Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dinara Safina gets smooth ride to Charleston final

We lost our Internet connection last night, so I am only just now able to post about Saturday's action at the Family Circle Cup. Dinara Safina got a lot of rest after her quarterfinal match on Friday, when Tatiana Golovin retired after the first set because of an ankle injury (a chronic problem with Golovin). Then yesterday, Safina's semifinal opponent, Vera Zvonareva, retired at the beginning of the second set because of a left wrist injury. Both players were playing with left wrist wraps.

Earlier, Jelena Jankovic just barely scraped out a victory over Venus Williams in their semifinal. Jankovic's performance in the first set was lackluster. In an interview a few days ago, she said she was having trouble finding her serve in this tournament, and the problem was evident in the first two sets of the semifinal. In the second set, Williams had repeated problems with her serve, committing double fault after double fault.

It was not until the third set that Jankovic found her serve--and her game--and then the match became tense and fans got to see some good rallies. Neither player could prevail, however, and Jankovic won the tiebreak, 7-5. Even the winning moment was less than desirable, when there was some brief controversy over the line call of the last shot.

We were looking forward to the doubles semifinal between Liezel Huber/Cara Black and Yan Zi/Zheng Jie. However, Zheng and Zi totally dominated the first set, handing Black and Huber a bagel, and went on to win the second set, too. Much more interesting was the second semifinal between Peng Shuai/Sun Tiantian and Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta. Dulko and Pennetta have been playing really well all week, and they took the first set, but Peng and Sun became more and more aggressive as the match went on, won a tight second set, then prevailed easily in the third.

Tennis outfit of the day: Jelena Jankovic, in her Wimbledon white with subtle gold striping. Once again, it's a dress we've seen before, but one that always looks great.

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