËVA [21,EF] d. KIM CLIJSTERS [8], 3-6 6-4 6-2

Vera couldn't have picked a better time to beat Clijsters for her first-ever time in six meetings, as it sets up the mouth-watering semi-final with Tsvetana Pironkova for which I had been wishing ever since Ana Ivanović lost on Day 1. Vera has reached her second-ever Major semi-final (her first coming at the Australian Open 2009 from only her third-ever Major quarter-final.

BBC commentator John McEnroe said that Vera was as calm and emotionally stable as he'd ever seen her on a big occasion. Mark Petchey said that Vera had prevented Clijsters from playing well by serving well.

The match was hard-fought from the start, with Vera's pinpoint down-the-line backhand setting up BP at 0-0* (Ad). Clijsters did well to hold that game, and Vera's beautiful short-angled one-handed backhand punch-volley winner on the stretch at 30/40* deserves a special mention!

Vera saved BP×3 at *1-2 (0/40), and hit a backhand drop-volley winner to set up GP, which she converted to hold for 2-2*.

Vera at *2-3 hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner, an ace down the middle and a high off-forehand punch-volley winner as she held to 15 for 3-3*.

With Clijsters as tight as a drum and haemorrhaging unforced errors, Vera had another BP in a game of five deuces at 3-3*, but Clijsters hit two winners to reach GP. Vera then sprayed a wild crosscourt forehand way long and wide, and emitted a cute little squeal.

Vera reacted to the disappointment of the missed BP by throwing in a bad service-game at *3-4, with a double fault and two unforced errors as Clijsters settled down. Clijsters served out the first set to 30 at *5-3.

In the second set, Vera had BP at 1-0* (40/30*), but Clijsters recovered well to hold serve. This time, Vera put the disappointment behind her by holding to love in the next game, and then breaking for *3-1 as Clijsters's forehand broke down after she led 30/0.

Vera came through a tough service-game of two deuces to make it 3-6 4-1*. She held again for 5-2* after an off-forehand drive-volley winner onto the sideline and an off-forehand smash-winner.

A very convincing hold to love by Clijsters forced Vera to serve for the set at *5-3; she was robbed by two dead-netcord winners from Clijsters - one at BP. However, Vera broke in the next game to take the second set 6-4, courtesy of two double faults by Clijsters - one at SP.

In the third set, Vera held to love for 1-0* (sealed with an off-forehand winner), and 2 BPs went begging in a game of four deuces (Clijsters saved them with an ace out wide and a one-two punch).

Vera went 1:1 *1-1 (0/30) down, but recovered with a high off-forehand punch-volley winner, a crosscourt forehand winner, and a forehand smash-winner, and secured a vital hold for 2-1*.

Vera used deep, error-forcing groundstrokes to break for 1:1 *3-1, and held to 15 for 4-1* as Clijsters made a series of cheap errors.

Vera's victory seemed in danger at *4-2 (15/30), and that was probably the key point of the match: Vera went to the net, got away with hitting her first volley straight back to Clijsters, and hit a down-the-line backhand volley-winner on her next stroke. Vera then hit a deep, error-forcing forehand followed by an ace down the middle to hold for 5-2*.

Clijsters opened her *2-5 service-game with a double fault, and Vera hit two error-forcing down-the-line drives (on backhand, one forehand) to set up MP×2 at 40/15*. A nailbiting rally, during which I thought my heart was going to explode, ended with Clijsters hitting an off-forehand winner to save the first MP, but she netted a forehand on the third stroke of the second MP.


First set
---------
ZVONARËVA _*_*_*___ 3
CLIJSTERS *_*_*_*@* 6

The match was first on Centre Court. Clijsters won the toss and elected to serve. There were ominous grey clouds in the sky - I think they're going to need to close the roof in the not-too-distant future! The match started at 13:09 BST.

Clijsters serving 0-0: Clijsters sprayed a forehand long, and already it has started raining. 0/15. Clijsters hit a short-angled crosscourt backhand to force a short one-handed backhand from Vera; Clijsters went to the net and hit a short forehand; Vera hit a delicate backhand lob, forcing Clijsters to retreat to the baseline while Vera went to the net, but Clijsters hit a pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line. BBC commentator John McEnroe: "Vera did the right thing here, but she doesn't have that same spring in her legs to track a shot like that down." 15/15. Second serve out wide: Vera netted a forehand return. 30/15. Vera sprayed a forehand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Vera hit a deep backhand down the middle - just inside the baseline - forcing Clijsters to hit a backhand just wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Vera went to the net and hit a beautiful short-angled one-handed backhand punch-volley winner on the stretch. Deuce #1. First serve forced a short return, which Clijsters dispatched with an off-forehand winner. Ad Clijsters (GP #3). Clijsters went for an off-forehand to the sideline, but it was just wide. Deuce #2. Vera's pinpoint backhand down the line forced Clijsters to net a running forehand. Ad Vera (BP #1). Clijsters picked off Vera's decent attempted forehand pass down the line with a crosscourt backhand punch-volley winner. Deuce #3. Vera on the fourth stroke hit a makeable backhand just wide. Ad Clijsters (GP #4). Deep first serve out wide induced Vera to hit a backhand return just long. Held.

Good resistance by Vera so far.

Vera serving 0-1: Deep first serve down the middle forced Clijsters to bunt a backhand return long. 15/0. Vera's deep backhand down the middle forced Clijsters to net a backhand. 30/0. Deep first serve out wide induced Clijsters to hit a forehand long. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide - just inside the sideline - forced Clijsters to hit a backhand return long. Held.

Clijsters serving 1-1: Clijsters earthed a backhand off a deep, low-bouncing crosscourt backhand from Vera. 0/15. Clijsters hit a deep crosscourt backhand onto the baseline, forcing Vera to net an early backhand. 15/15. Clijsters went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand drop-volley winner. 30/15. First serve out wide forced a short return, which Clijsters dispatched with an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 40/15 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Vera to hit a forehand return long. Held.

Vera serving 1-2: Second serve: Clijsters hit a stinging crosscourt forehand return just inside the sideline, forcing Vera to bunt a defensive down-the-line forehand that sat up nicely for Clijsters to hit a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 0/15. First serve: Clijsters's deep, body-jamming backhand return down the middle induced Vera to hit an off-forehand wide. 0/30. Clijsters ran down a poor dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line. 0/40 (BP #1). First serve out wide induced Clijsters to earth a mishit backhand return. 15/40 (BP #2). Clijsters on the fourth stroke unforcedly netted a backhand. 30/40 (BP #3). Clijsters netted a cheap forehand. Vera went to the net and hit a backhand drop-volley winner. Ad Vera (GP #1). Vera's deep crosscourt forehand forced Clijsters to hit a forehand long. Held.

Well recovered from 0/40! Unforced errors are creeping into Clijsters's game since then.

Clijsters serving 2-2: Clijsters hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 0/15. Deep first serve out wide forced Vera to hit a backhand long. 15/15. Vera forehand long. First serve out wide into Vera's hitting-zone: she hit a backhand return-winner down the line. 30/30. Clijsters hit an off-forehand winner onto the sideline. Vera used up a Hawk-Eye challenge to show that it was in by about 15% of the breadth of the sideline. 40/30 (GP #1). Vera mishit a backhand long. Held.

The rain threatened to come at the end of the last game, but is holding off for now.

Vera serving 2-3: Clijsters went to the net, but her approach was too short: Vera hit a down-the-line backhand pass-winner. 15/0. First serve out wide forced Clijsters to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 30/0. Ace down the middle: just inside the centre-line. 40/0 (GP #1). Vera went to the net, but mishit an off-forehand volley long, and emitted a cute little yell. 40/15 (GP #2). Vera went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand, forcing a floater, which she dispatched with a high off-forehand punch-volley winner. Held.

Clijsters serving 3-3: Clijsters hit a pinpoint off-backhand deep into the corner, forcing Vera to hit a short forehand down the line, which Clijsters dispatched with a crosscourt backhand winner. 15/0. Serve + deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera to hit a forehand long. 30/0. Clijsters netted an off-forehand. 30/15. Clijsters on the third stroke dumped a backhand into the net. 30/30. Clijsters crosscourt forehand winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Clijsters on the third stroke netted a backhand. Deuce #1. Clijsters went to the net and hit a backhand drop-volley winner. Ad Clijsters (GP #2). Vera's forehand return was called long, overruled as good by the umpire, and challenged by Clijsters: Hawk-Eye showed that it caught about 40% of the breadth of the baseline, so they replayed the point. Vera's deep backhand down the middle induced Clijsters to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #2. Vera hit a down-the-line backhand wide. Ad Clijsters (GP #3). Clijsters crosscourt forehand wide. Deuce #3. Clijsters sprayed a wild forehand about 10 feet long. Ad Clijsters (GP #4). Clijsters went to the net behind a crosscourt forehand: Vera hit a forehand pass long, and emitted a cute little squeal. Deuce #4. Clijsters netted a forehand. Ad Vera (BP #1). Clijsters hit a crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the outside edge of the sideline. Deuce #5. Clijsters hit a deep backhand winner down the line: on the baseline. Ad Clijsters (GP #5). Vera forced a short floater, but sprayed a wild crosscourt forehand way long and wide, and emitted another cute little squeal. Held.

It's a real shame that Vera couldn't break there. Clijsters is as tight as a drum, haemorrhaging errors right now.

Vera serving 3-4 (new balls): Vera dumped a forehand into the net. 0/15. Clijsters's deep backhand forced Vera to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. 0/30. Double fault (second serve long). Vera wasted a challenge. 0/40 (BP #1). Vera's deep crosscourt backhand forced Clijsters to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/40 (BP #2). Clijsters's short-angled crosscourt forehand forced Vera to hit a forehand wide. Broken.

Now Clijsters has settled down, and Vera's the one making unnecessary errors.

Clijsters serving 5-3: Vera forehand just long. 0/15. Vera netted a backhand, and slapped her hip in frustration. 15/15. Vera retrieved well, but Clijsters forced a floater and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner onto the sideline. Vera wasted her last challenge, but at least it gave her a few extra seconds to recover. 30/15. Vera's deep forehand forced Clijsters to hit a backhand long. 30/30. Clijsters's deep crosscourt backhand forced Vera to net a backhand. 40/30 (SP #1 for Clijsters). Body-jamming second serve induced Vera to hit an off-forehand return just wide. Clijsters won the first set 6-3 at 13:47 BST (37m).

John McEnroe: "Since her comeback, Clijsters is moving as well as before, and is mentally stronger. It's a heck of a combination!"


Second set
----------
ZVONARËVA *_*@*_*__@ 6
CLIJSTERS _*___*_*@_ 4

Vera serving 0-0: Clijsters backhand just long. 15/0. Virtual ace out wide. 30/0. Another great first serve out wide - just inside the sideline - forced Clijsters to earth a forehand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Vera netted a makeable forehand. 40/15 (GP #2). Vera's backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Held.

Clijsters serving 0-1: Second serve: backhand return just long. 15/0. Vera's deep crosscourt forehand return forced Clijsters to net a forehand. 15/15. Clijsters's depth forced Vera to hit a forehand just long. 30/15. First serve forced a short return down the middle, but Clijsters slapped a wild off-forehand into the net. 30/30. Vera hit an off-backhand winner just inside the sideline. 30/40 (BP #1). Clijsters went to the net behind a deep off-forehand, forcing Vera to hit a backhand lob long. Deuce #1. Ace out wide: just inside the sideline. Ad Clijsters (GP #1). First serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. Held.

That's three games now in which Vera has had BP but not broken. Last time, she played a bad service-game straight after.

Vera serving 1-1: Clijsters netted a backhand. 15/0. Deep first serve out wide forced Clijsters to hit a backhand return long. 30/0. First serve out wide forced Clijsters to net a forehand return. 40/0 (GP #1). First serve out wide forced Clijsters to net a backhand. Held.

Clijsters serving 1-2: Clijsters groaned when she thought her backhand was going long, but it landed on the baseline and she dominated the rest of the rally, her off-backhand inducing Vera to chop a defensive forehand long. The commentators discussed whether Clijsters should have lost the point because she groaned as if she'd missed. I say categorically not, because such a rule could easily be twisted into an anti-grunting rule, which is the last thing I want! 15/0. Clijsters hit a forehand onto the baseline, forcing Vera to mishit an off-forehand halfway up the net and wide. 30/0. Vera's down-the-line backhand forced Clijsters to net a forehand. 30/15. Clijsters hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 30/30. Clijsters hit a forehand wide. 30/40 (BP #1). Clijsters hit a forehand long. Broken.

Vera serving 3-1: Deep first serve down the middle forced Clijsters to net a forehand return. 15/0. Second serve: Clijsters dumped a cheap forehand return into the net. 30/0. First serve out wide + down-the-line forehand just wide. 30/15. Double fault #2 (second serve just long). 30/30. Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. 40/30 (GP #1). Clijsters went to the net and hit a deep crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner just inside the baseline. Deuce #1. Second serve: Clijsters hit a cheap crosscourt forehand return just wide. Ad Vera (GP #2). Vera went to the net behind an off-forehand; Clijsters hit a crosscourt backhand lob over Vera's left shoulder, forcing her to run back and hit a difficult high backhand volley that bounced very short and sat up nicely for Clijsters to take control with a deep off-forehand approach just inside the baseline + crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner from below the height of the net. Deuce #2. First serve out wide + deep forehand down the line forced Clijsters to bunt an off-backhand lob wide. Ad Vera (GP #3). Vera's backhand dropshot forced Clijsters to net a forehand. Held.

John McEnroe: "Vera is really mixing things up nicely with Clijsters, and has found another gear. It's nice to see, in this big match, that she's taking it to her. She's playing within herself, testing Clijsters."
Lindsay Davenport: "The big concern I had, coming into this match, was if Vera was going to be able to hold onto her serve. Only been broken the one time, so really doing an excellent job managing her service-games."

Clijsters serving 1-4: Clijsters backhand just long. 0/15. Second serve: Vera's deep crosscourt backhand return induced Clijsters to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Virtual ace: short-angled first serve out wide, on the sideline. 15/30. Clijsters's deep forehand forced Vera to hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 30/30. Clijsters's deep backhand down the line forced Vera to net a running forehand. 40/30 (GP #1). Deep first serve down the middle forced Vera to stretch wide and earth a forehand return. Held.

Vera serving 4-2: Vera played a great spreading rally, her deep down-the-line backhand forcing a floater that she dispatched with an off-forehand drive-volley winner just inside the sideline. 15/0. Clijsters's deep off-forehand forced Vera to net a backhand. 15/15. Deep first serve forced Clijsters to hit a backhand return just wide. 30/15. Vera went to the net, forced a short floater, let it bounce and hit an off-forehand smash-winner. 40/15 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced Clijsters to hit a forehand long. Held.

Lindsay Davenport: "Vera's been able to keep her level up, even though Kim's has dropped so significantly. That's not easy to do; sometimes your level rises and falls in conjunction with your opponent."
John McEnroe: "Is it possible that she's taken Kim Clijsters by surprise? You can't assume that Vera's going to let it go after [losing] the first set. All of a sudden, she found this /calm/. This is as confident and as emotionally stable as I've seen her on a big occasion."

Clijsters serving 2-5 (new balls): Clijsters's deep crosscourt backhand forced Vera to hit a down-the-line backhand wide. 15/0. Clijsters forced a floater, and dispatched it with a high crosscourt forehand drive-volley winner. 30/0. Vera crosscourt forehand wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Clijsters's deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera to earth a forehand. Held.

A very convincing game by Clijsters. Vera can't afford not to serve this out now...

Vera serving 5-3: Vera on the third stroke hit a forehand just long. 0/15. Clijsters's crosscourt forehand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner (Vera's forehand was "not up"). 0/30. Vera forced a floater, let it bounce, and made no mistake with an off-forehand smash-winner. 15/30. Clijsters's crosscourt backhand winner forced Vera to slide and do the splits. 15/40 (BP #1). Vera hit a short crosscourt forehand back behind Clijsters, inducing her to hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Clijsters's crosscourt backhand clipped the netcord and dropped dead for a winner. Broken.

Two netcords against Vera in that crucial game have put her really up against it now...

Clijsters serving 4-5: Clijsters hit a down-the-line forehand winner back behind Vera. 15/0. Clijsters hit the ball very aggressively, but sprayed a crosscourt forehand wide. 15/15. Double fault #1 (second serve long). 15/30. Vera's deep backhand induced Clijsters to spray an off-forehand wide. 15/40 (SP #1 for Vera). Vera hit a deep crosscourt forehand return onto the sideline, and wasted a challenge. 30/40 (SP #2 for Vera). Double fault #2 (second serve just long). Vera won the second set 6-4 at 14:24 BST (second set 36m, match so far 1h14m).

Justice was done for Clijsters's two netcord-winners in the previous game, and better yet, Vera has the advantage of serving first in the third.

Lindsay Davenport: "Two loose forehands and two double faults. That's when you've got to buckle down: make Vera /earn/ the second set. A surprising game by Kim."
John McEnroe: "Just absolute proof that we're all out there as human beings, trying to deal with our inner demons and our nerves. It was unexpected, but it's happened before, and it will happen again to even the best players. I suppose the fact that she had the luxury of the first set under her belt, and had some margin for error, was part of the reason why you saw that really, really poor effort there. At the very least, when you're playing someone who has a history of doing the very thing that you just did there, melting down mentally, you have to force /them/ to beat /you/ at a game like that."


Third set
---------
ZVONARËVA *_*@*_*@ 6
CLIJSTERS _*___*__ 2

Vera serving 0-0: Second serve out wide: down-the-line forehand return wide. 15/0. Deep first serve down the middle induced Clijsters to net a forehand. 30/0. First serve out wide forced Clijsters to net a forehand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Deep first serve out wide forced a short return, which Vera dispatched with an off-forehand winner onto the baseline. Held.

Clijsters serving 0-1: Clijsters on the third stroke hit a forehand just long. 0/15. Clijsters's deep crosscourt backhand induced Vera to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. 15/15. First serve out wide + down-the-line forehand winner. 30/15. Vera's deep forehand induced Clijsters to hit a backhand just long. 30/30. Clijsters went to the net, but Vera's awkward lob induced her to hit a high backhand volley long. 30/40 (BP #1). Body-jamming second serve induced a short return, which Clijsters dispatched with an off-forehand winner back behind Vera. Deuce #1. Second serve out wide induced Vera to net a makeable forehand return. Ad Clijsters (GP #1). Vera hit a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner, inducing Clijsters to net a forehand. John McEnroe: "The depth of Vera's groundstrokes have really got Kim on the defensive. She's not quite sure how to handle them." Deuce #2. Vera hit a pinpoint down-the-line backhand winner. Ad Vera (BP #2). Ace #2: first serve out wide. Deuce #3. Deep first serve down the middle forced Vera to bunt a backhand return long. Ad Clijsters (GP #2). Vera hit a down-the-line forehand just inside the sideline, forcing Clijsters to hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #4. First serve out wide + down-the-line forehand winner. Ad Clijsters (GP #3). Clijsters's deep crosscourt backhand induced Vera to hit a backhand long. Held.

Two BPs go begging, just as two MPs go begging for Tsvetana Pironkova at 6-2 5-2* on Court One.

Vera serving 1-1: Vera on the third stroke hit a forehand just long, and wasted a challenge: Hawk-Eye showed that it was long by about 20% of the breadth of the baseline. 0/15. Vera hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 0/30. Vera forced a floater, went to the net and hit a high off-forehand punch-volley winner. 15/30. Serve forced a short return, which Vera dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner. 30/30. Big first serve down the middle forced a floater; Vera's off-forehand drive-volley forced another floater, which she dispatched with an easy forehand smash-winner. 40/30 (GP #1). Vera on the third stroke dumped a forehand into the net, and sank to her haunches. Deuce #1. First serve out wide forced Clijsters to net a forehand return. Ad Vera (GP #2). Vera's crosscourt backhand to the sideline induced Clijsters to dump a backhand into the net. Held.

A vital hold for Vera after wasting two BPs in the previous game.

Lindsay Davenport: "Kim described Vera as a defensive player in her interview yesterday. Zvonarëva's been the opposite today, and that's why she's been successful. She's willing to come in. She's willing to go for her shots more than in the past."
Mark Petchey: "She stepped up to the line and played some of her finest tennis."
John McEnroe: "I've always thought that players should play some doubles to help their confidence at the net, and their /willingness/ to move forward. Vera Zvonarëva has had success in doubles, including the US Open win [Vera won the US Open 2004 Mixed Doubles and US Open 2006 Women's Doubles]. She has really shown some mental fortitude in her belief and willingness, and her technique is very excellent. I can only recall one mistake at net the entire match."

Clijsters serving 1-2: Clijsters hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Vera's deep, body-jamming backhand return down the middle forced Clijsters netted a forehand. Vera's deep crosscourt forehand forced Clijsters to hit a forehand. 15/30. Vera's deep backhand return down the line forced Clijsters to net a forehand. 15/40 (BP #1). Second serve: Vera opened up the court with a crosscourt forehand return, but hit an off-forehand just wide, and wasted her penultimate challenge. 30/40 (BP #2). Vera's deep backhand forced Clijsters to hit a forehand long. Broken.

Mark Petchey: "And the Achilles' heel for Clijsters appears once more in the shape of her forehand."
Lindsay Davenport: "Just has really struggled with pulling back, making balls. In the last two days, she's missing forehands by large, large margins."

Vera serving 3-1: Vera hit a deep backhand lob just inside the baseline, forcing Clijsters to hit a crosscourt forehand that clipped the netcord and fell wide. 15/0. Clijsters dumped an off-forehand halfway up the net. 30/0. Vera's crosscourt forehand induced Clijsters to dump a forehand halfway up the net. 40/0 (GP #1). Clijsters hit a forehand winner down Vera's right sideline. 40/15 (GP #2). Vera crosscourt forehand long. 40/30 (GP #3). Clijsters hit a loose backhand long. Held.

Clijsters is making cheap error after cheap error now.

I recently learned that Tsvetana Pironkova upset Venus Williams 6-2 6-3, so now the exciting prospect of a mouth-watering Vera v Tsvetana semi-final is coursing through my veins! And the thought of either one of them being in the final is just !

Clijsters serving 1-4: First serve out wide + forehand winner down the line. 15/0. Vera forehand just long. 30/0. Vera's forehand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 40/0 (GP #1). Vera's deep crosscourt backhand return induced Clijsters to slice a backhand long. 40/15 (GP #2). Double fault #3 (second serve into the net). 40/30 (GP #3). Clijsters's deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera to hit an off-forehand wide. Held.

Vera serving 4-2: Vera hit a crosscourt backhand winner back behind Clijsters. 15/0. Clijsters off-forehand drive-volley winner. 15/15. Clijsters's deep crosscourt forehand forced Vera back on her heels to net a forehand. 15/30. Vera went to the net, got away with hitting her first volley straight back to Clijsters, and hit a down-the-line backhand volley-winner on her next stroke. 30/30. Vera's deep forehand forced Clijsters to hit a backhand long. 40/30 (GP #1). Ace down the middle: just inside the service-line. Held.

A vital hold for Vera. I feared that my mouth-watering Vera v Tsvetana semi-final was slipping away at 15/30, but Clijsters's problems haven't gone anywhere.

Clijsters serving 2-5: Double fault #4 (second serve just long). 0/15. Vera showed off her excellent lateral retrieval, but ended up netting a backhand. 15/15. Vera's pinpoint down-the-line backhand forced Clijsters to hit a wild crosscourt forehand just wide. Clijsters wasted a challenge. 15/30. Vera's deep forehand down the line induced Clijsters to slice a backhand wide. 15/40 (MP #1 for Vera). A nailbiting rally, during which I thought my heart was going to explode, ended with Clijsters hitting an off-forehand winner. 30/40 (MP #2 for Vera). Clijsters on the third stroke netted a forehand. Zvonarëva won 3-6 6-4 6-2 at 14:56 BST (third set 33m, match 1h47m).

Lindsay Davenport (re. Vera): "She's not known as a grass-court player - more success on the slower courts, the clay courts - but she's timing her strokes so well, and the confidence that she must now have."

BBC presenter Rob Curling: "A lot of people will be disappointed about that, because Clijsters is very popular, but I think Vera Zvonarëva could become almost as popular."


Vera's BBC interview
--------------------

Rishi Persad: "Vera, what does your first-ever semi-final appearance here at Wimbledon mean to you?"

Vera: "I'm still excited about the match, but it is definitely one of my dreams to be playing here in the semi-final. I remember being as a kid watching Wimbledon on TV. I'm looking forward to the semi-final, and I'm really excited about my game today."

Persad: "This was your sixth match against Kim Clijsters. You picked a pretty good time to beat her for the first time!"

Vera: "It's amazing, because, like you said, I played her a few times and we always had tough matches, but she was just better than me those days. I was able to hang in there today, and I was able to play some good tennis out there."

Persad: "And how surprised are you to learn that your semi-final opponent is Tsvetana Pironkova and not Venus Williams?"

Vera: "Ooh! Right now, I think women's tennis is at a very high level: there is a lot of competition, and a lot of girls are playing great. So, obviously Venus has a great record here at Wimbledon, and she's always a favourite; she's a great player. But I think there are a lot of players, and I think it's gonna be a very tough match."

Persad: "Best of luck. Well done today."

Vera: "Thank you."

Vera was remarkably calm and composed in that interview, given how excited I was feeling at that moment! She speaks very well: both sweetly and thoughtfully. And she looked absolutely gorgeous, glowing with sweat, with her big, blue eyes, and a dimple in her left cheek when she smiled.

--
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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