Top seeds Kuzy and Davydenko crash at Pilot Pen
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:41
Amelie Mauresmo reached the semi-finals of the Pilot Pen Tennis event for a fourth successive year with victory over top seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Despite dropping the first three games of the match, the world No.18 recovered and pipped the French Open champion in a 20-point tie-break to take the first set on her way to the 7-6(9) 2-6 6-3 win.
“I gave her chances to come back,” said Kuznetsova, who breezed through the second set. “She didn’t have many possibilities to play. I let her come back into the match. She started to play very well.”
Mauresmo broke in game six for a 4-2 lead in the third, then saved three break points on her own serve before clinching the match.
“I was just going for it, trying to be aggressive, not too much panicking.” Mauresmo said. “Just before the Open, I start to really play better, feel good physically, try to find a few things in my game.”
Fellow top seed Nikolay Davydenko also crashed out of the New Haven event in three sets, beaten 6-3 3-6 6-4 by US Open Series champion Sam Querrey.
The American served 15 aces during the quarter-final, including two to recover from 15-40 at 4-4 in the final set. In the end the world No.23 rattled off eight unanswered points to seal the win.
“I just took a couple deep breaths and just really focused on my first serve and fortunately hit two big first serves in there,” he said. “You see that a lot when you save break points, that next game a lot of times you see guys go ahead and convert the break, that’s kind of what happened.”
Querrey will enter the US Open as the American No.2 in the knowledge that his prize money will be boosted by bonus payments awarded after an impressive US hard court season.
His booming serve was clocked at 135mph against Davydenko, who called for the trainer when his wrist began to hurt as he tried to return the ball.
“I have no chance because (of his) first serve,” Davydenko said.
Querrey will play Jose Acasuso in the semi-finals after the Agentine beat Florent Serra 7-5 6-4. Fernando Verdasco will face Igor Andreev in the other semi-final.
Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was forced to flee from a bee during the second set of her quarter-final against Virginie Razzano.
“It just kept attacking me – I was trying to, you know, hit it with the racket, but still it didn’t give up,” she said. “It kind of felt like, you know, my opponent didn’t want it to give up in the match; the bee didn’t want to give up either.”
In truth the bee posed more problems for the Danish teenager than Razzano, who went down in straight sets 6-4 6-3.
She is likely to face a sterner test in her semi-final against Flavia Pennetta. The Italian beat qualifier Magdalena Rybarikova 6-2 6-2 to stay on course to join Querrey as winner of the US Open Series.
Only a win in New Haven will guarantee Pennetta victory in the bonus event, but the world No.10 is not concerned about winning the tournament.
“I just look to be prepared for the Open,” she said. “This is my first important thing for me is to just get there and be prepared for a fight.”
Elena Vesnina will play Mauresmo in the other semi-final after beating Anna Chakvetadze 6-1 7-5. Chakvetadze had problems with her serve throughout the match, missing half of her first serves.
“She’s not playing like she was playing a few years ago,” Vesnina said of her friend and compatriot afterwards. “If you will compare, she’s a bit down right now.”