By Tumaini Carayol
Australia’s Sam Stosur moved into the semifinals of the Stuttgart Porsche Tennis Grand Prix with a 2-6 6-3 7-6(3) victory over second seeded Vera Zvonareva.
Zvonareva came out all guns blazing, breaking Stosur’s serve in a marathon first game. She quickly consolidated her lead, serving well and dominating the exchanges. However, as the set wore on, problems arose with her rackets as their strings began to systematically break, disrupting her concentration.
By 3-3 in the second set, the Russian had run out of rackets, forcing her, contracted to Prince, to use her coach’s babolat tennis racket as stringers rushed to replace her broken rackets.
Stosur took full advantage of her opponents problems, capturing the next three games to level up the set at 3-3.
The third and final set saw an exhibition of stellar serving as no breaks were exchanged. However, Zvonareva continued to have massive problems, breaking her eigth and ninth rackets in successive points.
The tiebreak saw a Stosur race to a 5-0 lead against a visibly rattled and emotional Zvonareva. After a brief fightback from the world number two, Stosur was able to wrap up the tiebreak and the match to advance to her first semifinal of 2011.
As a tearful Zvonareva left the court, Stosur lamented on her victory.
“It was my best match of the year” she said
“You got to remember in the past [matches against Zvonareva] that you had the right tactics and you executed them correctlyÂ So I just had to keep playing my game and win a few more points.”
Tumaini Carayol is in Suttgart covering the Porsche TennisÂ Grand PrixÂ for Tennis Panorama News. He is a Â contributing writer at On The Baseline, and writes about professional tennis at his site Foot Fault. Follow his Stuttgart coverage here and on our twitter account @GVTennisNews. Follow him on twitter at @FootFault_.