Pennetta Upsets Stosur While Kuznetsova Makes First Semi of the Year in San Diego
by Erik Gudris
The Mercury Insurance Open down in San Diego has certainly not gone
according to form, at least by the draw which has now seen the top two seeds bow
out early while some veteran and young players have made themselves heard. And
while an arm injury is a new cause for concern for Sam Stosur, it’s the return
of Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova to a semifinal for the first time this year
that’s made the biggest news so far today.
Flavia Pennetta continued her now 3-0 winning streak against Stosur with a
convincing 6-3, 6-4 quarterfinal victory. Pennetta never looked rushed by
Stosur’s massive forehand or when the Australian would serve and volley. Instead
it was Stosur who looked frustrated the whole match at not being able to find a
way into the Pennetta service games along with her now trademark kick serve that
didn’t seem to bother Penetta at all.
In her media conference, Stosur was asked about her shoulder that’s been lightly
taped in several matches now. Stosur answered that she’s not dealing with a
shoulder injury but instead a lower arm issue that she’s still not sure what the
cause is. “It’s like a strong ache once it starts and I can’t get rid of it
until once I get off of the court. We’ve haven’t been totally been able to
figure it out yet.” Stosur, who’s had one MRI already and plans to have another
before leaving San Diego, said the pain doesn’t affect any particular shot and
that it’s “definitely not a muscle tear”.
Pennetta will now take on veteran Svetlana Kuznetsova who took out the American
sensation 18-year-old Coco Vandeweghe 7-5, 6-2. Vandeweghe, who took an early
break, jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but seemed to let nerves and the fact that she
was a bit tired from her previous win last night against Vera Zvonareva to allow
Kuznetsova to claw back into the match. Vandeweghe, who held a set point against
Kuznetsova’s serve at 3-5, lost that game and then hit four double faults to let
Kuznetsova back in at 5-4. The Russian held serve for 5-5 and by then it was
Kuznetsova who was winning most of the rallies while Vandeweghe’s backhand broke
After Kuznetsova took the first set 7-5, she started directing more shots to
Vandeweghe’s backhand. Kuznetsova jumped out to a 4-1 lead after breaking
Vandeweghe twice and by then it was the Russian’s match to lose. She didn’t
though as she served it out after another Vandeweghe backhand went long on the
second match point.
Afterward Kuznetsova said that watching Vandeweghe’s match against Zvonareva
helped her since she didn’t know much about the American’s game and at first she
was concerned about the pace of Vandeweghe’s shot. “(It helped) a little bit.
Because if I had not and then I would get bombs, I would be like ‘whoa’ what
should I do here?”
On making her first tour semifinal this year, Kuznetsova took a moment to smile
before answering. “Finally. Thank God I made it to the semis. How many months
has it been eight or nine months? It’s weird for me but I’m very happy to be
Erik Gudris is reporting for Global Village Tennis News this weekend at the Mercury Insurance Open.
In addition to his articles he’ll be tweeting live updates, photos and commentary from our twitter
account @GVTennisNews. He is the editor of Adjusting The Net. Find him on twitter @AdjustingTheNet.