Anabel's Reascension, Sam & Maria To Clash
Published March 26, 2011 12:00
MIAMI, FL, USA - Anabel Medina Garrigues continued her WTA resurgence on Saturday afternoon, defeating Elena Vesnina to set up a fourth round duel against Jelena Jankovic at the $4.5-million Sony Ericsson Open.
After years of coming close, Medina Garrigues broke into the Top 20 in 2009, spending 18 weeks in there that year. The fire wasn't burning as strong in 2010 as she fell out of the Top 70 and after her losing streak in WTA main draws got to 11 in a row at Bogotá last month, she fell to No.92, her lowest since 2003.
Since heading to Acapulco she is a much healthier 7-2, reaching the semifinals there, the second round at Indian Wells (losing to Maria Sharapova in a near-three hour nail-biter) and now the fourth round here. She scored a shock 62 62 upset over No.10 seed Shahar Peer in the second round two days ago and on Saturday was solid again, dispatching Vesnina in the third round, 63 64.
"I started to play really well in Indian Wells and I'm continuing to play well here," Medina Garrigues said. "I was really hoping to beat Shahar, she's No.11 in the world. I knew Elena would be tough too, but I focused and was moving well."
Medina Garrigues, who has nine WTA titles to her name, commented on the recent turnaround. "I didn't play very well last year. I had a lot of first round losses. It was the same at the start of this year. I wasn't confident. But I stopped thinking about winning the matches and started working very hard. I started being more aggressive and pushing through my forehand more, because everyone is very strong now and if you don't do that they hit winners very easily."
Next up for Medina Garrigues is No.6 seed Jelena Jankovic, who won nine of 10 games from 4-5 in the opening set to beat No.32 seed Klara Zakopalova, 75 61. "All of the players in the fourth round are tough, so I'll just try to enjoy it," Medina Garrigues added. "Tomorrow I'll think about playing Jelena."
Also setting up a fourth round clash were two of the biggest names in the game, Sam Stosur and Sharapova. Stosur, the No.4 seed, almost let a 5-2 second set lead go but closed out her first win in four career meetings against No.30 seed Lucie Safarova, 60 76(1), while No.16 seed Sharapova won 10 straight games from 2-all and needed just 58 minutes to beat wildcard Sabine Lisicki, 62 60.
"Sam is a Top 5 player and has been so consistent. I really look forward to that match. We haven't played each other for a while," Sharapova said. "Personally I have to put the previous encounters behind me. I'll take a few things that worked well for me before and try to use them again, but it has been a while, and it's always a new match. That's why they put the nets up for us to play. That's why we go out there and have to play again, no matter what the record is."
Other winners during the day session were Peng Shuai, who stunned No.11 seed and former Miami champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, 63 61, and No.26 seed Alexandra Dulgheru, who routed Johanna Larsson, 62 61. Dulgheru and Peng will play each other for the first time in the next round.
Japanese No.1 Kimiko Date-Krumm has set up a personal fund called Always Smile to help the Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. If you would like to help out, please visit http://www.kimiko-date.com/gien/index.html.