WTA As it happens

This content was published 13 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

12.58 am: Bethanie Mattek-Sands defeats Flavia Pennetta 6-4, 4-6, 6-3! Beth served better and deserved it. She’ll play Jarmila Gajdosova in the second round tomorrow. And it means that the Ana Ivanovic match will no doubt be moved to Centre Court Wednesday afternoon.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be back in a few hours time when play starts again! Always a pleasure, never a chore…

12.47 am: Break up, break down. I’m having a breakdown here. 4-2 Mattek, 30-all. Six more points…

12.17 am: 6-4 Pennetta after she failed to serve out at the first time of asking and then Mattek held. Hold onto your hats, here we go for the decider…

11.47 pm: 3-0 Pennetta and Mattek-Sands has a coaching time-out. I vote for a super tie-break if this goes to one set all… All those in favour?

11.40 pm: Pennetta refuses to take this lying down and breaks to open the second. We could be in for a long night with Flavia here…

11.34 pm: Seven holds, then three breaks, and Mattek takes the set 6-4, having failed to serve out at 5-4 but breaking again to take it. Her groundstrokes were very impressive in the first set, finding the corners with accuracy and power.

10.56 pm: Two hours later, the final match gets under way now that Pietrangeli is free! Flavia Pennetta versus Bethanie Mattek-Sands. Beth was outside the top 100 this time last year but is up to 38th now, while Flavia, no.15 seed here, is down to 21st in the world and a good few slots behind Francesca Schiavone, who was always in her shadow and then suddenly emerged last June, at Roland Garros. Beth is in all black with knee-length socks, as is her wont, as well as some war-paint which I presume is sun-screen. It’s nearly 11 pm Beth… Anyway, it’s 1-1, deuce.

8.36 pm: Wow. Double breadstick in 54 minutes. Maria Sharapova defeats Ekaterina Makarova 6-1, 6-1 and will face the winner of Shahar Peer and Alisa Kleybanova on Thursday. Wowzers. 19 winners, 19 unforced errors from her (it has to be said hapless tonight) opponent. Pennetta – Mattek to follow on Pietrangeli later this evening. Maria was serving well and hitting decent backhands – two veeeeeery good signs as far as she is concerned. One match does not a clay threat make, but still…

8.20 pm: Masha obviously has a dinner date at that little pizzeria I like by the Ponte Milvio. 6-1 first set in the blink of an eye. Serving at an 80% clip and treating the Makarova second service as appetisers.

7.50 pm: And we’re into the night session. Maria Sharapova, the no.7 seed, is taking on Ekaterina Makarova, who defeated reigning champ MJMS yesterday. These two have met once before, with Masha taking it. And she’s a sixth of the way to taking this, having broken and held to open. Masha hasn’t lost here since 2005! She didn’t play in 2006 and 2007, withdrew mid-tourney in 2008 and wasn’t here the last two years.

Elsewhere, Shahar Peer defeated Bojana Jovanovski 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 and will face Alisa Kleybanova in the second round tomorrow.

7 pm: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova defeats Chanelle Scheepers 6-3, 7-5. A result to be expected when you pit the no.16 seed against a qualifier. Pavs will face Vera Dushevina in the second round tomorrow. Elsewhere, Bojana Jovanovski won the opener 6-3 against Shahar Peer. Wow! BoJo is the youngest player in the women’s draw at 19. The No.10 seed s well on the way to levelling matters however and looks bagelling the teenager in the second(it’s 5-0, deuce).

4.59 pm: No.12 seed Andrea Petkovic defeats Maria Kirilenko 7-5, 6-1, finishing off an excellent second set with an ace. She’ll play Polona Hercog tomorrow in round 2 and has just signed a smiley face with a great flourish on the TV camera courtside. Same number of unforced errors and winners from the two, but etkorazzi won the big points.

3.53 pm: The organisers certainly got the women’s wild cards right! After Brianti, now it’s Oprandi! Romina Oprandi defeats Kaia Kanepi 7-5, 3-6, 6-1. That’s some result against the Estonian who slipped outside the top 100 this time last year only to qualify at Wimbledon then barge her way all the way into the quarters. She was no.14 seed as well so brava Romina! She’ll face Daniela Hantuchova tomorrow and will fancy her chances.

In a match-up of poster-girls on Pietrangeli, Maria Kirilenko took an early break, Andrea Petkovic nabbed it back then MaKiri dominated the net on break point (I kid you not!) and it’s 4-3, with the easy-on-the-eye Russian pocketing the crucial seventh game of the set.

Elsewhere, South African qualifier Chanelle Scheepers is just about to do battle with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, with is coincidentally (actually not at all coincidentally) the name of a dessert which a tennis fan kindly brought me when I was working at Wimbledon last year. All gifts gratefully received, either here, in Paris or Wimbledon…

3.05 pm: More results. Sara Errani is through after Roberta Vinci pulled out at 6-2, 1-0 in favour of Errani, who will play no.3 seed Victoria Azarenka tomorrow. And Francesca Schiavone is through to the third round, 6-3, 6-1 over Christa McHale. She won’t play til Thursday, after Daniela Hantuchova has played the winner of Romina Oprandi and Kaia Kanepi (3-0 to the Italian in the third in that one).

2.50 pm: Just been out onto Centre for a salad, a mineral water and a Schiavone (three very light dishes without an ounce of fat on them). Franny looks darker than the courts – she’s got a real tan! Anyway, she’s not first serving worth a lick, in fact in the two service games of hers I watched, she was 1 for 9 and that was an ace. Of the rest, seven got nothing but net and one was long. Poor Christa McHale is a little overawed by the occasion though, missing a few easy volleys and not having the luck with the calls or the net cords. It’s 6-3, 3-0 Schiavone, and I’d love to see Franny now get some of her all-round game out of the kitbag and try a few more volleys, slices etc. instead of just power from the baseline.

Speaking of kitbag, when McHale served with new balls at 5-2, Franny changed racquets twice mid-game and still hit every return of service long!

2 pm: A wild card has overcome a lucky loser, to the delight of the home crowd. Alberta Brianti wins 6-4, 7-5 over Zheng Jie and will face Greta Arn, who defeated the defending champion Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez yesterday. We now have an Italian-fest. Sara Errani with her Vera Dushevina-esque blue eyes has broken Roberta Vinci to lead 2-1, Romina Oprandi has taken the opener 7-5 from Kaia Kanepi, and Francesca Schiavone (photo), the reigning French Open champion, is on Centre Court and has held to open against America qualifier Christa McHale. Who has more pressure on their shoulders – the 18-year-old in front of a packed crowd, or Schiavone, for whom Italy now expects so much more…?

1 pm: First results of the day. Qualifier Anastasia Rodionova has beaten Yaroslava Shvedova 6-4, 6-4 and will face seed (and indeed world) no.1 Caroline Wozniacki tomorrow, while Lucie Safarova has defeated Kimiko Date Krumm 7-5, 6-2 to set up a tie with two-time winner and last year’s finalist Jelena Jankovic. Lovely Lucie will play the no.5 seed tomorrow.

11.30 am: Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the completion of the first round and the start of the second round of the WTA tournament.  The action is under way already, with Zheng (and the art of motorcycle maintenance) Jie 3-2 up on home hope Alberta Brianti but with service. Zheng was the bright young thing of Chinese tennis a few years ago when she went deep at Wimbl
edon but has since been overtaken by Li Na.

Kimiki Date Krumm, who like me is 40 years young and unlike me is playing the best tennis of her life, leads Lucie “I used to be the best Czech leftie then my clubmate Petra Kvitova came along. Sigh. As long as she doesn’t nick my boyfriend Tomas Berdych off me” Safarova 5-4, again on service, while Anastasia “one of many naturalised Aussies” Rodionova has the only break of the day and is 5-3 up on Yaroslava “maybe I should play for Australia as well. After all my name fits” Shvedova.

Tweet me @DrewLilley and give me your feedback, let me know who you think will do the business today and tonight.

And don’t forget that the ATP matches are in a separate blog so make sure you have to have two windows open on your computers.

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