Friday, 12 August 2011

Shocks galore in Toronto - Petko stuns Petra, Maria out

I don't think anyone could have predicted the Quarter final line-up for Toronto this week in what has been a week of upsets. The biggest shock of the day saw the qualifier, Galina Voskoboeva take out Maria Sharapova in 2 sets, 6-3 7-5. Sharapova was way below par during the match; however do not take anything away from Voskoboeva who served well and attacked hard with her powerful groundstrokes. She also showed some delicate touches with a number of finely executed drop shots. It was not easy for Voskoboeva to finish the match off as she choked away 3 match points at 5-4 with two double faults and a tight backhand into the net. She managed to recover superbly to break Sharapova and successfully serve it out at the second occasion. Voskoboeva will now play Victoria Azarenka who eased past Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, 6-1 6-2. Azarenka is the only remaining top 8 seed left in the competition and has lost just 3 games in her first two matches.

Sharapova let slip a 4-2 lead in the second set to Voskoeboeva, who produced one of the biggest upsets on the tour in 2011

The Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitova also fell in the third round to an inspired performance by Andrea Petkovic. Petkovic proved herself as a newly crowned top 10 player and as a superb tactician with some smart serving and deep groundstrokes, which pressurised Kvitova into making a tonne of errors especially of the forehand side. Things could have been different if Kvitova had taken the break point she had at 1-1 in the first set, but Petkovic is really showing some mental strength in her matches this week as she eventually came through with ease, 6-1 6-2. She will now play Agnieszka Radwanska who beat Vera Zvonareva for the second time in a week, 6-4 7-6. Zvonareva let slip a 4-0 lead in the second set as she battled with the umpire over some line decisions. Zvonareva will go back up to number two in the world, which is disappointing to see because she does not deserve to be number two despite her consistency.

Petkovic produced one of her best performances of the year against a disappointing Kvitova

Li Na also fell in the third round as she suffered a fourth consecutive loss to Sam Stosur, and in straight sets, 6-2 6-4. Li looked particularly rusty and was not favoured by a walkover in her previous match. She also failed to get to grips with the Stosur kick serve and will look to change her fortunes in Cincinnati. Stosur will now play Roberta Vinci who followed up "the best day of her life" with another stunning victory, this time over Ana Ivanovic, 7-6 6-2. In the final quarter, Serena Williams will take on Lucie Safarova. Serena had to recover from a first set deficit in an entertaining three-set encounter with Zheng Jie. Lucie Safarova had too much for Francesca Schiavone as she progressed in the late night match with a straight forward 6-3 6-3 victory.

Lucie Safarova has creeped through the draw and has the ammunition to at least threaten Serena

Quarter-Final Predictions:
Stosur to beat Vinci in 2 sets
Petkovic to beat Radwanska in 3 sets
Azarenka to beat Voskoboeva in 2 sets
Williams to beat Safarova in 3 sets

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