By Curt Janka
(August 2, 2013) CARLSBAD, California – Urzula Radwanska provided little resistance to top seed Victoria Azarenka. While all three of the previous quarterfinals of the day went to three sets, Azarenka easily dismissed Radwanska 6-1, 6-2. The few games Radwanska managed to win seemed to only come when Azarenka’s concentration dipped.
Having won the first set comfortably, Azarenka opened the second set with two wild double faults and two egregious errors to gift a break to her opponent. The sudden burst of applause from the crowd might have been enough to refocus Azarenka’s attention. She quickly won the next 5 games. Azarenka again seemed to mentally drift as she donated another loose service break before closing the match out on Radwanska’s serve at love.
Azarenka will face Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals. The other semi pits wild card Virginie Razzano against Samantha Stosur.
Martina Hingis, having un-retired this week to play doubles, also looked like she’d cruise to a comfortable win with her partner Daniela Hantuchova. Leading by a set and a break, the veteran pair looked relaxed and giggled on changeovers. That’s when their opponents, Raquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears dug in their heels. The determined American duo used strong serves and solid volleys to ultimately take the match 4-6, 7-5, 10-3.
Hingis impressed with some bigger-than-expected groundstrokes, but her serve was often a target for abuse. Early in the second set, it seemed the off pace of Hingis’ serve had her opponents off rhythm. “It’s so slow,” yelled Kops-Jones at one point, frustrated by hitting a number of returns out. The younger team was able to settle back into their return game, however, and extend the match.
In the deciding tiebreaker, the Americans were the more intense team and quickly notched an insurmountable lead. Hingis saved one match point on her serve before losing the next, and final, point on another blazing return.
At the conclusion of the doubles match, which had been moved to the smaller Stadium 2, Hingis and Hantuchova gathered their things and started to walk out the rear exit. They didn’t get far. Quite a crowd of vocal fans had gathered at the front exit beckoning the pair to come that way. The veterans obliged the happy fans by crossing back to the swarm, signing autographs and posing for pictures. It was a classy gesture that will surely leave the lucky fans with a great memory of the evening.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA OPEN
Carlsbad, CA, USA
July 29-August 4, 2013
Results – Friday, August 2, 2013
Singles – Quarterfinals
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 61 62
(5/WC) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (2) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 75 26 63
(WC) Virginie Razzano (FRA) d. (3) Petra Kvitova (CZE) 67(6) 75 76(8) (saved 2mp)
(7) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. (4) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 61 67(1) 62
Doubles – Quarterfinals
Black/Erakovic (ZIM/NZL) d. (2) Huber/Llagostera Vives (USA/ESP) 64 36 1210 (Match TB)
(3) Kops-Jones/Spears (USA/USA) d. (WC) Hantuchova/Hingis (SVK/SUI) 46 75 103 (Match TB)
Order Of Play – Saturday, August 3, 2013
Stadium (from 14.00hrs)
1. Victoria Azarenka vs. Ana Ivanovic
2. Kops-Jones/Spears vs. Black/Erakovic
3. Virginie Razzano vs. Samantha Stosur (NB 19.00hrs)
4. Chan/Husarova vs. Jankovic/Srebotnik