Miami Masters: Wozniacki Packs, Sharapova Sets Dulgheru QFs
Andrea Petkovic has produced the biggest surprise of the Miami Masters after edging world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in three sets, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 to become the third player to reach the quarter finals. Kim Clijsters becomes now the main favorite of the big event.
Wozniacki had a better start than the German who conceded her very first service to be left two games behind. But the opener would include three more unexpected break points. Petkovic broke the main favorite in the third game and managed to win her serves for 2-2. Even more than that, the German won even a third straight game following another superb play that found Wozniacki downed 2-3.
The Indian Wells champion managed to level the score to three but only to be left – once again – one game behind. Finally, Wozniacki allowed the German grab a late break which propelled her to a 6-5 lead and a 1-0 result. The second set was the only one that showed Dane’s champion qualities. Wozniacki grabbed another early break to go 2-0 adrift. But it was the German who threatened with another comeback. Petkovic leveled the score to two and succeeded to hold the Dane two more games.
Wozniacki found herself equalized to three, but that was the last time the German won her own serves. A second break allowed the Dane go 5-3 and clinch the set for 1-1. Even so, the unexpected was yet to come. The start of the last set found Petkovic developing almost a similar advantage to Wozniacki’s. the German broke the main favorite early in the second game only to be equalized to two. In the end, it was the same Petkovic to grab another struggling break in the sixth game, which propelled her to a 5-2 comfortable lead she would drop until the end. Wozniacki would win one more service to concede the victory to three.
Petkovic will next meet either Anabel Median or Jelena Jankovic, who is also chasing her first tile of the year. The Serb beat Klara Zakopalova 7-5, 6-1, while her next opponent ousted Elena Vesnina in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4 to set her seventh meeting with Jankovic who leads the ehad to head confrontation 6-0. The Serb last beat Medina at the 2010 Madrid event.
On the same first half of the table, Maria Sharapova and Romania’s Alexandra Dulgheru have set a quarter final rendezvous, their first ever meeting. The former world champion Russian, who declared she will chase the French Open trophy this year, eased past Samantha Stosur in two sets, 6-4, 6-1, while Dulgheru is also following a straight-set win over Shuai Peng, who had ousted Svetlana Kuznetsova in the previous round. The Romanian beat the Chinese 6-3, 6-4 to chase her first title since May 2010.
As for the second half of the table, second-seeded but now main favorite Kim Clijsters is to face former world champion Ana Ivanovic. The Belgian has claimed her 500th win of career after beating Maria Jose Martinez in three sets, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the third round. Clijsters said at the end of the game that Martinez’s style reminded her of Cornet Alize.
“It’s always hard when you have a player who plays two totally different shots on each side. You have to be ready to move and adjust all the time. A couple of times my footwork wasn’t right and I wasn’t playing how I should have been, but I’m happy I was able to move through,” said this year’s Australian Open champion.
Clijsters leads the head to had confrontation with Ivanovic 2-0, having last beaten her at the 2010 US Open event. Ivanovic reached the fourth term after Virginie Razzano was forced to pull over due to medical problems. The winner between the two will play either Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia or Belarusian Victoria Azarenka.
The 2011 Monterrey champion Pavlyuchenkova has progressed into the fourth round after overcoming Brisbane and Paris Open winner Petra Kvitova in three sets, 6-4, 6-7, 6-0 to set her second meeting with Azarenka who beat her at the same Miami event back in 2009. On the other side, Azarenka passed Dominika Cibulkova 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to approach her biggest success of the year.
One of the toughest fourth-round meetings will be brought by Indian Wells runner-up Marion Bartoli and Wimbledon finalist Vera Zvonareva. The two are expected to meet for the ninth time. Zvonareva leads the French 8-2 in the direct confrontations, but the last win belongs to the Bartoli who beat the Russian at the 2009 Beijing tournament.
Bartoli ousted Ekaterina Makarova in two easy sets, 6-0, 6-2, while Zvonareva has advanced into the fourth round after eliminating Jarmila Groth 7-6, 6-2. The winner will play either Francesca Schiavone or Agnieszka Radwanska. The Italian upset Lourdes Dominguez 6-4, 7-6 in the third round, while Radwanska passed Maria Kirilenko 7-6, 6-3 to set a fifth meeting with her next opponent. Schiavone has beaten the Poland player four times, last occasion at the 2010 Australian Open last 32 round.11