Venus battles her way into Bangalore Open quarterfinals

March 6th, 2008 - 10:27 pm ICT by admin  

By Saumojyoti Singha Choudhury
Bangalore, March 6 (IANS) Second seed Venus Williams was taken to three sets by unseeded Chinese Shuai Peng, while seventh seed Vera Zvonareva of Russia overcame early hiccups against Romanian Agnes Szatmari Thursday, to set up a quarterfinal clash in the $600,000 Canara Bank Bangalore Open here. Venus toiled hard for her 6-2, 6-7(6), 6-2 victory, while Zvonareva prevailed over Szatmari 7-6 (5), 6-1 in one hour 37 minutes at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) courts.

In another second round match of the day, unseeded Chinese Zi Yan, who upset eighth seed Maria Kirilenko of Russia in the opening round, hardly broke sweat against Ukrainian Olga Savchuk 6-2, 6-1 to secure her place in the last eight.

In the Venus- Szatmari match, the opening set went with serves till the fifth game before the American set up a breakpoint with a perfect deep forehand volley landing at the feet of Peng. The Chinese girl shot wide an easy forehand to hand American the set 6-2.

In the second set Venus was far from her dominant self as Peng broke Venus in the fourth game, but the World No. 8, drawing on her experience, broke back immediately and then held serve to level the scores 3-3.

Thereafter, the set went with serves till the tie-break, but Peng seemed in no mood to give up without a fight and saved two match points to level the tie on set apiece 7-6(6) and take the match into the decider.

Though the decider was a roller-coaster with breaks and counter-breaks, Venus was more purposeful as she did not allow the 22-year-old Chinese to hold her serve in the entire set. Her two games came from Venus’ service.

Meanwhile, Zvonareva managed to keep her composure and win the first set in tiebreaker 7-6 (5). But in the second set, she was a transformed player, giving Szatmari no chance and broke her twice - in the second and fourth games - to pocket the set 6-1.

While Savchuk and Yan traded breaks in the first two games of the opening set before the 23-year-old Chinese quickly broke twice, in the fourth and eight games, to take the set.

Savchuk started the second set on a high note breaking Yan’s serve straightaway, but that was the only game she could win in the set.

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