WTA – Seoul (Thurs): Wozniacki & Lepchenko Among Quarterfinalists

Seoul, South Korea
September 17-23, 2012

Results – Thursday, September 20, 2012
Singles – Second Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (Q) Caroline Garcia (FRA) 62 63
María José Martínez Sánchez (ESP) d. (4) Nadia Petrova (RUS) w/o (low back injury)
(6) Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 64 61
(7) Klara Zakopalova (CZE) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 61 76(6)
(8) Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (Q) Jamie Hampton (USA) 63 75
Tamira Paszek (AUT) d. (WC) Lee So-Ra (KOR) 62 60

Doubles – Quarterfinals
(1) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. Jurak/Marosi (CRO/HUN) 62 57 108
(3) Grandin/Uhlirova (RSA/CZE) d. Cadantu/Lepchenko (ROU/USA) 76(5) 63
Paszek/Zakopalova (AUT/CZE) d. (4) Dushevina/Rosolska (RUS/POL) 63 36 105 (Match TB)
Amanmuradova/King (UZB/USA) d. Daniilidou/Moulton-Levy (GRE/USA) 64 46 104 (Match TB)

Order Of Play – Friday, September 21, 2012
Centre Court (from 13.15hrs)
1. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Klara Zakopalova
2. María José Martínez Sánchez vs. Ekaterina Makarova
3. Varvara Lepchenko vs. Tamira Paszek
4. Kiki Bertens vs. Kaia Kanepi
5. Kops-Jones/Spears vs. Grandin/Uhlirova (NB 19.00hrs)

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Sharapova Into Quarters With Help From Rain

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Maybe some higher power is looking favorably on Maria Sharapova, because the rain came at the right time tonight.

With the No. 3 seed down a break in the third set against Nadia Petrova, the sky’s opened for a 75 minute rain delay, and after play resumed, she took a 6-1 4-6 6-4 win to make the Quarterfinals for the first time since she won the Open in 2006.

“It’s a tough situation because I felt like there’s so many ups and downs between the beginning of the first till that break.,” Sharapova said. “She was up a break and it was a little bit difficult going in because I felt like I started getting a little bit of momentum back in the second set and then just didn’t really take my chances when I had them and played a sloppy game at 4‑5.

“But I didn’t really mind.  I have the experience of getting off the court and waiting a little bit and trying to start from scratch.”

Petrova called it Sharapova’s “lucky day” but you have to give Maria a little more credit than that. She has been on a tear this year, winning the French Open and looking determined to get  her second Open next Saturday.

And today, she grinded it out against her fellow country woman, who seemed to be a lot more psky in the second, with Sharapova making a ton of mistakes.

And Petrova had her on the ropes, but Sharapova came out pumped looking to end any threat.

“You’re playing a night match at the US Open, you have a rain delay, you come back, and all the same people that were there waited through for 45 minutes and they came back to watch the end of the match,” she said.  “So that energy in the stadium with the music and the cheering, it’s just unique.  You know, I think it really, really pumped me up and got me going.  I wasn’t going to leave that court without a fight.”

After she came out, she quickly put the set back on serve and gave Petrova no chance against her first service. Petrova’s great serve was shut down by the Russian in the final games.

“That was really important, especially against Nadia,” she said.  “One of her strengths is her serve.  You know, when it’s on and she’s holding easy, that obviously puts more pressure on the service game.

“You really try to concentrate on that, you know, be smart and mix it up a little bit more. Overall I’m really happy with the way it came out in the third.  I didn’t let that little letdown bother me.  I just kept on fighting.”

Now she will take on Marion Bartoli, who roars into the Quarters with a 1-6, 6-2, 6-0 win over Petra Kvitova.

“We haven’t played in a while.  It was a great win for her today, someone who has been playing really good this summer,” she said.  “Yeah, it’s nice to see her back in the quarterfinals of a slam.  I think she’s been a little bit up and down, but obviously her level has stepped up here.  Honestly, I haven’t watched any of her matches here.

“I played her before; I know her game style.  It’s always a little bit different, nontraditional.  But, yeah, it’s the quarterfinals and I’m excited.”

Hopefully, Sharapova won’t need the rain gods for this one.

Championship Sunday Postponed Until Monday

FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Rain, rain go away was the theme of the US Open on Sunday as the steady drizzle came down and pre-empted play.

The Women’s Doubles Finals will now take place tomorrow at 3 p.m. It was suspended in the third set with set still on serve. The team of Liezel Huber and Nadia Petrova took the first set, 6-2 then the team of Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova rebounded during the second set to win 6-4. Play was suspended when the third set was 5-4 Huber/Petrova hold a 0-15 lead in the 10th game.

Then after that match – and not before 4 p.m. – the Men’s Finals will pit No. 2 seed Rafael Nadal against No. 3 seed Novak Djokovic. Nadal won his match over Mikhail Youzhny yesterday, 6-2 6-3 6-4. But Djokovic had to endure a 5-set classic over Roger Federer, 5-7 6-1 5-7 6-2 7-5.

With an extra day off, the rain may help Djokovic as he will be able to recover from the Federer showdown. Both Nadal and Djokovic are looking for their first US Open Championship.

Sunshine Facts About Wozniacki’s Win

New Haven, CT-USA
August 22-28, 2010

Results – Saturday, August 28, 2010
Singles – Final

(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (8/WC) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 63 36 63

Doubles – Final
(1) Peschke/Srebotnik (CZE/SLO) d. Mattek-Sands/Shaughnessy (USA/USA) 75 60

Final Facts

– Wozniacki wins her fourth title of the year – the most of any player – and 10th of her career. The ninth came at Montréal last week and the eighth at Copenhagen earlier in the month. She is now 10-7 in Tour singles finals.
– 20-year-old Wozniacki has now triumphed at New Haven three years running. Venus Williams won at New Haven four years in a row (1999-2002).
– Wozniacki owns a perfect 13-0 record at New Haven (5-0 to win in 2008, 5-0 to win in 2009 and 3-0 to win this year, a first round bye and quarterfinal walkover from Flavia Pennetta cutting her workload this year).
– Petrova was the No.8 seed this week, upsetting No.2 seed Samantha Stosur (her 450th career victory) en route to her first final since 2008 (when she reached four). She leaves New Haven 9-11 in career finals.
– Peschke and Srebotnik win their second title of the season together (also Indian Wells); in 2010 they have also been runners-up five times, including at Roland Garros and last week at Montréal. Peschke now has 16 doubles titles to her name, Srebotnik 23.

Final Quotes
Caroline Wozniacki, 2010 Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale singles champion:

“In the second set Nadia started hitting some nice winners, and she broke my serve straight away. I just needed to keep focused. The crowd has been amazing here, cheering me on. Yesterday I was down and they got me through it. It’s a great feeling. I love this tournament – it has been great preparation for me the last couple of years. I’d love to come back.”

Nadia Petrova, 2010 Pilot Pen Tennis at Yale singles runner-up:
“It was a good match and I’m happy to reach the final here. Caroline is very good on the defensive. My game is trying to step in and try to go to the net, but she didn’t give me many opportunities to do that. I had a tough hardcourt season. My confidence was a little bit on the floor when I came here. Now I’m back in my shoes. I’m happy and excited for the Open.”

Petrova To Quarters In Quebec

QUEBEC, CITY, Quebec – Nadia Petrova may be thankful Melanie Oudin dropped out of the Bell Challenge. After losing in the fourth round to the 17 year-old, Petrova rebounded to make the quarterfinals of the Quebec City Tournament.

Petrova, the top seed and defending champion in the 220,000-dollar tournament, beat Madison Brengle 6-3, 6-2 in 69 minutes, belting 10 aces past the 19-year-old American in their second-round clash.

This comes a day after the Russian knocked out Open mixed doubles winner Carly Gullickson in straight sets, 6-2, 6-0.

Petrova will face fifth-seeded Hungarian Melinda Czink, a 6-4, 6-3 winner over France’s Severine Bremond Beltrame in the quarterfinals.

Unseeded Parrott and Gullickson Win Mixed Doubles

Entering the Open, Travis Parrott wasn’t even sure who his mixed doubles partner would be because original partner Abigail Spears opted to play with Robert Kendrick instead.

As fate had it, that turned out to be a good omen as it allowed him to text Carly Gullickson who was looking for a partner two days before the tournament. So much for needing practice as the unlikely unseeded American pair got a wildcard and rode it all the way to the mixed doubles crown capping off a great run by upsetting defending champs Cara Black and Leander Paes 6-2, 6-4.

Usually, Black and Paes are as tough as it comes. But the underdogs caught them by surprise to pull it off. Up two breaks in the second after crusing through the opening set, they dropped serve making things tight.

But both remained poised winning on Parrott’s serve when Gullickson putaway a forehand volley into an open court, screaming in joy before hugging her victorious partner.

“I was super-relaxed because I felt no pressure on the court, because it was just fun,” the exhilerated Gullickson said.

The daughter of former MLB pitcher Bill Gullickson played the early hero during their amazing run with her volleying skills besting one of doubles’ best in Max Mirnyi back in Round One, saving match point in their comeback win over Mirnyi and Nadia Petrova.

“Then, you walk into that second round, and you’re just all of a sudden, just happy to be in the tournament,” a pleased Parrott noted. “It’s a whole new mind frame.”

“If she’ll play with me,” Parrott said as Gullickson fittingly replied:

“Yeah, for sure.”

Perfect conclusion from an unlikely duo took them all the way. One neither will ever forget.