Shvedova Steps Up, Takes Wickmayer Out
Published April 04, 2012 12:00
CHARLESTON, SC, USA - The favorites flourished in a bright, blazing day session on Wednesday, with just one exception. Yaroslava Shvedova pulled off the only upset of the day, surprising No.12 seed Yanina Wickmayer.
It has been a long last 12 months for the 24-year-old Shvedova - a former Top 30 player, she missed the beginning of 2011 with a major knee injury and has been working her way back up the rankings through a variety of avenues, including ITF Circuit tournaments. After playing the WTA's Latin American swing, she played two $25,000 events in México (winning one and reaching the final of the other).
Her current ranking of No.150 may be misleading, an example of which was her win over the No.30-ranked Wickmayer. After cruising through the first set in 29 minutes, there were some tight moments at the end as she missed a match point serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set - but she regrouped nicely in the tie-break to win, 62 76(2), her first Top 30 win since August 2010.
"In the first set I was more solid than her - I was getting to all the balls and playing sharp, forcing her to miss," Shvedova said. "The second set was a bit harder. I had match point on my serve at 6-5 but she returned very easily and I was a little surprised, so I missed the next shot. But in the tie-break I played very solid and didn't make mistakes. I was fired up and played aggressively."
Shvedova seems more focused on the win rather than her opponent's ranking. "I don't really follow the stats. I have to beat a player whether they're ranked No.200 or No.20. I've changed my way of thinking when I play - I think about each point separately, each set and each match. I'm focused and I know what to do better now. And it's working - I feel very calm and confident on the court."
Next up for Shvedova will be No.6 seed Sabine Lisicki, who had to rally from a set down to beat Czech lucky loser Andrea Hlavackova, 26 63 64. Lisicki is a former champion at the Family Circle Cup, in 2009 - her first WTA title.
Other winners from the day session were No.3 seed Marion Bartoli, No.9 seed Lucie Safarova, No.13 seed Nadia Petrova, No.14 seed Polona Hercog, No.17 seed Marina Erakovic and unseeded players Galina Voskoboeva, Aleksandra Wozniak and Swiss qualifier Stefanie Voegele.
Bartoli had to battle over three hours to beat Vera Dushevina, 62 67(3) 64. "The first game was 22 minutes long I think, so that set up the tone," Bartoli said of the 30-point-plus opening game. "The last two years I lost first round here, and I didn't want to lose again, so I really tried my hardest. I didn't play my best, but I just kept fighting and kept fighting and was able to win."
Petrova had to fend off two match points down 62 65 en route to a 26 76(6) 62 win over American qualifier Jill Craybas. "Compared to my previous match in the first round I didn't play as well, but I have to give credit to Jill, she played very well today," Petrova said. "She wasn't making any errors from her side, so I had to take control of the match, and I think I made too many errors."