All-conquering Zvonareva claims Cali double
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:30
Veni, Vidi…Vera Zvonareva completed a clean sweep the women’s titles at the 2009 BNP Paribas Open, beating defending champion Ana Ivanovic 7-6(5) 6-2 on Sunday in Indian Wells.
Playing the more consistent tennis in gale force winds at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, Zvonareva reeled off six games in a row after dropping serve in the second set to wrap up victory in just under two hours.
“Thanks to all of you for coming out today and staying with us in this crazy weather,” a gleeful Zvonareva said afterwards in her courtside interview.
“It was just who can handle the conditions better. Today she did. She played really well” – Ivanovic
Both players battled with their service tosses and were broken twice in the opening set, but the Russian crucially saved three set points in the game 12 before holding serve to reach a tie-break, clinching it 7-5 when Ivanovic netted a forehand.
Although the No.5 seed hit a blistering backhand winner down the line to break Zvonareva in the first game of the second set, her resistance quickly folded.
Ivanovic held to lead 2-0 before Zvonareva broke back in the fourth, sixth and eighth games to clinch the ninth WTA singles title of her career – just a day after claiming the women’s doubles crown with Victoria Azarenka.
Amazingly, Zvonareva hit only five winners in the windy conditions but limited herself to just 23 unforced errors, while the defending champ produced a staggering 46 of her own.
Ivanovic, who beat Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4 6-3 in last year’s final, admitted to struggling with the conditions throughout the match, hitting five double faults.
“Honestly, it was the toughest conditions I ever played in,” the Serb said afterwards. “It was very, very windy and it wasn’t much about the game and a game plan today.
“It was just who can handle the conditions better and who can stay mentally tougher through it. Today she did. She played really well.
“It was very hard to control the ball,” the former world No.1 said. “Some points I just didn’t believe. I tried to go for some shots but it was very hard to adjust to all the wind.
“So many times I just didn’t make enough steps to move forward – then the other times I was too much forward and had to move back. It was just very hard to judge where the ball would bounce and where the ball will end up.”