Monday, March 30, 2009

MIAMI: SERENA SURVIVES CHINESE UPRISING

Greetings OCTF's,



Action is finished on the Purple courts of the Crandon Park Tennis Center; the women are now set for the QF's and the men are ready for the round of 16. Upsets were once again the theme on the women's side, as Caroline Wozniacki and Samantha Stosur provided some bang for the fans bucks with upsets over Elena Dementieva and Amelie Mauresmo respectively. Meanwhile, 25-year-old Zheng Jie of China almost pulled what would have been a major shocker, but fell short, allowing Serena to slip through to the QF's.

On the men's side the higher seeded player prevailed in all 8 matches. Winners included Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray.

Now to the action...

The # 1's Advance: Both # 1 seeds, Rafa for the men and Serena for the women, were in action on Stadium Court. Rafa was broken twice by Qualifier Frederico Gil, but in the end the inevitable occurred - another straight set win for Rafa. Serena, meanwhile found herself in a very sticky situation against a very resilient opponent.



After dropping the first 5 games of the match against Serena, # 17 seed Zheng Jie stormed back to win 14 of the next 21. She lead 2-0 in the third set before Serena finally put the gloves on and began punching her way out of the match, running away with the third set, and heading to dinner with a 7-5, 5-7, 6-3 hard fought triumph. The 27-year-old Williams is seeking her 6th title in Miami. She is currently tied with Steffi Graf for most wins all time at this event (5).

Verdasco steps closer to rematch with Murray: After finally outlasting country mate Feliciano Lopez in a very tight 3-set match, Fernando is one step closer to a QF match with Andy Murray. It would be their first meeting since Verdasco's stunning upset of Murray at the 2009 Australian Open.

Quotable: Verdasco on his training in Vegas: "Gil Reyes, Daren Cahill, Andre Agassi, all the people that I was in Las Vegas practicing with, helped me a lot. I was practicing so hard with Gil in December, also now in February."

They help me a lot. You know, Agassi, like I said too many times already, was my idol when I was young. I was watching all the time his matches. Now you have your idol telling you what to do, you know, telling you what he thinks is better for you, what is not better for you, you know, it helps a lot.

I think that it's one of the best decisions I ever had, to go to Vegas and to be with all these unbelievable people helping me."

Men are from Mars: Of the 155 games played in today's 8 men's matches, 38 breaks of serve were recorded.

Women are from Venus: Of the 178 games played in today's 8 women's matches, 70 breaks of serve were recorded.



Unbreakable: Kuznetsova for the women and Delpotro for the men were the only players who did not give up a break. Each fought off 2 break points while winning in straight sets.

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