Lisicki In Quarterfinals, Zvonareva Up Next
CARLSBAD, CA, USA - World No.3 Vera Zvonareva led a seeded charge into the quarterfinals of the Mercury Insurance Open on Thursday, winning 10 straight games to finish off Vera Dushevina as the third round took the courts.
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Zvonareva, seeded No.1 at the Premier-level tournament, was at 2-3 against her fellow Russian when she shifted to a new gear, not losing a single game the rest of the way en route to the one-hour, one-minute victory on Stadium Court.
“I started off a little bit slow with some ups and downs, but then I really picked it up and it was a little bit better, a little bit cleaner than my previous match,” Zvonareva said. “I played well on key points - there were a few games where she came back from 15-40, but every time I was able to keep on top of her.”
Zvonareva is the only Top 10 player in the field. In press she was asked how being a heavy favorite on paper makes her feel. “Probably everyone is going to say the same thing about the first seed every tournament. But I know every single match is tough, every single opponent is tough. You can’t underestimate anyone, especially at a tournament this big. But I do believe in myself.”
Awaiting Zvonareva in the quarterfinals will be No.12 seed Sabine Lisicki, who beat Coco Vandeweghe at night, 64 63. Lisicki has now won 17 of her last 19 matches and although Zvonareva leads their head-to-head, 2-0, Lisicki did come very, very close to winning in their last match (read about that here).
The other seeds in action went 5-0. No.2 seed Andrea Petkovic was leading 62 30 when Virginie Razzano retired with a shoulder injury; No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska routed Christina McHale, 61 60; No.4 seed Peng Shuai saved two match points to beat No.15 seed Sara Errani, 46 62 76(7); No.5 seed Ana Ivanovic eased past Alberta Brianti, 61 62; and No.8 seed Daniela Hantuchova rallied from 2-4 in the third to beat Zheng Jie, 62 46 64.
“I was patient, which is important against players like Brianti,” Ivanovic said. “I’ve played Vinci a lot of times. I asked my coach if she played like Vinci and he said yes, so I knew how to play. It was tougher than the score makes it look.”
In the only all-unseeded match, American wildcard Sloane Stephens won when Tamira Paszek had to retire in the first set due to an abdominal injury.
“I hope she’ll get better soon,” said the 18-year-old Stephens, who is now in her first WTA quarterfinal. “I was just telling my mom a few weeks ago I never get any retirements, that I was so annoyed! I know that sounds awful, but there are some players who get them almost every single tournament!”
The other quarterfinal match-ups for Quarterfinal Friday are Petkovic against Stephens (a first time meeting), Radwanska against Hantuchova (Radwanska leads 4-2) and Peng against Ivanovic (Ivanovic leads 2-0).
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