Vera's Pattaya Victory Streak Hits 12

Vera Zvonareva is into the quarters in Pattaya City, as is Daniela Hantuchova, who got her first career win over Kimiko Date-Krumm.

Published February 10, 2011 03:48

Vera's Pattaya Victory Streak Hits 12
Vera Zvonareva, Nungnadda Wannasuk

PATTAYA CITY, Thailand - Before Thursday, Kimiko Date-Krumm had played Daniela Hantuchova three times since the Japanese made a comeback in 2008 after a more than 10-year retirement.

Watch the semifinals and final from Pattaya City live on TennisTV!

And despite being lower ranked all three times, Date-Krumm eliminated Hantuchova each time, albeit all three of them close. However, the fourth-seeded Hantuchova finally recorded her first win in the career series in second round action at the PTT Pattaya Open, 76(3) 63. It wasn't easy, though, as Hantuchova lost three straight games after taking a 5-3 first set lead before holding serve to force the tie-break, where she seized control of the match.

"I just tried to be really aggressive and focus on the first point to the last," Hantuchova said. "I think physically I'm in much better shape now than in the previous meetings. I was fighting for every point and never gave up on anything."

In addition to exacting some revenge, the victory also appears to be more evidence that Hantuchova has shaken off her sluggish start to the season. Prior to this week, the Slovak had lost in the first round of both events she played - Sydney and the Australian Open - in addition to dropping her two Fed Cup matches last weekend, as she slipped to No.32, her worst ranking since June 2009. However, now after having reached at least the quarterfinals here, where she will take on Akgul Amanmuradova, her confidence should be on the rise.

Also Thursday, top seed and two-time defending champion Vera Zvonareva extended her Pattaya City winning streak to 12 with a 61 75 defeat of qualifier Nungnadda Wannasuk.

"I love coming back here and I love playing here, but I don't really think about the streak or count how many matches I've won in a row here," said Zvonareva, who has only lost one set in her last three appearances at this event. "Every match is a new match, every day is a new day. I have to concentrate on the next one and not on the past."

Despite her victory streak surviving, Zvonareva wasn't thrilled with her game, especially in the second set, in which she dropped four straight games after taking a 5-1 lead.

"I'm pretty happy I won this match, but I wasn't happy the way I performed at times," said Zvonareva, who in Friday's quarterfinals will play No.6 seed Peng Shuai, whom she is 6-0 in her career against. "I felt my concentration level wasn't there throughout the whole match. She was a tough opponent, though. She was the last Thai player in the draw and had a lot of support from the crowd. I'm happy the way I handled the situation and won it in two sets, although I had more chances earlier in the second set."

Another quarterfinal match of interest will be second-seeded Ana Ivanovic against fifth-seeded Roberta Vinci. The Serb is undefeated in four career matches against the Italian.

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