Petrova & Ivanovic Win, Action Begins In Bali
Published November 03, 2011 12:00
BALI, Indonesia - A classic rivalry will see another day at the Commonwealth Bank Tournament Of Champions, as Nadia Petrova and Ana Ivanovic upset seeds to set up a semifinal clash at the last WTA event of the season.
Petrova was the first to advance, losing serve four times but breaking seven times herself to take out No.2-seeded wildcard Peng Shuai, 64 63.
"It was a little up and down from my side. I would take the lead then lose the lead," Petrova said after the match. "I had difficulty with my serve. I had something going on with my upper back, but adrenaline kicked in and I didn't think about it too much. Thankfully I won the first set, which is very important against her. In the second set I got the lead then lost it again, but closed it out."
Ivanovic, the defending champion in Bali and a wildcard into the draw this year, started and finished strong during her match against No.4 seed Roberta Vinci, winning the first four games in a row then reeling off three more games in a row from 3-all in the second set to take out the crafty Italian veteran, 63 63.
"I had fun out there today. The crowd was really getting into it, I could hear them cheering for me," Ivanovic said. "Roberta has been playing great. We've had a lot of tough matches in the past - even when I won in the past, it was always a close match. Today I thought I was very aggressive and played really well."
Ivanovic and Petrova have played each other 11 times before, with Ivanovic leading the head-to-head, 6-5. However two of her wins came via retirement, and Petrova has won their last two hardcourt meetings (one this year).
"We've played quite a few times against each other. It will be important to start well, because if she gets off to a good start she can play even better," Ivanovic said. "I played her in Cincinnati this year. We both had a lot of chances at the beginning of the match, but it didn't turn out very good for me. She played a good match against Peng. I just want to stay in the moment and play each point, and execute the things I've been working on. I look forward to revenge."
Peng and Vinci's breakthrough seasons come to a close, both having cracked the Top 20 for the first time during the year (Peng all the way from No.72 at the start of the year). Peng's 48 match wins helped her become the third Chinese player ever to crack the Top 15 (after Li Na and Zheng Jie); Vinci captured an impressive three WTA titles and scored her first win over a reigning No.1.
Peng and Vinci had been 2-0 against their opponents this year going in.