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Sam
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smile.gif posted on 2-10-2005 at 09:11 PM Reply With Quote
AIG Japan Open



The main draw is out at
http://tinyurl.com/7wjaa

Vera plays Catalina Castano in the 1st round. Their only previous meeting was in Rome this year, where Castano lost to Vera in R16.

Let's hope Vera is back to 100% for this match. She'll have some strong tests getting thru the quarters, and in the other half are Kirilenko, who won Beijing a week ago, and Vaidisova, who won in Seoul today.

GO BEPA!!!
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posted on 3-10-2005 at 10:29 AM Reply With Quote


i hope vera's previous match help her shake off some rust. go vera!
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posted on 3-10-2005 at 11:29 AM Reply With Quote


Yeah, lets all hope for a better week!! :)



Vera,if your reading this,say hi to us guys! We'd really love to hear from you!
Vera Zvonareva,quite possibly the most beautiful girl in the world!!
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posted on 3-10-2005 at 01:46 PM Reply With Quote


Vera's match is 3rd up on center court tomorrow.
Kirilenko leads off on center court at 10:00am.

Tokyo is UTC + 9.

C'monnn BEPA!!!
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posted on 4-10-2005 at 12:48 AM Reply With Quote


Good Luck today Vera ;)
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posted on 4-10-2005 at 07:10 AM Reply With Quote


Well, I don't know what's happening. :o

Vera is up 6-2, 5-3. The live scoring stopped immediately after Vera's last game point, at 1:11 match time, and has not updated for the last 30 minutes. According to Yahoo weather, it is not raining in Tokyo, altho' it is forecast for the evening. On the other hand, 3 other matches in progress have also not updated.

So, I hope it's nothing more than a rain delay, and I need to go to bed, as it is 2:10am here.

BEPA rolled thru the 1st set taking a 4-0 lead, and broke Castano in the 3rd game of the 2nd set for 2-1, and has not been broken. Each held serve in the remaining 5 sets, which seemed to have some prolonged exchanges.

Good luck in the rest of the set (and match), BEPA!! You can take it in two!
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posted on 4-10-2005 at 07:17 AM Reply With Quote


I also watched the live scores and wondered. You´re right, it looks like a rain delay.
Good start for Vera and until now it looks like if she´s in control, so I hope that she doesn´t loose focus during the delay. *keeps fingers crossed*
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posted on 4-10-2005 at 07:44 AM Reply With Quote


Vera just won 7:6 (4) in the 2nd set. Glad that she could win this in 2 sets even if it got tighter than it could have been, but it looks like she didn´t show nerves and didn´t allow Castano to get fully back into the match. I think she must be really happy now about her first win after the long break. Her next opponent will be Shahar Peer.
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posted on 4-10-2005 at 11:38 AM Reply With Quote


Yeah thats alot better!! I followed the match on the scoreboard like you guys and she looked very untroubled until closing out the match and even when she did drop the game, she still took the tiebreak which shows she must be feeling good about herself!! The important thing is that it is clearly a much better Vera we've seen today and thats a great sign!! :)



Vera,if your reading this,say hi to us guys! We'd really love to hear from you!
Vera Zvonareva,quite possibly the most beautiful girl in the world!!
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posted on 4-10-2005 at 10:17 PM Reply With Quote


Good work Vera! That has to be a small relief now that she has won a match since coming back from injury. All the best in your next match Vera ;)
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posted on 5-10-2005 at 11:58 AM Reply With Quote


Good luck against Peer Vera! ;)
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posted on 5-10-2005 at 03:37 PM Reply With Quote


Yeah, peer is a strange apponent!! one week she can look so good, the next she'll lose early!! I just hope this week is one of those bad weeks!! :)



Vera,if your reading this,say hi to us guys! We'd really love to hear from you!
Vera Zvonareva,quite possibly the most beautiful girl in the world!!
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 02:50 AM Reply With Quote


Vera just won 6/3 7/5. Good result, she had to fight hard a few times there but she hung on well. Sania Mirza is next. This will be tough. All the best Vera ;)
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 02:58 AM Reply With Quote


BEPA wins 6-3, 7-5. :D

I missed the 1st set, came in at 4-4. At 5-5 Vera broke to go 6-5, and won the last game at love! Good work, Vera!

Next up is Mirza, who took out Nakamura at 6-1, 6-4.

Keep it going, BEPA!!
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 03:16 AM Reply With Quote


:D New photo of Vera on WTA Player site:
http://www.wtatour.com/players/playerprofiles/playerbio.asp?PlayerID=260142

;)!!!!!
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 05:30 AM Reply With Quote


I just came to my office and looked for the results. What a great start into the day. Well done, Vera!
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 06:16 AM Reply With Quote


Wow, another win!! This is great!!

I have to say, these wins are probably the most important wins of her career so far so that is why these wins feel so good!! Right now, i'd say these wins are more special than a win against a very top player!! Well done Vera and keep up the good work!! Were really starting to have something to smile about again!! :)




Vera,if your reading this,say hi to us guys! We'd really love to hear from you!
Vera Zvonareva,quite possibly the most beautiful girl in the world!!
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 08:40 AM Reply With Quote


you´re so right with that, Nick. These wins are worth a lot more than the points she gets and therefore the rising in the rankings that it may cause and the money. I hope some more will follow now.
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posted on 6-10-2005 at 08:46 AM Reply With Quote


Great win Vera! Mirza seems a tough opponent but I hope Vera can go past her with another win. :)
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posted on 7-10-2005 at 03:37 AM Reply With Quote


Unfortunately Vera just lost 5/7 6/2 6/4 in what seemed to be a very hard fought match. Breaks of serve all over the place. A pity, but at least Vera is starting to play the tennis we know she is capable of. On to Moscow now. All the best Vera
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posted on 7-10-2005 at 04:16 AM Reply With Quote


:( Unfortunately, I didn't get online in time to follow the match. From what Simon said, it appeared to be a well-fought match. This tournament should have given Vera a good warm-up for the Kremlin Cup next week.

GOOD LUCK IN MOSCOW, BEPA!!!
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posted on 7-10-2005 at 05:41 AM Reply With Quote


Too bad she lost against Mirza, but as you said, Sam, at least it has been a good warm up for playing in front of her home crowd next week.
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posted on 7-10-2005 at 06:11 AM Reply With Quote


Yeah, and the most important thing of all is that she has a few wins under her belt now and that is such an important thing!! :) I'd say its been a very good week, it will certainly give her confidence!!



Vera,if your reading this,say hi to us guys! We'd really love to hear from you!
Vera Zvonareva,quite possibly the most beautiful girl in the world!!
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posted on 7-10-2005 at 04:23 PM Reply With Quote
A Compliment for Vera



Tatiana Golovin referring to her upcoming match with Sania Mirza:
"She beat Zvonareva so she must be in shape and motivated."

Which gives us Golovin's perception of how Vera is playing.

Vera's match against Mirza was nearly 2-1/2 hours. See the story here:
http://www.wtatour.com/newsroom/stories/NewsArticle_8185_rx.asp
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posted on 9-10-2005 at 10:01 PM Reply With Quote
Andrew's tournament-review



==============
AIG JAPAN OPEN (Tokyo, Japan; hard; WTA Tier III)
==============
Photos
------


On-court:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=zvonareva
Search Getty Images for "zvonareva"

Off-court:
http://www.wtatour.com/photogallery/ (Tokyo [Japan Open])

I must admit that Bepa looks stunning here. Hotter than the weather, considering what some of the others are wearing. Hotter than Nicole Vaidišová. Even hotter than Maria Kirilenko. And even, on this occasion, hotter than Tatiana Golovin! ;)

Bepa is learning how to get the best out of her beauty. :)

-----------
First round
-----------

+ Vera Zvonarëva d. Catalina Castańo, 6-2 7-6 (7/4)


This was the girl whom 47-year-old Martina Navrátilová thrashed 6-0 6-1 at Wimbledon 2004, but she's a much more formidable opponent in 2005, and away from grass. So it's a good win for Bepa, and it ended a losing streak of four matches stretching back to July (before she missed seven weeks with a left-ankle sprain).

Bepa went 4-0 up before Castańo got a game. In the second set, Bepa served for the match at 5-4 (courtesy of a break in the third game), but needed a tiebreak.

------------
Second round
------------

+ Vera Zvonarëva d. Shahar Peer, 6-3 7-5


I watched Peer lose to Daniela Hantuchová in my favourite match of Wimbledon 2005. The strangely attractive Israeli girl is a good retriever and a brave fighter.

Whereas Bepa has amazing retrieval-skills, tremendous fighting spirit, beautiful groundstrokes of flairsome power, a willingness to experiment and adapt her game to changing circumstances, and an astonishing ability to turn defence into attack.

Bepa was broken in the first game of the match, but broke back immediately. The next five games went with serve, with Bepa saving three break-points in the fifth and seventh games. Bepa broke for 5-3 and served out the set.

In the second set, Bepa broke in the third game, but Peer broke back to make it 3-3. Games went with serve until Bepa found herself serving to stay in the set at 4-5 (0/30), but she reeled off three games in a row to win two singles-matches in a row for the first time since the French Open.

--------------
Quarter-finals
--------------

- Vera Zvonarëva lt. SANIA MIRZA [8], 5-7 6-2 6-4


This was a mouthwatering match between a member of my eternal fanship (Bepa) and one of the candidates for my eternal fanship. Sania is a very attractive player to watch, with her sharp, flairsome groundstrokes and her willingness to go for her shots all the time.

I was disappointed that Bepa lost, especially after she had 15/40 on Sania's serve which would have given her a commanding 7-5 3-1 lead. But she claimed she lost her concentration rather than suffered a recurrence of her ankle-injury or her viral infection, and her run at this tournament is certainly a very positive step in the right direction after all her health-problems.


I didn't get to see the match myself, but I followed live scores on the Internet; here are my comments as I wrote them at the time:


First Set
---------
ZVONA * *__@ @* *@ 7
MIRZA _* *@ @__*__ 5


The match started at 10:12 Japanese time, although I didn't realise I had to refresh the scoreboard manually for it to start working until 10:29. :o However, I know from the WTAworld scores-thread that Bepa saved a break-point in the third game before holding for 2-1.

Bepa serving 2-2: 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad S, broken.

Sania has brilliant groundstrokes but a relatively weak serve, so I would expect a lot of breaks in this match. Their serves could be immaterial, really - I think it's going to be difficult to predict which way any given game is going to go.

Sania serving 3-2: 0/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad S, Deuce #2, ad B (BP), Deuce #3, ad B (BP #2), Deuce #4, ad B (BP #3), broken.

Against Bepa's tremendous fighting spirit, Sania cannot expect an easy ride on her serve from 40/15 up. This is the sort of game I'm used to from supporting Maria Sharapova against Bepa in 2004, but sadly they've been lacking in the matches I've followed live scores of since becoming a Bepa-fan at the start of 2005. It's not so easy to fight when you're struggling with a viral infection.

Bepa serving 3-3: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken.
Sania serving 4-3: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, 40/30, 40/40, ad B (BP), Deuce #2, ad S, Deuce #3, ad B, broken.


That could prove to have been a very important game, as Sania muffed three game-points for a 5-3 lead.

I followed live scores when Maria beat Sania at the US Open. The scoreline was 6-2 6-1, but the real story was that Maria fought off a lot of game-points and break-points, as Maria is wont to do. But Sania could have a similarly frustrating experience against Bepa, who fights for every point even harder than Maria.

Bepa serving 4-4: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad B, held.

From Sania's perspective, another opportunity goes begging, and it's Bepa who snaps out of the pattern of break and counterbreak. The way things are going, it's almost more of an advantage to be receiving right now. The pressure's firmly on Sania to respond to Bepa's hold with one of her own, or this set is gone.

Sania serving to stay in the first set 4-5: 40/0 -> 40/40, ad S, held.

I sense a real contest of wills going on at the moment. I don't need to be watching the match to perceive that Sania responded most impressively to a very tricky situation there.

Bepa serving 5-5: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad B, held.

Bepa has had to face break-points in every single one of her service-games (except possibly the first). It's her determination to fight for every game that is keeping her afloat in this match...

Sania serving to stay in the first set at 5-6: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (SP), Bepa won the first set 7-5 at 11:12.

...and giving her the winning edge. :)


Second Set
----------
ZVONA _@*_____ 2
MIRZA @__*@*@* 6

Bepa serving 0-0: 15/0, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.


But you never know when Sania's going to come up with her flashy groundstroke-winners (not that I have any information on how the points are being won in this match).

Sania serving 0-1: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken.

If your opponent holds serve, it's important to respond with a hold. If your opponent breaks serve, it's important to respond with a break. Preferably immediately. That's the key to staying competitive - the ability to respond to changes in scoreboard-patterns, of which there are plenty in this match.

Bepa serving 1-1: 15/0, 30/15, 40/15, held.
Sania serving 1-2: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, 40/40, ad S, held.


Sania did very well to respond there. I really thought Bepa was going to go up 7-5 3-1, and the odds would have been heavily against Sania winning the match from that position.

But at 2-2 it could still go either way, and we'll see whether the break-points Bepa missed at 15/40 were, in effect, two virtual match-points.

Bepa serving 2-2: 15/15, 30/15, 30/40 (BP), broken.
Sania serving 3-2: 40/0, 40/30, held.


And for the first time in the match, Sania has a clear lead of two games in a set, and I just sense Bepa's fighting spirit abating a little - hopefully momentarily! ;)

Bepa serving 2-4: 30/0 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken.

And suddenly this set is rushing away from Bepa. I hope it's not a recurrence of that horrible, energy-sapping virus, or Bepa may have lost the third set before it even begins.

It's 23°C in Tokyo right now - hot by British standards, but I'm sure Bepa's used to playing in much higher temperatures. 23°C must certainly be an advantage for Sania though, with the way Bepa has struggled in hot climates throughout 2005.

Sania serving for the second set at 5-2: 40/0 (3 SPs), Sania won the second set 6-2 at 11:45.


Third Set
---------
ZVONA __* *@__*_ 4
MIRZA @* *__@* * 6

Bepa serving 0-0: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken.
Sania serving 1-0: 15/0, 15/15, 30/30, 40/30, held.


I hate to admit it, but I think Bepa has gone. Wilted in the heat. Run out of gas. Sania has now won seven games in a row, and all since Bepa had 15/40 for 6-4 3-1.

Bepa serving 0-2: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, held.
Sania serving 2-1: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, held.


Must-win game for Bepa next... can't see her coming back from 1-4* in 23°C...

Bepa serving 1-3: 0/15, 40/15, 40/30, held.
Sania serving 3-2: 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken.


Well done indeed. I'm glad Bepa made me eat my words! ;) Sometimes you're dead tired but you get a second wind, and the momentum is back with Bepa now. :) I've never seen anyone fight so hard when she's tired as Bepa did against Venus Williams at the French Open 2003.

Bepa serving 3-3: 30/0, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad S (BP), Deuce #2, ad B, Deuce #3, ad S (BP #2), broken.

It really is a crying shame that Bepa let that game get away from her after fighting so hard to get herself back in this match.

Sania serving 4-3: 0/30, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held.

The scoreboard said 15/40 when it was really 30/30! :mad:

Bepa serving to stay in the match at 3-5: 0/15, 30/15, 30/30, scoreboard froze, 40/40, ad B, held.

The moment of truth for Sania - does she believe with the right kind of believing?

Sania serving for the match at 5-4: 40/0 (3 MPs), Sania won 5-7 6-2 6-4 at 12:33 (2h 21m).


Bepa quotes
-----------


"I started out okay. I think I played well in the first set, but then I lost my concentration and couldn't get my game back.

"She's a good player. For me, it was important to concentrate on my game and do what I needed to do, but I couldn't play good tennis throughout the whole match."


Sania quotes
------------


"I had my chances in the first set, and it could've been straight sets, but she played so well when it counted. In the important points, she would play a great point with good groundstrokes, which kind of confused me.

"I think I played one of my best matches. She's the number-one seed, and I'm happy that I was able to play my game."


Bepa now goes on to the Kremlin Cup at her home-town Moscow - the tournament she wants to win more than any other - where she faces fellow Muscovite Maria Kirilenko in a first-round match which promises to be mouthwatering in terms of both tennis and beauty! :)

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/zvona/

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posted on 9-10-2005 at 10:36 PM Reply With Quote


Good pictures of Vera here::)
http://scoreboard.jta-tennis.or.jp/#

Click on Photos on the right side, then choose Day 4 (at top) and Day 5 (just below the middle) to view.
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