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WTA As it happens

This content was published 12 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.

12.40 am: Victoria Azarenka defeats Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. Phew. Vika faces Maria Sharapova tomorrow / today at 7.30 pm. And we start again today / tomorrow at 12 noon, with Greta Arn versus Na Li. I’ll be there, make sure you are too!

12.25 am: Pavlyuchenkova wins a game of all the deuces – just what we need at this time of night, a ten-minuter. She also bashes a ball away at one point and it hits a ball-girl, for which she receives a warning from the ump. It’s all happening here…

12.15 am: Vika holds! 3-1! Davai Vika, davai… Pavs is complaining about the crowd (not many left), the balls, Vika’s not overly happy either (me neither, truth be told…)

12.14 am: Vika breaks! What’s the betting Nastya breaks right back…

12.08 am: 1-1. Each game via a raft of deuces. Somebody up there doesn’t like me. All we need now is a rain delay…

11.42 pm: Vika takes a 30-0 lead, Nastya bounces her racquet and that does the trick. She wins the next four points and breaks again to lead 4-2. These two have very similar styles, and it’s all down to who plays better on the night (or per ten-minute period). Nastya then serves big and it’s 5-2. OK. Now Vika (and I) are five games from home, or alternatively seven if Nastya’s going to win it, but then I have to rewrite my preview…

11.36 pm: Ups and downs. Vika wins the opener, Nastya takes a 3-0 lead in the second, Vika breaks back. 2-3. Vika’s four games from home (and so am I…)

11.10 pm: And she does! 6-4, Vika is half-way there.

11.03 pm: Ha, then all of a sudden we have five breaks! Azarenka to serve for the set – if she can – at 5-4.

10.38 pm: 2-2. Plenty of deuces and even break points on either side but none taken as yet. If anything Pavs has looked the more likely – she’s definitely stronger on service tonight. And let’s not forget that she’s top 20 in the world.

10.18 pm: Final match of the night – Vika Azarenka versus Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. No.4 .v. no.16. They have met twice before, at Miami in 2009 and this year with the Belarusian winning both (and going on to win the title both times!) Nastya Pavs used to be at the Mouratoglou academy in Paris but is now being coached in Barcelona.

9.50 pm: And then Yanina breaks back! She takes it to a breaker and Caro storms into a 6-1 lead. Yanina serves strongly to save two, then mini-breaks back for another thanks to a tight call, so Caro decides to finish it off with an ace. Caroline Wozniacki defeats Yanina Wickmayer 6-1, 7-6(4) and will face Jelena Jankovic in what promises to be a cracking quarter-final tomorrow afternoon on Pietrangeli.

9.10 pm: At 1-1 there was a game of all the deuces and Caro was in trouble for a while, but since then it’s been all plain sailing for the polished, and Polish, Dane. 6-1, 3-1 and she’s got one foot in the quarters.

8.10 pm: “Night session, night sess-iiiiiiiion,” as the Bee Gees would have sung had they been here. And we have Caroline Wozniacki versus Yanina Wickmayer. They met in the quarters in Charleston this year, with the Dane winning 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 and going on to win her first title on clay (though of a different colour). She leads 1-0 tonight already having held to open, and it’s deuces wild on the Belgian’s service.

6.50 pm: Maria Sharapova wins 6-2, 6-2 over Shahar Peer and will face the winner of Azarenka-Pavlyuchenkova in the quarters tomorrow. The self-styled “cow on ice” when it comes to playing on the red dirt is looking good here this week… very good…

6.14 pm: Ewww, never nice to see. “Knowing me, knowing you” Shahaaaaar double faults to hand Masha the opener 6-2.

5.52 pm: Shahar takes the first two while Masha’s still warming up, then the six-foot Siberian takes the next three, always with that tight-eyed, fully-focused look of hers.

5.27 pm: And the stars keep on coming! Sharapova versus Peer. Masha has beaten Shahar on the four times they have met but this is their first ever match on the former’s least-favourite surface – clay. Despite that, she’s made the semis here twice and looked very good in beating Makarova on Tuesday.

4.55 pm: Francesca Schiavone wins, defeating Daniela Hantuchova 3-6, 6-2, 7-5. She needed another disputed line-call in her favour as well in the final game. There was an absolute wall of noise out there when she won though, and she went absolutely wild. She’ll face the woman she beat to win her only Slam to date (and whom she deprived of what would have been her first Slam) Sam Stosur tomorrow – that has to be the evening’s highlight on Centre, I reckon.

4.45 pm: Franny breaks, on the back of two ultra-tight calls! She’ll serve for the match at 6-5.

4.40 pm: Franny serves out to love to stay in the match at 5-5. Ooh, the tension!

4.25 pm: This match is going the distance – Franny breaks to open the decider, Dani breaks back to make it 3-all. Critical seventh game to come – and Dani holds! All the pressure on Franny now – eight points from elimination. Who will falter more? seems to be the question we are asking.

3.50 pm: Franny 6-2s it in the end and we’ll have a decider. Much more determination from her – Dani Hani hit twice as many winners as she did in the first set, mainly due to the fact that Franny was moving so slowly. She’s up to speed now. We have to remember that playing in front of a packed Centre Court in the marquee match is still a relatively new experience for her – her Grand Slam win was less than a year ago and up until then, she was a journeywoman pro.

Ooh, she breaks to open the decider! The match is hers to lose now…

3.25 pm: 3-2 Franny in the second and she’s a break to the good. She’s more up for it this set – there was one point where she battered the ball right at Dani Hani twice and got the point in the end.

3 pm: What an to-and-fro-er that was! Jelena Jankovic defeats Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-4, 2-6, 6-2. JJ won eight breaks to seven, and will face Woz or Wick on Centre tomorrow.

And speaking of Centre, Daniela served at 5-2 for the first set, couldn’t close it out but before I say “Hantuchoker”, she broke to take it 6-3. ‘Tis often the way in the WTA: you receive for the match as opposed to serving for it.

2.30 pm: Here’s one prediction I got right – Greta Arn defeats Elena Vesnina 3-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(3) and will face Na Li tomorrow afternoon, no doubt. Greta (photo) has been playing some great tennis this week, and poor Elena can’t seem to close out matches.

On Centre Court, Dani Hani is two breaks to the good (or bad, if you’re an Italian come along to cheer Schiavone on), but Franny is deucing it up on the Hani serve so there might be the sniff of a break back.

2.19 pm: AMG took the second 6-2 over JJ, but the Serb is serving at 2-0 up in the decider. Make your minds up, ladies… And now we have the main event, Daniela Hantuchova versus Francesca Schiavone on Centre. And to the chagrin of the home crowd, Dani Hani has leapt like a gazelle into a 2-0 lead. Franny leads their H2H 4-2, and also beat Dani here in the first round last year (back then, she hadn’t won the French Open and wasn’t top eight, so therefore not a seed with a bye. How times have changed – she’s no.2 here this year).

1.47 pm: AMG’s a break up on JJ in the second set, serving at 3-2. At this rate, the Serb, who has made the final three of the past four years, will have her work cut out to repeat the feat. She’s in the Wozniacki then Azarenka/Sharapova ha
lf of the draw as well…

1.24 pm: Vesnina takes the tie-break 7-3. Game back on. And what an up-and-downer it is on Pietrangeli: it was 2-0 AMG, 2-2, 4-2 AMG and then JJ ended up taking it 6-4. That medical time-out must have done her some good (and she does like an MTO, does JJ).

1.10 pm: Vesnina ended up holding, having a medical time-out and she’s now a mini-break down in the tie-break.

1.02 pm: JJ got back on service then had some treatment on her right leg/lower back and then AMG broke again to lead 4-2. Meanwhile Vesnina was on the brink of winning the match then suffered a bit of a lapse, as twere, and she’s now serving to save the set, locked at deuce having saved a set point.

12.49 pm: Quarter-finalist no.2, and it’s last year’s beaten French Open finalist. Sam Stosur has defeated Polona Hercog 6-3, 6-4 and is in line for an Roland Garros rematch tomorrow if Francesca Schiavone can beat Daniela Hantuchova this evening. Not much of a match that one, Sam did what she had to – saving her strength for tomorrow…

12.26 pm: Whoa Jelly! Qualifier Anabel Medina Garrigues (AMG) has broken and held to open against 2007 and 2008 champion Jelena Jankovic! Mind you, JJ is the world’s slowest starter. Slower than an old diesel-engined estate car on a cold day.

12.12 pm: First winner of the day and first quarter-finalist on either side of the draw is Li Na, who has defeated Jarka Gajdosova 6-2, 6-1 and will face the winner of Arn – Vesnina tomorrow. Most likely Vesnina, who leads 6-3, 2-0.

11.50 am: Li is a set to the good, having taken the opener 6-2 and Sam Stosur is attempting to do the same. Her opponent Polona Hercog had the trainer out to give her treatment on her right foot at the first proper changeover, which is not a good sign, but she’s just held serve to stay in the set. Sam to serve, 5-3. Greta Arn meanwhile was a break up on Elena Vesnina but the Russian’s stormed back to break-hold-break and it’s 4-2, Elena on serve.

11.23 am: Flying start from Li Na, doing the old hold-break-hold to open with a semi-bagel. She’s moving her Aussie opponent left and right and concluding swiftly and crisply.

10.45 am: Morning everyone, and welcome to the third round. This is where it gets really tasty – it’s the Round of 16, with quarter-final berths up for grabs. Later on we have Caro Wozniacki, Vika Azarenka, JJ, Dani Hani and many more but we’re starting off with Jarmila Gajdosova against Na Li (I can’t see Jarka taking a set off the Aus Open finalist), Sam Stosur versus Polona Hercog (straight sets for Slammin’ Sammy in my opinion) and Greta Arn against Elena Vesnina (the Hungarian to carry on her surprise run, I reckon).

You can tweet me @DrewLilley with any comments and don’t forget that the ATP matches, which start at 12 noon, are in a separate blog on the home page as well.

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