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JJ, Sveta and Flavia Into Dubai Semis

Posted by gauloises1 on February 19, 2011

Head-to-heads are weird things, aren’t they? Take the third of today’s quarter-finals, Flavia Pennetta v Alisa Kleybanova. Not only was Kleybs coming into this match with straight set wins over Jarmila Groth and Vera Zvonareva under her belt, she was facing a woman who you would think she could hit off the court – a woman moreover who had gone to three in her previous two matches (against Azarenka and Zakapalova) and was suffering a leg strain sustained in the former. Yet Pennetta led the H2H 3-0, and Kleybs barely got a look in today. Against Pennetta’s speed, retrieving and all-court game, she looked pretty helpless and hopeless. She just couldn’t get her feet under her and you’re left thinking … 3-0, there’s a reason for that.

Which brings me to JJ, another winner today against Stosur. Not that reason is any particular help in considering the counterpunching conundrum that is Jelena Jankovic. I mean, why is it that she can go from looking so woebegone in Australia to making a good, deep run here? She’s got her family around her, she’s smiling, and while she isn’t precisely going about things in the most straightforward fashion – Kanepi served for the match against her, let us not forget, and she squandered a commanding position in today’s match before eventually winning in a third set tiebreak – she doesn’t look lost out there. She looks like she knows what she’s doing, and a knowing-what-she’s-doing-looking JJ is a dangerous JJ, if you know what I mean. Under the circumstances, it’s a day when you can look at her H2H with Wozniacki – JJ leads 4-0 – and think … there’s a reason for that. I hope she proves me right.

 

Don’t even get me started on these two, who played what I thought was the most entertaining match of the day. Radwanska spends much of 2010 looking listless, playing error-strewn tennis, and generally giving the impression that the rest of the field has caught up with her precocity and left it behind. Then she suffers a bad injury, and although she returns absurdly soon in Australia, I assume that the early months of 2011 are going to be pretty much a write-off. But no. She reaches the quarter-final in Melbourne, looking stronger with every match; equals that accomplishment here and really should have taken at least a set off Kuznetsova before succumbing. And she seems energised, and strong, and committed. Let her build up a head of steam and I really think she could be a thing this year.

As for Kuznetsova, I did say I had a feeling about her …

All of this is to say: WTA, you put the “fun” in “funemployment”. Don’t ever change.

Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (9) Shahar Peer (ISR) 62 64
(6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) d. (4) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 63 57 76(4)
(16) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) d. (8) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 76(7) 63
(11) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (15) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 62 60

Doubles – Semifinals
(2) Huber/Martínez Sánchez d. (WC) Kuznetsova/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) w/o (Zvonareva: right elbow injury)

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. (6) Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) 62 64
(2) Huber/Martínez Sánchez (USA/ESP) d. (7) Raymond/Stosur (USA/AUS) 63 46 107
(4) Azarenka/Kirilenko (BLR/RUS) d. Mirza/Vesnina (IND/RUS) 64 62
(WC) Kuznetsova/Zvonareva (RUS/RUS) d. Hantuchova/Radwanska (SVK/POL) 76(7) 64

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