Ivanovic Survives, Kirilenko Conquered
Published February 09, 2011 07:31
PATTAYA CITY, Thailand - The PTT Pattaya Open experienced its first significant upset of the week Wednesday when qualifier Galina Voskoboeva staged a remarkable comeback against No.3 seed Maria Kirilenko.
A right shoulder injury that sidelined her from after last year's French Open until the start of this year resulted in Voskoboeva being the lowest-ranked player in the Pattaya draw at No.560. In fact, this is her first WTA event since that first round loss at Roland Garros.
However, now after winning two qualifying matches here, then a tight three-setter over Romina Oprandi in her main draw opener and then a 16 75 64 defeat of the 25th-ranked Kirilenko in the second round, Voskoboeva has matched her career best results, quarterfinal showings at Québec City in 2008 and Warsaw in 2009. Wednesday's win was the WTA's biggest upset in terms of ranking differential since unranked Aiko Nakamura beat No.154 Alexandra Panova at Osaka last October.
Voskoboeva worked especially hard for this one, as she was down 61 52 and had three match points against her with the Russian serving at 5-4, 40-0 in the second set before the Kazakh rallied. Voskoboeva was also down 3-1 in the third set when she staged another comeback. Her only victory over a higher-ranked player in her career than Kirilenko came against 24th-ranked Anna Chakvetadze in the first round of New Haven in 2006.
"Jill is a tough opponent," Ivanovic said. "I lost such a close match at the Australian Open, so today was very tough, especially mentally in the end. I'm happy I was able to win this one."
Ivanovic lost a tight three-setter in her opener in Melbourne to Ekaterina Makarova on the heels of pulling out of Sydney with an abdominal injury.
"It's getting better now," she said. "I still receive treatment for it, but I'm not suffering from it anymore."
Ivanovic, who next takes on fifth-seeded Roberta Vinci, is playing in Pattaya City for the first time.
"I like the tournament and the city," she said. "The people are all friendly to me and I feel very welcome here. It is a very warm feeling. I like it."