Tag Archive | "Zvonareva"

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Wrap Up Of The Beijing Olympics 2008

Spaniard Rafael Nadal continues to have the Midas touch. Nadal defeated Chilean Fernando Gonzalez in the gold medal round in straights sets 6-3, 7-6, 6-3. Gonzalez went up one notch in the hardware department by winning silver adding to the bronze he collected in Athens in 2004. Moreover, this was the cherry on top of Nadal’s flan as he officially assumes the number one ranking on Monday.

In the semifinals, Gonzalez had a controversial match with American James Blake. The dispute arose when a backhand pass struck by Blake inadvertently clipped Gonzalez’ racket. Despite the ball being initially on its way out, by default, Blake should have been awarded the point. But since the play was unnoticed by the umpire and Gonzalez failed to own up to his mistake, the Chilean was given the point. In his defense, Gonzalez stated that he was unsure that the ball hit his racket. Perhaps, Blake would have brushed off the incident had he converted on one of his three match points to advance to the gold metal round. After losing, Blake accused Gonzalez of poor sportsmanship, considering the arena this vitriolic statement is further magnified. In the bronze metal match, Blake fell to Serbian Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-6.

After going down to Blake in the quarterfinals, Roger Federer along with Swiss teammate Stanislas Wawrinka prevailed over top doubles seed Americans Mike and Bob Bryan in the semifinals. The Swiss went on to beat the Swedish team of Simon Aspelin and Thomas Johansson 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 in the gold metal round. The Americans settled for the bronze metal, winning over the French team of Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

It was an all-Russian sweep in the women’s singles. Elena Dementieva beat Dinara Safina in an enthralling three setter 3-6, 7-5, 6-3. In the second set, after making up a 1-4 deficit, Safina had momentum on her side and the opportunity to take the lead at 5-5, but she failed to convert on break point. In a game Dinara was leading 40-15 Dementieva eventually broke. From then on, fatigue became a major factor for Safina. The bronze metal went to Vera Zvonareva who handled China’s Na Li 6-0, 7-5.

After being dismissed in the singles quarterfinal, Serena and Venus Williams squashed the Spanish team of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Virginie Ruano Pascual 6-2, 6-0 to win doubles gold, the second for team Williams. In the consolation bronze metal match, Chinese Zi Yan and Jie Zheng beat Ukrainian sisters Alona and Kateryna Bondarenko 6-2, 6-2.

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Serena Does It Again: Family Circle Cup Title Is Hers

The big news this weekend was Serena Williams’ triumph at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston South Carolina, a tier I tournament. Williams defeated Russian Vera Zvonareva in three sets 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. This was Williams’ third tournament win this year as she improved her record to 19-1, but this was Serena’s first clay court title in nearly six years.

In the first set, Williams seemed unstoppable having more winners than errors and served at a high percentage. For the most part, Zvonareva kept up, saving multiple break point chances against her serve. But ultimately the service issue caught up with her. A game fraught with double faults provided Serena the break late in the first set whereby she then won it. The second set was a replay of the first in terms of Williams having a myriad of opportunities to break Zvonareva’s serve, but the Russian held on. The inability to take full command of the match began to annoy Serena, this resulted in her making several unforced errors. Thus, Williams went on to relinquish the second set. In the third set, Serena reestablished herself and finally broke the Russian in the latter stages of the set and won the match. Williams has been on a roll, winning the last two tier I tournaments. Inarguably, Serena will be a contender for the major in Paris. In the doubles category, the team of Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia and Ai Sugiyama are on a streak of their own, victorious in Charleston as well as the Sony Ericsson Open.

The women’s circuit will be on a break the upcoming week as Federation Cup Tennis takes center stage over the weekend. In the semifinals, powerhouse Russia battles a depleted USA team consisting of Vania King, Asha Rolle, Madison Brengle and Liezel Huber in Moscow. None of the top US players decided to participate, while the Russians will have three top 20 players on their roster. The other semifinal features Spain against China, with the Spaniards having the misfortune of their top ranked players also sidelined.

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