Vesnina Ousts Mauresmo in SFs
Published August 28, 2009 11:59
NEW HAVEN, CT, USA - The rains poured on New Haven on Saturday but the semifinals were moved indoors and it was Caroline Wozniacki and Elena Vesnina who made the Pilot Pen Tennis presented by Schick final.
The first to advance to the title match was No.2 seed Wozniacki, who was tied at 4-all in the opening set when she completely pulled away from No.3 seed Flavia Pennetta, winning eight of the next nine games to beat the Italian, 64 61, her second win in as many career meetings against her.
"We were waiting around all day and it's always hard to wait, but I'm happy that I won and that's the most important thing," Wozniacki said. "During the delay I was just lying in the bed, reading some magazines... I've already read all the books I had with me here, so I couldn't even do that. I went to watch some of the football practice too - that was a lot of fun. It was nice to meet the team."
"It was difficult for everyone - for us, the Tournament Director, the crowd... but for us it was better we played today, because we have to go to New York now," Pennetta said. "I had my chances today and didn't make it. I'm happy about this tournament anyway. I played three good matches and now I can rest a little bit. It's not a good thing to lose, but I can find something positive."
Vesnina followed up her second round upset of No.9 seed Samantha Stosur with a semifinal upset of No.8 seed Amélie Mauresmo, recovering from a tight first set loss to beat the former world No.1, 57 61 62. Mauresmo looked to be rebounding in the third set, breaking serve in the first game then holding eight points on her own serve to go up, 2-0, but she lost that game momentum.
"I was just trying to find my game in the first set. I was hitting every ball to put pressure on her, just trying to play some rallies and put more placement. But she was playing me like a pussy cat - moving me one corner to the other," Vesnina said. "In the second set I started to be more aggressive and I started serving a lot better. I'm really happy to be in the final of such a big tournament."
"She's more consistent throughout the match and the points," said Mauresmo, who beat Vesnina in their only previous meeting, in 2006. "I was telling you guys she has improved a lot lately and it shows. The way she plays, the way she covers the court - and she serves better. Her whole game has improved."
Vesnina has only been to one singles final before on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, at Auckland earlier this year (where she was runner-up to Elena Dementieva). On the other side of the net, Wozniacki has been to 10 finals before, going 5-5 in those - including 2-4 in her six finals this season.
Wozniacki has won two of three meetings with Vesnina, but they are 1-1 this year. Wozniacki won their first meeting at Stockholm in 2007, and this year, Vesnina won in the quarterfinals of Auckland, 63 06 63, and Wozniacki won in the semis of Ponte Vedra Beach, 26 63 76(4). Vesnina had four match points.