Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vera Zvonareva cruised to semifinals in the Pan Pacific Open!

TOKYO -- Second-seeded Maria Sharapova was eliminated from the Pan Pacific Open on Thursday when she was forced to retire because of an injury in the first set of her quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova. With her Czech opponent leading 4-3 in the first set, Sharapova twisted her left ankle when serving in the eighth game. She limped to her chair and pulled out after speaking with her trainer. "I hit a serve and then landed awkwardly on my left ankle," said Sharapova, who went to a hospital for an MRI. "I felt a sharp pain and next thing I knew I was on the floor. It swelled up immediately and I knew there was no way I could continue."

Kvitova will now face fourth-ranked Vera Zvonareva of Russia, who defeated Maria Kirilenko6-3, 6-3, in Friday's semifinals. "Maria is a great player and a great fighter, and...
proved it by beating two tough opponents on her way to the quarterfinals," Zvonareva said. "There is no secret to beating her. I just tried to make some shots that caused her some discomfort and was able to do that." "I'm really happy that my serve helped me today," Zvonareva said. "The first serve was good and my second serve even caused her some problems, and that made a big difference." The 2011 Pan Pacific champ will collect $360,000.

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