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Zvonareva Moves On, Schiavone Cruises

Vera Zvonareva saved match point and survived an epic battle with Sabine Lisicki on Wednesday.

Published May 25, 2011 12:00

Zvonareva Moves On, Schiavone Cruises
Vera Zvonareva

PARIS, France - In a dramatic ending to Day 4, Vera Zvonareva rallied back from a hefty third set deficit to a struggling Sabine Lisicki, who - after losing the match, 46 75 75 - was carried off the court on a stretcher, visibly distressed.

Lisicki, a former No.22 who has fallen to No.121 after lengthy struggles with a left ankle injury, was looking like the player of old early on, firing big serves and forehand winners all over the court to get within two points of victory at 64 54.

Even after the No.3-ranked Zvonareva pushed the match to a third the German went ahead again, going up 5-2 with match point on a Zvonareva second serve - she missed a forehand return long. "I didn't have much in my mind," Zvonareva said. "I was just trying to focus one point at a time and fight like I did since the very first point. I got a little lucky and was able to turn the match around."

After Zvonareva caught up to 4-5, Lisicki had a medical timeout. "I have enough experience and was just trying to think about what I was going to do next, and not pay attention to the other side of the net," Zvonareva commented.

The Russian would win the next three games and the match. "I hope she's okay. I heard she's feeling okay now," she said in her press conference. "There's no official release and she's still seeing the doctor. Maybe cramping... I don't know. That's what happens sometimes though. I hope she'll be okay."

Shortly afterwards, dizziness and cramping was released as the official problem. "I started cramping at the end of the second set," Lisicki said. "This continued in the third. From 4-2, I began to feel dizzy and had problems seeing the ball clearly. At no point did I think of retiring and I kept fighting until the end."

Awaiting Zvonareva in the next round is Russian-born Australian Anastasia Rodionova, who beat her in the second round here a year ago.

"Vera's a different player now," Rodionova said. "She played two Grand Slam finals and has done a lot of good things in the past year. But I beat her here last year, so whatever worked last year, it would be nice if it worked again."

"For sure I remember I remember our match last year," Zvonareva added. "I have another year of experience under my belt and I think that will help, but I'm sure she's a different player as well. It's going to be a new day, a new match, and I'll try to give it my best. She's a tough opponent. We'll see what happens."

The two most dominant performances of the day came from the two finalists from last year, Francesca Schiavone and Sam Stosur. Stosur, last year's runner-up and this year's No.8 seed, routed Simona Halep in a rematch of their first rounder from last year, 60 62; Schiavone, who won here last year and is the No.5 seed this year, beat Vesna Dolonts on Court Philippe Chatrier, 61 62.

"I obviously got off to a good start, which helps," Stosur said. "If you can get off to those good starts, especially when they have some opportunities, it can be a bit deflating. So from that point on I kept the foot down and played really well."

Also among the winners were Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic, Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Julia Goerges, Daniela Hantuchova and Peng Shuai, as well as non-seeds Gisela Dulko, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Rebecca Marino and Nuria Llagostera Vives.

Wozniacki, the No.1 seed, came back from triple set point down to hold off Canada's Aleksandra Wozniak (read more about that match here); Mattek-Sands won an all-American duel against Varvara Lepchenko to set up a match with Jankovic, seeded No.10 (read more about that match here).

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