(Daniela is shown serving at Indian Wells in 2002, serving to Svetlana during Saturday's final, and with the hardware--a statue of an aquatic mammal of the genus
, not a fish--after the match).
Daniela defeated Martina Hingis by the same score, 6-3, 6-4, in the 2002 Indian Wells final.
"I had exactly the same feeling I had against Martina in 2002. I knew I was going to enjoy myself out there... I was just so confident from the first point, I didn't really think about the score. I went out there, tried to play my game and just enjoyed every moment on the court."
Daniela broke Svetlana's serve in the fourth game of the 1st set, and the fifth game of the 2nd.
"To beat [Daniela] today, I had to play the key moments better than I did, and force a bit more than I did in the first set. When she was on a roll it was pretty hard to stop her. She was playing very well."
The win will move Daniela up to # 12 in the WTA rankings on Monday, her highest rank since September, 2003. Daniela is now 2-4 in WTA singles finals; her only previous title, as mentioned, came at Indian Wells in 2002. She continued to play at a high level the rest of that year, and in January, 2003, reached her career-high rank of # 5. But she had not won a WTA singles title since then.
By June, 2004, Daniela's rank had fallen to # 54, and false claims were reported in the press that her low weight was due to an eating disorder. Since then Daniela's game has gradually improved. In August, 2005, Daniela reentered the top 20.
from mid-2001 until April 2006, except for a short stretch when she thought it best to try somebody else (Harold Solomon). In April, 2006, Daniela decided to split with Sears a second time; since then, the WTA says, Daniela "travels with various coaches from the Casal/Sánchez Academy in Barcelona"--where Svetlana Kuznetsova also obtains her training and coaches.
Daniela has also won 8 WTA doubles titles, and has won all four Grand Slam tourney mixed doubles titles (a "career slam").
Despite the loss, Svetlana now has the points to move up to # 3 in the rankings on Monday, her career high. Svetlana is now 8-9 in WTA singles finals and still leads Daniela 5-3 in
. Their last meeting was in the Doha semis a couple of weeks ago, when Svetlana won 6-4, 6-2. In their last match before that, in the Zurich semis in 2006, Daniela defeated Svetlana by the same score.
WTA SCOREBOARD: The Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells
Pacific Life Open, Indian Wells, California
NWS weather radar
Indian Wells current conditions
Indian Wells: The main draw for this two week, seven round tourney has 32 seeds, with 32 1st-round byes. There are 12 qualifiers and 9 wild cards in the main draw.
Qualifying (2 rounds) starts on Monday, qualifying finals are on Tuesday.
Main draw play begins on Wednesday.
The time in Indian Wells is UCT (GMT, Zulu...) -8 hours (=US Pacific Time, ET -3). San Diego news - California news
On February 14, Maria Sharapova dropped by the United Nations HQ in New York and donated $100,000 for victims of the Chernobyl disaster... by Tuesday, March 6, Maria was in Indian Wells, slicing serves in a charity exhibition match... on Wednesday, busy Maria was leaving the court after practicing, but had to pause for a moment because she couldn't remember what she forgot (must be something...
)... Martina Hingis, leading the relatively simple life of an "ordinary" celebrity, also worked out on Wednesday...
During Wednesday's press "all-access hour," Martina and Nicole Vaidisova (right) practiced grinning outside in the sun,
while Maria, keeping cool indoors, was apparently amazed by the quantity of audio recording apparatus cluttering her area...
On Saturday, March 10, Maria Sharapova visited her "lookalikes" promoting Canon PowerShot
while her friend Maria Kirilenko applied her Ivana Henryova
at the Pacific Life
Indian Wells, 1st Rd, Wed-Thu 10am
loser's prize: $2,145 US (2006: $2,325); points: 1
#45 Nicole Pratt AUS d #79 Virginia Ruano Pascual ESP 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3 Mon
Nicole charging a forehand, and Vivi about to launch her 1-handed backhand
#47 Gisela Dulko ARG d #107 Aleksandra Wozniak CAN 6-4, 6-3 Thu
Gisela applying her Technifibre
to a backhand drive
*#74 sr Alicia Molik AUS d #48 Aravane Rezai FRA 6-2, 6-4 Thu
Aravane and Alicia firing forehands
#49 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #82 Yung-Jan Chan TPE 7-6(2), 6-1 Mon
Nathalie and Yung-Jan belting backhand drives
#51 Agnieszka Radwanska POL d #248 sr Alina Jidkova RUS 4-6 6-2 6-4 Mon
*#78 q Victoria Azarenka BLR d #52 Emilie Loit FRA 7-5, 6-3 Mon
#53 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #67 Akiko Morigami JPN 6-3, 6-2 Thu
Akiko's two-handed, and Elena's one-handed, forehand drives
#54 Shenay Perry USA d #130 q Galina Voskoboeva RUS 6-3, 6-2 Mon
#56 Meilen Tu USA d #118 q Tatiana Poutchek BLR 6-3, 6-2 Mon
#57 Michaella Krajicek NED d #106 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 6-4, 6-3 Mon
*#62 Jill Craybas USA d #58 Maria Elena Camerin ITA 6-1, 7-5 Mon
#59 Romina Oprandi ITA d #136 wc Lilia Osterloh USA 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 Thu
Romina's running forehand, and Lilia following a backhand
#60 Aiko Nakamura JPN d #90 q Sandra Kloesel GER 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 Thu
Sandra's one-handed, and Aiko's 2-handed, forehand drives
#61 Vasilisa Bardina RUS d #88 Ashley Harkleroad USA 6-0, 3-0 retired-- left abdominal strainThu
*#134 wc Ahsha Rolle USA d #63 Anastasiya Yakimova BLR 6-4, 2-6, 6-0 Thu
#64 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP d #71 Eva Birnerova RUS 6-0, 6-4 Mon
#65 Kaia Kanepi EST d #161 wc Kristina Brandi PUR 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 Mon
#66 Laura Granville USA d #70 Camille Pin FRA 6(4)-7, 6-2, 6-1 Thu
*#157 q Meng Yuan CHN d #69 Virginie Razzano FRA 5-7, 6-1, 6-1 Thu
#72 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA d #76 q Julia Vakulenko UKR 7-5, 7-6(2) Thu
*#162 Marta Domachowska POL d #75 Catalina Castano COL 6-1, 6-2 Thu
#77 Vania King USA d #131 q Kateryna Bondarenko UKR 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 Thu
*#98 Iveta Benesova CZE d #80 Ekaterina Bychkova RUS 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) Thu
#81 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL d #120 q Stephanie Foretz FRA 7-6(1), 7-6(4) Thu
#84 q Alberta Brianti ITA d #155 q Olga Savchuk UKR 6-2, 6-4 Mon
*#94 Martina Sucha SVK d #86 Yuliana Fedak UKR 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 Mon
#87 Tiantian Sun CHN d #110 Karolina Sprem CRO 6-4, 7-6(1) Mon
*#172 wc Caroline Wozniacki DEN d #91 Jarmila Gajdosova SVK 6-3, 6-1 Mon
*#89 LL Anastassia Rodionova RUS d #96 Emma Laine FIN 6-1, 6-4 Thu
#121 wc Bethanie Mattek USA d #253 wc Brenda Schultz-McCarthy NED 6-1, 6-1 Thu
#127 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #270 wc Anna Tatishvili GEO 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 Mon
*#NR wc Mirjana Lucic CRO d #633 q Lindsay Nelson USA 6-4, 7-6(5) Mon
Indian Wells, 2nd Rd, Fri-Sat 10am WTA Fri story
loser's prize: $4,300 US (2006: $4,650); points: 25
#1 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #57 Michaella Krajicek NED 7-6(5), 6-4 Fri
Maria getting a little extra leverage on a cannonball serve, Michaella driving a forehand, Maria about to swat her "left-handed
forehand," which is really the same as her 2-handed backhand with the right hand removed for extra reach, and after match point
#5 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #59 Romina Oprandi ITA 7-5, 6-3 Sat
Svetlana serving, Romina chasing a forehand, Sveta's backhand drive, and after match point
#6 s3 Martina Hingis SUI d #172 wc Caroline Wozniacki DEN 6-1, 6-3 Fri
Martina serving, 16-year-old Caroline chasing a forehand, both players at net with Caroline defending a backhand
volley from Martina, and entertainer Caroline feigning crying after losing a Hawkeye replay challenge
Martina said: "I think in the beginning [Caroline] was a little nervous; but I think she is very talented and can go a long way. She's already improved since last time I played her. She's getting there. There's definitely some potential...|
"I tried to come in more. And as I did I won a lot of points at the net so that was satisfying. Hopefully I can bring that in against the top players as well. If I can put pressure on the lower or higher ranked players, then that's the only way I can succeed. And matches get easier this way. When I needed it, I came in and made some faster points. You don't get as tired." interview transcript - Hingis post-match mp3 audio clip
#7 s4 Nadia Petrova RUS d #47 Gisela Dulko ARG 6-3, 6-4 Sat
Nadia launching a cannonball serving, Gisela about to swat a backhand, Nadia's backhand drive, and after winning a point
#9 s6 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #121 wc Bethanie Mattek USA 6-4, 6-1 Sat
#10 s7 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #54 Shenay Perry USA 6-1, 6-3 Fri
#11 s8 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #NR wc Mirjana Lucic CRO 6-2, 7-5 Fri
#12 s9 Dinara Safina RUS d #162 Marta Domachowska POL 6-3, 5-7 6-3 Sat
#14 s10 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #77 Vania King USA 6-3, 6-0 Sat
Ana driving a backhand, and after winning a point
#16 s11 Shahar Peer ISR d #87 #87 Tiantian Sun CHN 6-3, 6-0 Fri
Sharhar about to swat a backhand
#17 s12 Na Li CHN d #45 Nicole Pratt AUS 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 Fri
#18 s13 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #60 Aiko Nakamura JPN 6-0, 7-5 Sat
#19 s14 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #65 Kaia Kanepi EST 6-2, 2-6, 6-1 Fri
Kaia and Daniela chasing optic yellow orbs
#20 s15 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #62 Jill Craybas USA 7-5, 6-1 Fri
#22 s16 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #157 q Meng Yuan CHN 6-4, 7-6(3) Sat
#24 s17 Marion Bartoli FRA d #81 Tsvetana Pironkova BUL 6-1, 6-2 Sat
#25 s18 Francesca Schiavone ITA d #94 Martina Sucha SVK 6-4, 6-4 Fri
#26 s19 Lucie Safarova CZE d #51 A Radwanska POL 6-3, 6(2)-7, 7-6(4) Fri
Lucie following a lefty forehand
Lucie said: "[My left shoulder] was injured after Paris, and it was the first match that I played in a tournament after the injury. The first round of a big event, it's always a little bit nervous, so you don't know what to expect. You are not so used to the court... [My shoulder] was fine. It was not bothering me." interview transcript|
#27 s20 Tathiana Garbin ITA d #98 Iveta Benesova CZE 7-5, 6-2 Sat
#29 s21 Samantha Stosur AUS d #72 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-3, 6-4 Sat
*#78 q Victoria Azarenka BLR d #30 s22 Jie Zheng CHN 6-3, 7-5 Fri
#31 s23 Alona Bondarenko UKR d #84 q Alberta Brianti ITA 7-5, 7-5 Fri
*#74 sr Alicia Molik AUS d #32 s24 A Medina Garrigues ESP 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 Sat
#33 s25 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #64 Lourdes Dominguez Lino ESP 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 Fri
*#53 Elena Likhovtseva RUS d #34 s26 Olga Poutchkova RUS 7-6(3), 6-2 Sat
*#66 Laura Granville USA d #35 s27 Severine Bremond FRA 6-3, 7-6(3) Sat
#36 s28 Martina Muller GER d #56 Meilen Tu USA 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 Fri
*#134 wc Ahsha Rolle USA d #40 s29 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 1-6, 6-1, 6-4 Sat
#41 s30 Shuai Peng CHN d #61 Vasilisa Bardina RUS 6-2, 6-0 Sat
*#49 Nathalie Dechy FRA d #42 s31 Flavia Pennetta ITA 6(3)-7, 6-4, 6-2 Fri
*#127 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT d #43 s32 Roberta Vinci ITA 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 Fri
#44 s33 Sybille Bammer AUT d #89 LL Anastassia Rodionova RUS 6-1, 6-0 Sat
Indian Wells, 3rd Rd, Sun-Mon 10am WTA Sun story
loser's prize: $8,755 US (2006: $9,475); points: 40
#1 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #49 Nathalie Dechy FRA 7-5, 6-2 Sun
Maria slicing a serve, Nathalie's backhand drive, Maria reaching for a backhand volley, and after winning a point
Maria is playing in her first tourney since retiring from the Tokyo semifinals in early February due to a hamstring strain. After Maria took a 5-2 lead in the 2nd set, Nathalie won three straight games to even the score at 5-5. However, Maria broke Nathalie's serve in the following game, and then served out the match.|
Maria said: "It's good to be back on court in some tight situations; I miss that after a while. I definitely feel these matches are helping me work on things here and there." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 audio 2
Maria leads her 4th round opponent, Vera Zvonareva, 4-2 in career matches, and all of their meetings have been fairly close: of the 13 sets they have played, Maria has won only one set by more than one break of serve.
About Vera, Maria said: "It's always difficult against [Vera]. She gets a lot of balls back, makes you work. But if I step in and play my game, I think I have a good shot."
#5 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #53 Elena Likhovtseva RUS 6-1, 7-6(4) Mon
Svetlana said: "It was hard for me to play [Elena] because I think she's one of the best match [players] on the tour. In the start I was very confused, and she looked like she couldn't put the ball in. Then she start to play better, but I start struggling a little bit and couldn't focus very much on my game in the end. But I get it up. In the important moments, I start playing well, because I had to otherwise I would go for three sets." interview|
#6 s3 Martina Hingis SUI d #127 q Yvonne Meusburger AUT 6-2, 6-4 Sun
Martina serving, Yvonne running down a forehand, Martina driving one,
and watching the video screen show that she has won a Hawkeye replay challenge
Martina led 4-0 in the 2nd set--then Yvonne won four straight games. Martina said: "The first four games were unbelievable; 16 consecutive points until 4-0 and I was thinking about it, and I just had to double fault. I mean, I just didn't miss. I mean, everything just went perfectly. But at 4-4, it's like, 'Okay, you've got to dig deep now.'" interview - post-match mp3 audio clip|
About her 4th round opponent, Daniela Hantuchova, Martina said: "We have a history here. She's similar to Lindsay or Serena, where you don't have very much time. They're very good ball strikers, good servers, and you just have to start to dictate from first point."
At Doha, Martina led 6-1, 4-1 before Daniela got into the match. Martina said: "She loosened up in Doha after she broke me back; she won the second set so she had the momentum, and she flowed with it. She was missing before. I was playing well but she started playing better. Once she loosens up she's tough."
#7 s4 Nadia Petrova RUS d #66 Laura Granville USA 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 Mon
#9 s6 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #134 wc Ahsha Rolle USA 6-3, 4-1 retired-- gastrointestinal illness Mon
Nicole in her service motion, and driving a forehand
Nicole said: "...Once I got the point and the play, I was definitely the one in charge. [Ahsha] served pretty well. First I had a little trouble with that. But otherwise, I think I was pretty much in control...|
"I didn't really [notice when Ahsha became ill]. She didn't ask for anything specific. Just tried to do my own thing, but I didn't really see anything...
"I really like playing here. It's only my second time, because last year I skipped. It's a fun tournament, so it always gets you more excited, more happy to play. he courts are so close to the hotel and everything is kind of nice here.... The players lounge is there, it's pretty mellow. You can go to the pool, or go to dinner somewhere nice, and just relax."
About her new contract to promote Citizen Eco-Drive watches, Nicole said: "It's fun to see what you do gets you somewhere... You get to do shoes; you get to do the promotions; you know, you get the watches. It's fun to do something different than just hit 500 forehands... They send me catalogs I can pick from... I think the people there are really fun to work with, so it makes it even better." interview
#10 s7 Jelena Jankovic SRB d #36 s28 Martina Muller GER 6-2, 6-4 Sun
#11 s8 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #33 s25 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-4, 6-1 Sun
*#24 s17 Marion Bartoli FRA d #12 s9 Dinara Safina RUS 6-4, 6-3 Mon
#14 s10 Ana Ivanovic SRB d #74 sr Alicia Molik AUS 6-2, 6-1 Mon
#16 s11 Shahar Peer ISR d #26 s19 Lucie Safarova CZE 6-3, 1-6, 6-4 Sun
#17 s12 Na Li CHN d #31 s23 Alona Bondarenko UKR 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 Sun
#18 s13 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #29 s21 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-2, 6-0 Mon
#19 s14 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #25 s18 Francesca Schiavone ITA 6-2, 7-6(3) Sun
Francesca and Daniela driving backhands
#20 s15 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #78 q Victoria Azarenka BLR 6-3, 6-3 Sun
#22 s16 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #27 s20 Tathiana Garbin ITA 6(4)-7, 6-1, 6-1 Mon
*#44 s33 Sybille Bammer AUT d #41 s30 Shuai Peng CHN 6-3, 6-3 Mon
Shuai belting a backhand, and Sybille finessing a forehand
Indian Wells, 4th Rd, Tue 10am WTA story
loser's prize: $17,890 US (2006: $19,350); points: 65
*#20 s15 Vera Zvonareva RUS d #1 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS 4-6, 7-5, 6-1
Vera twisting a serve Mariaward, Maria following a backhand, Vera driving a forehand, Vera after match point,
and Maria congratulating Vera
After winning the 1st set, Maria appeared to have things well in hand, and served for the match while leading 5-3 in the 2nd. Then Maria's serving, which had been inconsistent, became consistently inaccurate, and Vera won ten of the last eleven games to take the match. Maria had thirteen double faults, and Vera broke Maria's serve eight times, raising her record against Maria to 3-4.|
At the Tokyo indoor tournament in early February, Maria incurred a hamstring injury while serving, which kept her sidelined until last week. She was thus playing in only her third WTA tourney of the year.
Maria said: "It's strange. Even in the first two sets I didn't feel like I was playing amazing tennis. But I did the things that I needed to do. I came up with the good shots, especially on [Vera's] serves when I needed to. And in serving for the match, the only unforced error I really made was that swing volley.
"And after that I just deflated a little bit. I wasn't moving well at all. I missed a lot of first balls... That obviously gives your opponent so much confidence. She just started swinging and wasn't making a lot of errors...
"I was trying to come in a little bit, maybe put some pressure on her, because I felt like she started swinging a little bit more and her balls were getting deeper and deeper as the match went on. And I wasn't sure if that was because my ball was not heavy enough, or because I needed to try something different or give her different looks...
"I still felt pretty rusty. It's hard coming to an event when you haven't played a lot, and you try to improve with every match. But sometimes you run into someone who's a great competitor, who's had a lot of experience, who plays many tournaments a year. You've got to be ready. You've got to take your chances when you have them. You can't underestimate her." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2
Vera said: "I was concentrating on every point, trying to get the rhythm, trying to get my game together and I was just fighting for every point, and I think that's why I was able to turn it around." interview - mp3 audio clip
The loss means that Maria will lose most of the ranking points she earned by winning the title at Indian Wells last year, and with it, the number one ranking. In the WTA singles rankings next Monday, Justine Henin will again be # 1, and Maria Sharapova # 2.
#5 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #22 s16 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-2, 6-2
Svetlana's forehand, and Ai & Svetlana driving backhands
*#19 s14 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #6 s3 Martina Hingis SUI 6-4, 6-3
Daniela serving, Martina's backhand, Daniela following a backhand, and after match point
Martina took leads in both sets, but was not able to hold on to them. Martina said: "...We know each other's games pretty well, where our strengths and weaknesses are. I tried to overcome [Daniela's] backhand, and she goes for my forehand...|
"Only last week [in Doha, Mar 1] I was up a set and 4-1 against her, and I managed to lose, and today, it was more difficult. That's why she had the confidence to serve and played [well], because of last week...
"She's smart. She knows what I'm doing. She reads my game. I read hers. She has great serves." interview - mp3 audio clip
Daniela said: "It was such a joy for me to be out there... I always enjoy playing Martina because she really plays the way tennis should be played. And I have so much respect for that. And also, whenever we have a chance to practice, it's always great. So definitely she brings the best out of me." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2
*#18 s13 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #7 s4 Nadia Petrova RUS 6-2, 1-0 retired-- heat illness
#9 s6 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #24 s17 Marion Bartoli FRA 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Nicole following a backhand, and after match point
*#17 s12 Na Li CHN d #10 s7 Jelena Jankovic SRB 6-3, 7-6(1)
Na's forehand drive
Through her interpreter, Na said that she thought Jelena may have been troubled by an injury, which made the match easier than than she expected. interview|
*#16 s11 Shahar Peer ISR d #11 s8 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-4, 7-6(2)
Shahar after match point
Shahar said: "It was really tough match. Anna is a tough player. I played her already three times, once at juniors and two times in the women's tour. She's a tough player. She's everywhere, and every point she's in the match...|
"But I think I did the best thing in the best moment. At the tiebreaker, I was going for my serves. The second set, we had hard time to keep our serves, and we always broke to each other except three times. I think on the right moments I went for my shots, and that's why I won." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2 - mp3 clip 3
*#44 s33 Sybille Bammer AUT d #14 s10 Ana Ivanovic SRB 6(6)-7, 6-0, 6-3
Sybille said: "The last two years I'm working very hard, and I get better every day a little bit. And I think I improved everything: mentally, fitness, and also my tennis is better now. I can play also fast, where in the past, I just was running and put the ball into the court...|
"I'm not the one who is going on the first or the second ball on the win, I try to go and wait for the chance and make it to winner." interview
Indian Wells, QFs, Wed-Thu 11am Wed WTA story - Thu WTA story
loser's prize: $36,400 US (2006: $39,375); points: 115
#5 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #9 s6 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 Thu
Svetlana's forehand, Nicole driving a backhand, Svetlana following one, and Sveta after match point
Svetlana said: "I was a bit slow in the first set; I was maybe a bit tense and wasn't getting to the ball as much as I would've liked. Nicole was serving very well, and I had just a few chances to break her, and I made almost all of them. But she played a good match and it was very tough out there. And I think it was very important to hold my serve in the third set." interview - mp3 audio clip - mp3 clip 2|
Nicole said: "I played a great first set; I lost my rhythm in the second, a few mistakes here and there, then [Svetlana] was able to take advantage of it. We played some great tennis. It was good match, definitely. But unfortunately it didn't end up the way I wanted it to." interview
Its the bat: Svetlana Kuznetsova had executed an unusual manuever: changing racquet models in mid-tournament. When she first used her previous bat, the Head Flexpoint Instinct, in April, 2005, she had some trouble adjusting to it and reverted to the earlier Liquidmetal Instinct. But from June 2005, until this month, Sveta swung the Flexpoint.
In the first two rounds, Sveta was still swinging a Flexpoint Instinct. In the 4th round and quarterfinals (no 3rd round photos were available), Svetlana has used the new Head MicroGEL Extreme.
This bat is available in two lengths, 27" and 27¼". Both have a 100 sq. in. head. The 27" MicroGEL Extreme Pro model weighs 11.8 oz. strung, is balanced 7 points head light, and has a stiffness rating of 68, with a swingweight of 332.
The "microgel" technology is a material spread around the head of the racquet which is supposed to reduce the shock transferred to the arm without reducing the racquet's stiffness, which would reduce its power (but one wonders if this softening around the head might "steal" energy from the strings, thus reducing the racquet's power anyway, without reducing the stiffness of the shaft). This model also has a wider head than usual, giving a longer area to brush up the back of the ball producing spin, while also increasing racquet head stability.
*#19 s14 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #16 s11 Shahar Peer ISR 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(5) Wed
Shahar's cannonball serve, Daniela's forehand, Daniela's cannonball serve, Shahar's backhand, and after match point
Daniela said: "With [Shahar], it's never easy. She's a great fighter and I was expecting that coming to the match, so I knew it was going to be a battle, which I think the score is proving. I'm just really glad how I pulled it out at the end." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2|
About her new all-black, not-yet-available, Prince O 3 series racquet (she previously swung a Yonex bat, and before that, a Babolat), Daniela said: "Definitely I feel like I'm hitting the ball very well, and I'm very pleased with my choice."
Shahar said: "I think first set was very bad. [Daniela] was dictating from the first ball of the point, each point, and I was just putting maybe a little bit more first serves, trying to make her move a little bit and tried to take control of the point...
"After I won the 5-all [game in the 3rd set] to 6-5 I felt I was playing better, but she was serving very well at 6-5. The whole match she was serving unbelievably and especially in the tiebreak. She put [in] so many first serves, so it was hard to break her every time." interview
#17 s12 Na Li CHN d #20 s15 Vera Zvonareva RUS 6-4, 7-5 Wed
Na driving a forehand, Vera's backhand drive, Na about to slice one, and after match point
Na said: "After win first set, here a little bit loose. But I think, 'Okay. I have one set behind my head...' It was 4-1. I was down. Then the chair umpire say, 'After second [set], you have ten minutes for break.' I said, 'Oh, okay.' Then I will come to court, and I feel, like, oh, the weather was not hard, it's good for me...|
"Before the three game, I feeling her balls more fast in first set, so I feeling always late I hit. But after 5-1, I feel the balls come to my side slow..." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2
*#44 s33 Sybille Bammer AUT d #18 s13 Tatiana Golovin FRA 6-2, 6-3 Thu
Sybille & Tatiana driving backhands, Tatiana having a bad day, and Sybille after match point
Sybille said: "If someone had told me before the tournament that I'd reach the quarterfinals or semifinals, I'd say 'Okay, I'll take it.' I am really happy about that. I was calm and tried to play my game, and I was not focusing on my opponents, that they are so good." interview - mp3 audio clip|
Tatiana said: "Nothing was going on; it just happened. It hasn't happened to me in a long time. It's kind of upsetting that it happens today, because I did have my chance to get into the semifinals. You just kind of have to move on." interview
Indian Wells, SFs, Fri 11am WTA story
loser's prize: $73,950 US (2006: $80,000); points: 210
#5 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS d #44 s33 Sybille Bammer AUT 6(5)-7, 6-4, 6-1
Svetlana's service toss, Sybille's running forehand, and Svetlana driving a backhand
About losing the 1st set tiebreak, after fending off seven set points for Sybille, Svetlana said: "It was tough but I said, 'Hey, you lost your chance. You had opportunities but you are still in the game, and there's still one more set to go.' So I had to start all over again...|
"It was two hours and 40 minutes, but the first set was one hour and a half and the other hour was another two sets. I came up strong; that's what's important." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2 - mp3 clip 3
Sybille said: "I was a little tight from the beginning, so I was making some double faults in the first set; I was not really playing my game. But, the first two sets were still okay. And [Svetlana] played great tennis in the third. She played really well...
"It was a great tournament for me. It's the biggest success in my career; I enjoyed playing in Indian Wells." interview
*#19 s14 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #17 s12 Na Li CHN 7-5, 4-6, 6-1
Daniela serving, Na's backhand, Daniela reaching for one, and after match point
Daniela said: "It was tough, because it was so hot and the conditions were very, very difficult. So I knew in the third set it was going to be a battle, but I felt like physically I was feeling much better [than Na] on the court...|
"The first few games in the third set were especially important; I tried to save my energy for the points, not to waste it in between. I definitely felt like I had the edge in the third set. I felt very, very good. Also, mentally it helped me that I felt I could have stayed there as long as it took to get through." interview - mp3 audio clip 1 - mp3 clip 2 - mp3 clip 3 - mp3 clip 4
Na said: "I was a little bit tired. I just wanted to hit a lot of winners, because I didn't want play long points. So I missed a lot. And she never missed." interview
Indian Wells, Final, Sat, 2:30pm
loser's prize: $150,670 US (2006: $163,000); points: 325
winner's prize: $306,890 US (2006: $332,000); points: 465
*#19 s14 Daniela Hantuchova SVK d #5 s2 Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS 6-3, 6-4
Daniela serving a cannonball, Svetlana's backhand, which players try to hit to because her forehand is a deadly weapon,
Daniela's fine forehand, and after match point
Indian Wells, Doubles Final, Sun|
losers' prize: $ US (2006: $45,500)
winners' prize: $ US (2006: $91,000)
cdr2 s1 Lisa Raymond & Samantha Stosur d cdr45 s5 Yung-Jan Chan & Chia-Jung Chuang 6-3, 7-5
Lisa & Sam with the glassware
It was Lisa's 62nd WTA doubles title, her 6th at Indian Wells, and Samantha's 18th WTA doubles title. It was also their 16th title as a team, including the 2005 Indian Wells title.|
Indian Wells, Qualifying Finals, Tue Mar 6 10am
losers' prizes: q1: $545; q2: $1,080 US (2006: $1,170)
#76 Julia Vakulenko UKR d #128 Viktoriya Kutuzova UKR 6-2, 6-1
#78 Victoria Azarenka BLR d #119 Melinda Czink HUN 6-4, 6-4
#84 Alberta Brianti ITA d #126 Maret Ani EST 4-6, 6-2, 6-1
*#118 Tatiana Poutchek BLR d #89 Anastassia Rodionova RUS 6-3, 6-1
#90 Sandra Kloesel GER d #142 Mathilde Johansson FRA 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(2)
*#120 Stephanie Foretz FRA d #109 Emmanuelle Gagliardi SUI 6-2, 6-3
#127 Yvonne Meusburger AUT v #137 Iroda Tulyaganova UZB 7-5, 7-6(7)
#131 Kateryna Bondarenko UKR d #133 Tatjana Malek GER 6-3, 6-2
#130 Galina Voskoboeva RUS d #93 Varvara Lepchenko UZB 7-6(5), 5-7, 7-6(4)
*#633 Lindsay Nelson USA d #139 Stephanie Dubois CAN 6-2, 1-6, 6-3
#155 Olga Savchuk UKR d #886 Anastasia Pivovarova RUS 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
*#157 Meng Yuan CHN d #156 Anne Keothavong GBR 7-6(5), 6-3
Indian Wells, Withdrawals
#8 s5 Elena Dementieva RUS rib stress injury
#21 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER
#28 Anastasia Myskina RUS toe injury
#37 Mara Santangelo ITA
#46 Sania Mirza IND right knee ligament injury
#55 Elena Vesnina RUS
#73 Anna Smashnova ISR
#1015 sr Elena Bovina RUS
. Elena, a finalist at Indian Wells in 2006, incurred a rib injury during a 2nd-round match in Antwerp on February 15th. While practicing in Moscow last week, she felt pain in the area; the
she has now been diagnosed as having a right rib stress fracture. Apparently she will be out for at least a month.
was made the 33rd seed with a 1st-round bye, inserted in the draw at Elena's 5th seed position, and # 89
, the highest-ranked player to lose in qualifying, was added in Sybille's place as a "Lucky Loser."
: the current top 20 Women's Tennis rankings with player photos, links, and bio info.