Chakvetadze beats Venus Williams
AP, CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIAAP, WASHINGTONAP, SOPOT, POLANDAP, STOCKHOLM
Sunday, Aug 05, 2007, Page 23
Venus Williams failed to capitalize on a match point and lost her Acura Classic quarter-final to Anna Chakvetadze as the No. 3 seed earned a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory on Friday.
Chakvetadze squandered the first set after leading 5-2. The Russian double-faulted eight times in the match, three times giving games to Williams in the set. Included in that span was a set point that No. 10 seed Williams saved before going on to win the set in a tiebreak.
Chakvetadze trailed 5-3 in the second set before bouncing back. Williams held a match point at 5-4 before Chakvetadze broke serve. Both players held serve to force the tiebreak, which was won by Chakvetadze as she took advantage of several errors by the US player.
The 20-year-old Russian handled Williams easily in the final set to beat the Wimbledon champion.
"It was the biggest win in my career, but I am already thinking about tomorrow," Chakvetadze said. "I was fighting until the end. I think that was why I won."
Chakvetadze will face No. 1 seed Maria Sharapova in the semi-finals after her compatriot defeated India's Sania Mirza 6-2, 6-1.
"I'd rather take these matches than be playing 7-6 in the third set out in the heat," Sharapova said.
"From the beginning of the match, I played my game," said the world No. 2. "I did a really good job of serving well and stepping it up when I had to."
Patty Schnyder of Switzerland claimed another upset with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over No. 4 seed Nadia Petrova to advance to the other semi-final.
"She's a dangerous opponent with her big serve and her powerful groundstroke," the 11th-seeded Schnyder said. "For me, it was still a great win. I never expected to win it that easily."
No. 9 seed Elena Dementieva defeated fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-4 for a semi-final berth against Schnyder. Dementieva, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, lost to Schnyder in straight sets here last year in the semi-finals.
"I've never played against Maria before so I got a little bit nervous in the beginning," Dementieva said. "It was a quite difficult match even though the score was easy."
Schnyder was confident of making her first appearance in a final in more than a year.
"I'm feeling great out on the court," she said. "The last three days I know where my shots are going. Everything seems to be working. I just want to keep it up for the weekend."
Andy Roddick didn't need much of a scouting report before winning his spot in the semi-finals of the Legg Mason Tennis Classic by beating Lee Hyung-taik.
It was the second straight week he has defeated the South Korean in a quarter-final and the 7-6 (6) 6-2 victory took his career record against Lee to 10-1.
"He gets into a groove and sometimes you kind of just have to stay the course, wait for your opportunities," Roddick said. "I felt like I did a good job of that."
Roddick, who won here in 2001 and 2005, broke Lee twice in the second set after nearly losing the first.
In the tiebreaker, Roddick fell behind 5-4 but some unforced errors by Lee gave the opening set to the US player.
Roddick's semi-final opponent will be No. 7 Ivo Karlovic, who had 29 aces in a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Paul Capdeville.
It's a match Roddick said could take a while.
"It's not going to be a lot of rallies. It's probably going to come down to a tiebreaker or two, a couple of points here and there," Roddick said. "With him it's difficult, sometimes you can play well and lose and sometimes you can play badly and win."
The biggest surprise in the semi-finals is John Isner, a 2.06m US player in just his second ATP Tour event.
He served 30 aces to upset second-seeded Tommy Haas 6-4, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5). Haas was playing in his first tournament since pulling out of Wimbledon because of a torn stomach muscle.
In the final tiebreaker, Isner took a 6-4 lead when a forehand from Haas sailed wide. He closed the match when Haas couldn't handle a serve to his backhand.
Isner's semi-final opponent will be No. 9 Gael Monfils, who beat third-seeded Marat Safin 6-3, 7-5.
It is the second time this year the Frenchman has reached a semi-final and the first time this year on hardcourts.
Monfils broke Safin in the second set to take a 6-5 lead and finished off the match with one of his 14 aces.
Tommy Robredo rallied to beat Stefan Koubek 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 on Friday and advance to the Prokom Open semi-finals. However, it was the news that an investigation was opened on suspicious betting patterns for a second-round match at the clay-court event that dominated attention.
Robredo, the 2001 champion and sole seeded player remaining at No. 2, trailed 3-0 in the second set before finding his range against the 30-year-old Austrian.
Jose Acasuso, the 2002 champion, beat seventh-seeded Florian Mayer of German 7-6 (4), 6-3.
But the quarter-finals were overshadowed by tennis officials planning to investigate betting patterns on Thursday's match between top-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia and the 87th-ranked Martin Vassallo Arguello.
In an unprecedented move, British online gambling company ******* voided all bets on Friday placed on the match after the Russian retired after aggravating a left foot injury while trailing 2-6, 6-3, 2-1.
******* said it received about US$7 million in bets on the match -- 10 times the usual amount.
Eighth-seeded Vera Dushevina of Russia beat Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-3 on Friday to advance to the Nordic Light Open semi-finals. The other three quarter-finals -- pitting No. 3 Emilie Loit against Julia Georges, Caroline Wozniacki against No. 2 Angieszka Radwanska and Tsvetana Pironkova against Stephanie Cohen-Aloro -- were postponed until yesterday because of rain.