Elena over­comes Venus

New Straits Times - - Sport -

IN­DIAN WELLS: Elena Ves­nina de­nied Venus Wil­liams an­other great es­cape, beat­ing the sev­en­time Grand Slam cham­pion 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 on Thurs­day to reach the semi-fi­nals at In­dian Wells.

As Venus shook off a lethar­gic start and be­gan to ap­ply some pres­sure, Elena kept her poise, fin­ish­ing off the con­test on her fourth match point after fend­ing off six break points in the fi­nal game.

She’ll play Kristina Mlade­n­ovic for a place in the fi­nal after the French player’s 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 vic­tory over for­mer World No 1 Caro­line Woz­ni­acki.

“When I was up three-love in the first set she was miss­ing some easy shots,” Elena said of Venus. “She looked tired and slow on the court. Then, all of a sud­den, she started mov­ing around, hit­ting great shots, win­ners from all over the place.

“I kind of lost my rhythm, be­cause I didn’t know what to ex­pect.” After the match Venus ac­knowl­edged some phys­i­cal “is­sues” that had trou­bled her through­out the tour­na­ment, al­though she de­clined to elab­o­rate.

“I had some is­sues,” said the Amer­i­can, who played on Thurs­day with one thigh ban­daged, but with­out the right arm ban­dage she sported in pre­vi­ous rounds.

“It’s great to know that I can try to play through what I’m go­ing through and be very com­pet­i­tive,” she said. “I will try my best to be closer to 100 per cent in the next tour­na­ment.”

Elena, a Wim­ble­don semi-fi­nal­ist last year, reached the semi­fi­nals of an elite Pre­mier Manda­tory level tour­na­ment for the first time, as did the in-form Kristina — whose sea­son so far has in­cluded a first ca­reer ti­tle in St. Peters­burg and a run­ner-up fin­ish in Aca­pulco this month.

“I went for my game,” Kristina said. “I went for some vari­a­tion. I think I played dif­fer­ently at some points, try­ing to use more the court to make her run, as well, be­cause she was do­ing that pretty well to me.

“Some­thing new I put to­day was the serve and vol­ley on such im­por­tant points. I im­pressed my­self with that!” AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.