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Sony Ericsson Championships: Wednesday preview


 

Originally published on: 26/02/10 15:02

Serena Williams, many peoples favourite to win the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships, begins her campaign on Wednesday when she takes on Russian world No.2 Dinara Safina.

Williams will be hoping to follow in her sister Venus footsteps after her older sister inflicted a 7-5, 6-3 victory over the Russian on Tuesday.

Serena will go into the meeting as hot favourite having lost only one of their five encounters. The American blew the Russian away the last time they met in the semis of the US Open when she lost just five games.

Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to have a chance to win the Championships, so hopefully this will be another one of my years,” said Williams, who won the end-of-year WTA event back in 2001. She is talking a good game and appears to mean business Safina should be prepared for another difficult evening.

Before that match there are another two intriguing contests Ana Ivanovic will open the days play against Vera Zvonareva followed by Elena Dementievas first outing when she takes on Venus.

Having suffered a straight-sets defeat against Jelena Jankovic on Tuesday, Ivanovic will be looking for her first victory of the tournament 24 hours before her 21st birthday.

Zvonareva dealt with the windy conditions admirably during her win against Svetlana Kuznetsova on Tuesday and should she hand out a shock defeat for the French Open champion Ivanovic will have little to celebrate on her big day defeat on Wednesday will make it almost impossible for her to qualify for the semi-finals.

The Serb has the upper hand in their head-to-head history (4-2) though and easily won their most recent encounter in Linz last month. Having said that, she looked to be suffering with the Doha humidity during her opening White Group match and her confidence will be low after losing to fellow Serb Jankovic for only the second time in her career.

Dementieva will have to put her history with Venus behind her when the pair take to Centre Court for Wednesdays second match having won just two of their eight encounters.

Observers shouldnt read too much into those stats, however, as the pair havent met on a hard court since 2004 and the Russian is a very different beast after claiming the Olympic gold medal that meant so much to her earlier in the year. We expect this one to be the highlight of day two in Doha.

Wednesday order of play (5pm start local time)

1. Ivanovic vs. Zvonareva
2. Dementieva vs. V.Williams
3. Safina vs. S.Williams

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