Zvonareva shocks Ivanovic in Doha
Russian world No.9 Vera Zvonareva scored her second victory of the 2008 Sony Ericsson Championships with a three-set defeat of Ana Ivanovic in Doha on Wednesday.
It was a good day for the Williams sisters as well who both recorded wins in the Maroon Group. Venus scrapped her way past Elena Dementieva in three sets while Serena blew away Dinara Safina.
Vera Zvonareva followed up her win over Svetlana Kuznetsova on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 marathon success over the French Open champion in a match that lasted 2 hours 26 minutes.
The win puts Zvonareva in the driving seat for qualification from the White Group and a place in the semi-finals of the end-of-year WTA extravaganza.
In contrast, with a round robin record of played two, lost two Ivanovic is on the brink of elimination. She must beat Kuznetsova in her final group match and hope that some freak results go her way.
Vera Zvonareva made a strong start, racing into a 4-1 lead before Ivanovic had problems with her breathing for the second match in succession. She stopped midway through the sixth game to call for a trainer who came on court to take her pulse and blood pressure.
After Zvonareva had wrapped up the first set with some aggressive play, Ivanovic found her range early in the second and was soon 5-2 ahead. Thats when things started to get shaky for the Serb though who wasted a set point at 5-3 and another two at 5-4.
Having fought her way back into the second set, Zvonareva looked like she might wrap up a straight-sets victory when the scores reached 5-5 in an edgy second set tie-break but Ivanovic rifled a winning forehand return cross court to earn her fourth set point. This time Ivanovic didnt waste the opportunity and a netted Zvonareva return made it one set all.
The match then tipped the other way and it was Zvonareva who took control early in the decider. She broke in game two and held moments later to ease ahead 3-0.
With Zvonareva serving for the match at 5-3 Ivanovic mounted one last challenge and saved a match point before breaking serve to keep herself in the match.
However hard she tried though she couldnt shake off a determined Zvonareva and the Russian broke to 30 to wrap up an impressive win over the world No.4.
In the second match of the day Venus Williams won her second round robin match of the week when she beat Elena Dementieva 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
The Wimbledon champion and the Olympic gold medallist produced a surprisingly low quality match the first set featured nine breaks of serve.
Serena was more businesslike in her first match of the event and came away with a 6-4, 6-1 success against Safina. The Russian world No.2 has now lost both of her Maroon Group contests she lost to Venus in straight sets on day one of the event.
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