Day 2 was a much better day tennis wise than Day 1 in Doha. With the temperature at 5p Doha time about 50 degrees Celsius/108 degrees Fahrenheit the day could've featured slow, sluggishly played break fests, something the WTA has become known for. Indeed the first match started out just like that.
Victoria Azarenka, seeded 8th, took the court to play Vera Zvonareva, the number two seed, to begin play. The first set saw break after break after break but also featured actual play. I mean tennis where strategy and skill was on display. It also featured the full WAG-ification of Bepa's coach, Sergey Demekhne. It was reported that during the post match presser photographers were taking tons of pictures of Sergey.
Ahem. Back to the match.
The first set was decided by a tiebreaker that Bepa won 7-6(4). The second set saw a mentally tired Victoria Azarenka trying to hold on but in the end not having enough left after winning Moscow last week. Vera won that set 6-4. Bepa is now the leader of the White Group with a match record of 2-0 and sets won at 4-0.
Jelena Jankovic and Kim Clijsters. Clijsters hasn't played a match since the US Open and came into Doha the freshest of everyone there. Jelena, while she has cut back on her schedule, had played in Asia before coming to Doha.
Jelena couldn't play as poorly as she did on Day 1 and she didn't but she was never in the match. She tried to make a better showing but in the end she lost 6-2, 6-3. I think Lindsay Davenport, in her usual blase blase style said it best when discussing why Jelena's recent play. She said that in 2008 Jelena played almost constantly and that while she does work out and keep herself fit the body can only take so much and that she is paying the cost for her schedule two years ago. Yes she finished the year at #1 but has never been the same since. Clisters, also in the White Group, is up 1-0 in matches and 2 sets to none lost behind Bepa.
The third match featured WTA #1 Caroline Wozniacki playing Samantha Stosur.The tennis press was breathlessly reporting that if Bepa lost or Wozniacki won Caroline would secure the year end #1 ranking.
The Order of Play for tomorrow at 5p Doha time, 10a Eastern US time is as follows:
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Khalifa Tennis Complex (from 17.00hrs)
1. Samantha Stosur vs. Elena Dementieva
2. Caroline Wozniacki vs. Francesca Schiavone
3. Kim Clijsters vs. Victoria Azarenka
End Note: I'm going to be out all morning tomorrow so I won't post a Day 3 review. I should pick things up again on Friday.