Pattaya Daily News

11 February 2011 :: 11:02:04 am 50095

Vera’s Pattaya Victory Streak Hits 12

Lightning was never going to strike twice in the same place, after Wednesday’s stunning upset of third seed Maria Kirilenko by 560th ranked Galina Voskoboeva. But it tried, when top seed and two-time defending champion Vera Zvonareva faced Thai qualifier Nungnadda Wannasuk, ranked 475.
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PATTAYA, Feb 10 – Wannasuk had done well to qualify for the PTT Pattaya Open, but she had then reached the second round by beating another qualifier rather than highly-ranked opposition. So how would she perform against a quality opponent was an unknown. The answer was badly, and then very well indeed.

  

Zvonareva, the world number three and a finalist at both Wimbledon and the US Open last year, did what she was expected to do in the first set, taking it with ease against an error-prone opponent. Wannasuk double-faulted twice in succession in the opening game on the way to dropping her serve, and a third double-fault and then a backhand error resulted in a second break for 3-0.

In fact, Wannasuk didn’t earn a game point until she was 4-0 down, and although she held serve then she was broken for a third time at 5-1 when she made another backhand error.

Despite Wannasuk breaking Zvonareva in the first game of the second set, the match continued in the same vein as Zvonareva levelled at 1-1 and broke twice more to build a 5-1 lead. The match appeared to be over, but it wasn’t. Zvonareva served for the match and was broken. She served for the match again at 5-3, and was broken, as Wannasuk produced a flurry of aggressive groundstrokes that fell in the right places to leave the Russian increasingly frustrated.

 

Zvonareva eventually held serve again to lead 6-5, and two more double-faults from Wannasuk, her seventh and eighth of the match, gave Zvonareva match point. The Thai saved the first, but she hit wide on the second and her fightback, and her tournament, was over, 6-1 7-5.

“The most important thing from myself is to keep my concentration and I think that’s what I’m not really happy about today,” said Zvonareva. “She was just trying to go for her shots because she didn’t want to stay in a long rally with me.

“She was making it, not making it, making it again, not making it again, and it threw me out of my rhythm completely. Then when she was making her shots I was not playing my game anymore and was just putting the ball back and letting her play the way she wanted to play. I totally let her dominate from when I was 5-1, 5-2 up. That’s not how a top player should approach the situation.”

She wasn’t too happy with her play, then, but she was very happy to be back in Pattaya for a third time.

 

“I love it here,” she said. “Geoffrey Rowe, the tournament director, he’s putting up a great event. Seeing him and all his effort making players feel at home, it’s something that brings me back. I came here right after the Australian Open almost a week in advance and everyone is meeting me at the hotel and telling me welcome back home. It’s a great thing to hear.”

There was another fightback, which this time ended in victory, as eighth seeded Italian Sara Errani overcame Ayumi Morita of Japan. Morita dominated the match until she led 6-2 5-2, but Errani is a battler and she climbed back into the match in spectacular fashion, not only winning five straight games to level the match at one set all but then going on to claim the first three games of the final set. There was a brief slowdown in Errani’s march to victory as Morita broke for 1-3, but Errani then broke again to lead 4-1 and went on to win 2-6 7-5 6-2.

  

The match between fourth seeded Slovak Daniela Hantuchova and Japanese 40-year old Kimiko Date-Krumm was a closely contested affair, but that was expected. They had met three times before over the past 18 months, with the first two matches extending to three sets and the third ending 7-5 7-5. Kimiko won them all.

But the ‘old lady’ has been struggling a bit recently, with her first round victory over Renata Voracova in Pattaya being her first win in four tournaments this season. But she is still one of the toughest players on the tour to shake off, and it took Hantuchova 78 minutes to edge the first set in a tiebreak. Games then went with serve in the second set as Date-Krumm held off six break points. But she didn’t hold off the seventh and was broken at 4-3 and Hantuchova went on to win 7-6 6-3.

Hantuchova will now play Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova after she defeated South Africa’s Chanelle Scheepers 6-2 6-4.

Report by: pentanglepromotions

Photo by: Vanida Loupisalchai

Photo : PDN staff   Category : Sports News

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