Jankovic & Zvonareva Round Out Final Four
Published February 24, 2011 12:00
DOHA, Qatar - Daniela Hantuchova and Klara Zakopalova had pulled off upsets en route to the quarters of the Qatar Ladies Open, but that's where their runs would end, as Vera Zvonareva and Jelena Jankovic held their ground.
Zvonareva and Hantuchova were first to take the court, and it turned out to be a marathon. Hantuchova had just beaten Zvonareva in Pattaya City two weeks ago and this week had already upset No.6 seed Victoria Azarenka.
After losing the first set, Hantuchova built a 5-2 lead in the second set, holding two set points at 5-3; she ended up closing the second set out in a tie-break and again building leads in the third set: 3-1, 4-2 and 5-3. There were no match points but she couldn't have been closer, and Zvonareva, the No.2 seed, won the last four games to prevail in three hours and nine minutes, 75 67(5) 75.
"I'm disappointed to lose as I had so many chances. You never want to lose matches like this," Hantuchova commented afterwards. "I felt like I got on top of her but she still found a way to take it. I beat her in Pattaya, but she's No.3 in the world for a reason. It's matches like this she finds a way to win."
"Daniela is a great player and we always seem to have great battles on the court, like in Pattaya," Zvonareva said. "Anybody would feel emotional after that second set and how I fought to get back into it. I just tried to keep the focus on playing my game. I wasn't looking at the clock and I never gave up.
"I'm so happy to have closed it out. It was a very tough match."
Jankovic, the No.5 seed, rounded out Day 4 play in Doha with a 62 64 win over lucky loser Zakopalova. Zakopalova, who was celebrating her 29th birthday, had beaten No.4 seed Li Na en route to the quarters and had won two of her three previous meetings against Jankovic, but couldn't keep up this time.
"I just focused on my game and my tennis and I'm glad I was able to win today," Jankovic said afterwards. "I feel really good about my game lately. I've had some pretty good wins. I've played some really good tennis so I look forward to playing in the semifinals. I'll try my best and hopefully I can play well."
Zvonareva leads Jankovic in their head-to-head series, 7-6, and has won their last four meetings in a row (and last eight sets in a row).