Zvonareva Struggles, Ivanovic Cruises
by Dana Hatic|
World No. 3 Vera Zvonareva surged from a first set loss to win in three sets over wild card entry Dinara Safina, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 at the Sony Ericsson Open Friday night. Safina, a former World No. 1, entered the Sony Ericsson Open ranked 91st, and though she played strong tennis in her match against Jelena Dokic on Wednesday, it was not enough to top Zvonareva.
The two Russians had a ‘battle of the breaks’ on stadium court, with a collective 19 break-point chances, along with some impressive rallies. Safina played a number of cross-court shots, forcing Zvonareva to chase down points, but Zvonareva took advantage of break-point opportunities in the second and third sets, to gain the advantage. She converted six breaks in those sets, and was able to serve out the match.
Ana Ivanovic, seed 19, debuted in the evening match against Kimiko Date-Krumm. Ivanovic closed out the match in an hour, 6-2, 6-0. She also defeated Date-Krumm, in the second round of Indian Wells this year. Date-Krumm came out of a 12-year retirement in 2008, and has since risen to 54 in the world rankings. Ivanovic will face Virgine Razzano next.
Former champion Victoria Azarenka won her match in three sets, advancing over qualifier Lucie Hradeka, 7-5, 4-6, 6-0. The native of Belarus won this tournament in 2009 and reached the quarter-finals of Indian Wells last week, where she lost to eventual champion Caroline Wozniacki. Azarenka next faces Dominika Cibulkova.
No. 5 Francesca Schiavone won her first match of the tournament 6-4, 6-4, over Germany’s Angelique Kerber, and Marion Bartoli triumphed over Ayumi Morita in three sets 6-3, 2-6, 6-1. The No. 15 French seed reached the finals of Indian Wells last week, but lost to Caroline Wozniacki. Bartoli faces Ekaterina Makarova in the next round.
Makarova joined Lourdes Dominguez Lino and Virginie Razzano in upsetting seeded players today, defeating Alisa Kleybanova, Tsvetana Pironkova and Kaia Kanepi, respectively.
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