Petrova upsets Stosur in Indian Wells
Tue, 13 Mar 01:49:00 2012
Sixth-seeded Stosur lost a see-sawing third round encounter with Russian Nadia Petrova 6-1 6-7 7-6 at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, before Sharapova finally wrapped up a 6-3 6-4 win against Romania's Simona Halep on the fifth match point.
In the final match of the day, Denmark's Wozniacki recovered from a shaky opening set to battle past Swede Sofia Arvidsson 3-6 7-5 6-2 after a fluctuating tussle lasting two hours and 37 minutes.
Australian Stosur was broken by Petrova when serving for the match at 6-5 in the third set and the Russian capitalised by holding her serve and sealing a victory 7-5 in the tiebreak.
Stosur had been swept aside by her big-serving opponent in the opening set and then saved one match point in the second set tiebreak before clawing her way back to level the match.
Petrova, beaten 7-6 6-7 7-5 by Stosur at last year's US Open in the tournament's longest women's match of the tiebreak era, squealed with delight after the Australian pushed a forehand wide to end an encounter lasting close to three hours.
"I am very excited to be back," a beaming Petrova said after beating Stosur for the fifth time in seven meetings.
"This is only my third win of the year and you could see it when I was just about to close the match. I was a bit tentative.
"My serve was working incredibly (well) until the end of the second set," added the Russian, who fired down 15 aces in the match. "At the end, it was just spot on."
Petrova, who raised both arms skywards to celebrate her fifth successive appearance in the fourth round at Indian Wells, was delighted to gain a measure of revenge for her defeat at last year's US Open.
"After that loss in New York it's been hard," said the 29-year-old Russian, a winner of 10 WTA Tour titles. "I wanted to turn everything around. I wanted to win and walk off the court with a 'W'.
"It was a tough battle in the third set and I was really pumped when I broke her at 6-5. When she was serving for the match. I was pumped. I knew this was my time to win the match."
The Russian, once ranked as high as third in the world but has now slipped to 33rd, will next meet compatriot Maria Kirilenko, who beat Spaniard Lourdes Dominguez Lino 6-2 4-6 6-4.
Petrova defeats Stosur, Sharapova overcomes Halep
Sharapova, the 2006 champion, led Halep 6-3 and 5-0 before inexplicably losing her way. The Romanian held for 1-5 and the Russian then squandered three match points on serve before being broken in the seventh and ninth games.
After several protracted baseline rallies punctuated by squeals and grunts by both players, second seed Sharapova finally sealed victory on her fifth match point when Halep netted a backhand.
"I started rushing and playing long in the second set," said Sharapova, who will next face Italy's Roberta Vinci, a 6-7 6-0 6-4 winner against Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova. "Things weren't going my way and it was really tough but I pulled through."
Wozniacki, who beat Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli in last year's final, initially struggled to hold serve on a cool evening but found her form to break her opponent three times in the final set and seal victory in two hours, 37 minutes.
The 21-year-old Dane, wearing an orange dress and matching visor, pumped her left fist in delight after pouncing on a drop shot and unleashing a crosscourt backhand winner to break the Swede and lead 5-2.
Fourth-seeded Wozniacki then coolly served out for victory, ending the match with a forehand winner after Arvidsson had again teased her forward with a drop shot.
"I knew it was going to be a tough match," a smiling Wozniacki said in a courtside interview at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden after a marathon baseline battle between the two Scandinavians.
"I've known Sophia since I was 12 or 13 and we know each other's games so well.
"She just came out from a win in Memphis and I knew she was on fire. I'm so happy with this win," added the Dane, who will next play Serb Ana Ivanovic, a 6-7 6-3 6-2 winner against Kazakhstan's Ksenia Pervak.
Arvidsson, through to the third round at Indian Wells for the first time in five attempts, won a topsy-turvy opening set that ended with three successive breaks of serve, two of them in the Swede's favour.
Both players struggled to hold service in the second set with four breaks in the first six games before Wozniacki took control. She broke Arvidsson to love in the 11th game and then held to level the match after the Swede hit a forehand long.
The Dane made a fast start to the third set, breaking her opponent in the first and third games to lead 3-0 before Arvidsson broke back to love in the fourth after Wozniacki double-faulted.
The next two games went with serve until the Dane broke the Swede in the seventh, chasing down a poorly executed drop shot and hitting a backhand crosscourt winner to lead 5-2.
Wozniacki, a winner of 18 WTA titles, held serve in the eighth to improve her career record against Arvidsson to 5-2.
In other matches, seventh-seed Marion Bartoli of France pummeled South African Chanelle Scheepers 6-2 6-0 and Czech Lucie Safarova advanced when former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone became the latest victim of the widespread viral infection at Indian Wells.
The 10th-seeded Schiavone, who won her only Grand Slam singles title at Roland Garros in 2010, withdrew because of a stomach virus when trailing Safarova 2-6.Reuters