Vesnina Ousts Stosur, Wozniacki Toughs It Out
Published April 07, 2011 12:00
CHARLESTON, SC, USA - The underdogs brought their A-games at the Family Circle Cup on Thursday, as the entire round of 16 took the courts. No.1 seed Caroline Wozniacki survived; No.2 seed Samantha Stosur did not.
Wozniacki was the first to take Stadium court, and she had to battle for over two and a half hours to beat No.15 seed Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 76(6) 76(9).
Wozniacki let an early 4-1 lead slip and saved a set point before taking the first set in a tie-break; she fought back from 0-2 in the second set and missed five match points in the breaker, eventually saving a set point against her before closing Zahlavova Strycova out with an overhead on her sixth match point.
"I had a good start to the first set. I had chances in every game to finish off the set easily, but I missed a few shots and she was suddenly back in the game," Wozniacki said. "She's a fighter. She is a tricky opponent because you never know what to expect. She serves and volleys, then she plays high, then she just goes for it. It was difficult today. I'm happy to have pulled it through."
Zahlavova Strycova got her best career win over a No.14-ranked Petra Kvitova this year; she was looking for her first Top 10 win. "These matches are difficult because she's No.1," the Czech said. "I had set point in the first and the second set, and if you don't win these points, it's tough to win these matches.
"I played pretty good and I didn't make it, so it hurts a lot."
Stosur, the defending champion, wasn't so fortunate, falling to Elena Vesnina later on, 64 61. Stosur, who stormed to her biggest WTA title at this tournament a year ago, led 4-2 before losing 10 of the last 11 games of the match.
"A lot of things went wrong for me, unfortunately," Stosur said. "Elena played quite well. She served well and hit the ball well, and I wasn't able to really do anything to negate her hitting the ball low and flat and kind of rushing me during the points. I started well, then lost serve and the wheels kind of fell off."
The crowd tried to help rally Stosur in the second set, but to no avail. "I felt their support in the match. I would love to have played better and gotten myself back into it and be here another day, but unfortunately I'll have to wait for next year."
Vesnina was thrilled with the victory, her second in three meetings with the Australian. "This means a lot to me," the Russian said. "It has been a long time since I beat a Top 10 player. It was last year in Cincinnati I think, so that's why it was very important or me to stay focused the whole match and close it out."
Other daytime winners were No.11 seed Peng Shuai, who missed out on four match points at 5-4 in the second set but rebounded in the third for a 63 57 62 win over No.7 seed Nadia Petrova; No.12 seed Julia Goerges, who upset No.5 seed Shahar Peer, 62 63; Christina McHale, who was down 4-1 in the first set but rallied to beat No.10 seed Daniela Hantuchova, 76(3) 61; and qualifier Sania Mirza, who beat German wildcard Sabine Lisicki, 64 64.
At night, No.3 seed Jelena Jankovic beat Chanelle Scheepers, 62 62. "I played a pretty good match. There were some tough points, some interesting points where I was sliding and hitting a lot of balls," Jankovic said. "I'm trying to adjust my movement to the clay, and I think I'm doing pretty well. I still need some work, but I'm getting better. I look forward to my next match."