RG Classics - Maria Sharapova vs Simona Halep - 2014 | Roland Garros

Sharapova showed the will to win

On Sunday, a representative tournament with a prize fund of just over two million dollars started in Tokyo. For the fourth year in a row, it anticipates an even larger premiere competition in Beijing.

Tokyo, Japan. Toray Pan Pacific Open.

Singles. First round

Petra Martic (Croatia) - Andrea Petkovic (Germany) - 0: 6, 6: 4, 6: 3.

Nadezhda Petrova (Russia, 17) - Peng Shuai (China) - 6: 1, 6: 4.

Francesca Schiavone (Italy) - Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) - 4: 6, 7: 6 (7: 4), 6: 4.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) - Chanel Schepers (South Africa) - 6: 4, 4: 6, 7: 5.

Heather Watson (Great Britain, Q) - Sabina Lisicki (Germany) - 6 : 4, 7: 6 (7: 3).

Carolina Wozniacki (Denmark, 10) - Bojana Jovanovski (Serbia, Q) - 6: 0, 3: 6, 6: 4.

Daniela Gantukhova (Slovakia) - Ekaterina Makarova (Russia) - 6: 4, 4: 6, 6: 3.

Interestingly, in the last two seasons, only one tennis player has dominated this segment. In 2010, both of these tournaments were won by Caroline Wozniacki (which allowed her to become the first racket in the world), and in 2011, Agnieszka Radwanska scored. I wonder if the rule will work this time?

And in Tokyo, unlike last year, almost all the strongest gathered. Of the top 10, only Serena Williams , who did not even show up for the tournament, preferred not to make a visit to the Japanese capital. Maria Kirilenko and Vera Zvonareva also failed to play due to injuries - these are all the losses from the top twenty. By the way, Vera, who does not play from the Olympics, thus lost points for last year's final in Tokyo and will now drop to the fifth dozen of the rating list.

Petra Kvitova's stay at the tournament of the fifth racket of the world was short-lived. She stumbled in her first match, losing in two sets to her namesake Martich . The Croatian started on Sunday when she lost the game to zero to Andrea Petkovic, but she managed to find the strength to turn the tide of that fight. Inspired by her first victory, Martich was able to defeat Kvitova. The Czech woman often served with the first ball in this match (72%), but she won only 48 percent of the draws with it, allowing Martich to make a break five times.

Before the start of the tournament, I set myself up to just get enjoyment of the game. Even having lost the first set to Petkovic with a score of 0: 6 in the opening meeting, I did not give up, but simply continued to follow my plan. In the end, I managed to snatch victory. At Roland Garros for the first time I beat a tennis player from the top 10, but the victory over Kvitova seems to be an even greater achievement. I'm very happy now, - Martic shared her joy after the match.

Nadezhda Petrova will be the next rival of the Croatian. The Russian woman rather confidently beat two tenacious tennis players: Peng Shuai and Simone Halep . True, in a duel with the last Petrova, I had to play a tense first set, which ended in a tie-break, but in the second game Nadezhda did not lose a singlenext game.

Petrova became one of two Russian women who made it to the third round of the competition. The second was the two-time winner of the Tokyo tournament Maria Sharapova. Moreover, she won it both when it was held in February under the roof (2005), and when it was moved to the more spacious Ariake Coliseum arena (2009) in autumn, where the court is located in the open air.

The beginning of the current championship turned out to be very difficult for Maria. When the net was published, many expected Sharapova to meet Sabina Lisicki in the second round, but Heather Watson decided in her own way and knocked out the German woman in the first round.

Singles. Second round

Li Na (China, 7) - Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Russia) - 7: 5, 4: 6, 6: 2.

Petra Martic (Croatia) - Petra Kvitova (Czech Republic, 4) - 6: 4, 6: 4.

Nadezhda Petrova (Russia, 17) - Simona Halep (Romania) - 7: 6 (7: 4), 6: 0.

Marion Bartoli (France, 9) - Julia Görges (Germany) - 6: 2, 7: 5.

Jamie Hampton (USA, Q) - Kaia Kanepi (Estonia, 15) - 5 : 7, 6: 2, 6: 3.

Ursula Radwanska (Poland) - Ana Ivanovic (Serbia, 11) - 3: 6, 6: 4, 6: 2.

Dominica Tsibulkova (Slovakia, 12) - Zheng Jie (China) - 6: 0, 6: 3.

Maria Sharapova (Russia, 2) - Heather Watson (Great Britain, Q) - 6: 7 (7: 9 ), 6: 3, 6: 4.

Samantha Stosur (Australia, 8) - Francesca Schiavone (Italy) - 4: 6, 6: 2, 7: 5.

Victoria Azarenka (Belarus, 1) - Tamira Pazhek (Austria) - 6: 1, 6: 1.

Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland, 3) - Elena Jankovic (Serbia) - 6: 2, 7: 5.

Carolina Wozniacki (Denmark, 10) - Daniela Gantuchova (Slovakia) - 7: 6 (7: 3), 6: 1.

Only the Russian woman didn't feel any better. Matches with young British tennis players (Watson and Robson), albeit playing in completely different ways, are always difficult for Sharapova. With Robson, the second racket of the world had a difficult match at the recent Olympics, and she played with Heather last year at the US Open and achieved success in only three sets.

The reporting meeting was no exception. Closed because of fears of rain that had plagued Tokyo for the previous two days, the roof did not give Sharapova any advantage, but perhaps only interfered. Maria made a huge number of unforced mistakes. Watson tried to win with a more stable game, and compensated for the lack of punching power with competent punches in place, passing balls around the court well.

For the first game, Heather made only one net win with 18 mistakes (which is, of course, too much) , and Sharapova collected 35 inaccuracies, having won only 14 goals with blows through! And even despite such a percentage of rejects, Maria could have won the set, but did not apply for the game with the score 6: 5, and in the tie-break she missed two set points due to her unsuccessful actions. As a result, the first set went to Watson - 9: 7.

The second set was no less stubborn struggle than the first, which lasted 80 minutes. In his debut, Maria won two games in a row, losing only one to her opponentthe ball, but then another decline in concentration followed in the third game, and after making two double mistakes in a row, Sharapova allowed Heather to play the break. The British managed to crank up such a scenario again in a set (again, it could not do without a double), reducing her gap to a minimum in the seventh game - 3: 4. But time passed, and the forces began to leave Watson. At first, she gave her serve to zero with her own hand, and then she was not able to win back for the third time - 3: 6.

The character of the decisive set did not radically change. Maria continued to fight with her last bit of strength, although there were still enough mistakes in her game. From time to time she made characteristic hand movements, showing that she simply did not see the ball. But everything ended well, and in the endgame Sharapova was able to put the squeeze on the unyielding Briton - 6: 4. The Russian woman will need to seriously add to the third lap to pass Lucy Shafarzhova , who on Tuesday got a day off due to the refusal of Clara Zakopalova .

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova during In the second round, Li Na put up a decent resistance, but the Chinese woman was still stronger. Perhaps the Russian woman was affected by the previous battle with Chanel Schepers, which had lasted two hours and 40 minutes the previous day. After two very stubborn sets with Lee (5: 7, 6: 4), Anastasiy was simply not enough for the third game - 2: 6. In the third round, Lee will face a fight with Carolina Wozniacki , who outplayed Daniela Gantuhova - 7: 6 (7: 3), 6: 1, without losing her serve. A day earlier, Daniela knocked out of the competition Ekaterina Makarova .

Samantha Stosur with great difficulty defeated Francesca Schiavone - 4 : 6, 6: 2, 7: 5, which allowed her to continue pursuing Li Na in the championship race. At the moment, the gap between these tennis players, who are in ninth and eighth places, respectively, is just under 600 points. Remains a contender for a trip to Istanbul and is on the 10th line Marion Bartoli . The Frenchwoman will face a very important match against Sara Errani in the third round. The defeat in it will leave her only ghostly chances to get to the final tournament of the year, and the victory will allow her not to let her main rivals and the same Errani go too far. The Italian may still feel relatively calm, but the option in which she does not play in Istanbul in singles is still possible.

Who certainly can no longer worry about the championship race is Agnieszka Radwanska , which on Monday officially qualified for the final championship. I look forward to returning to this tournament. At the beginning of the season, each player sets himself the task of getting to Istanbul, so I am very glad, since the goal is fulfilled. The final tournament is the most important event in the WTA tour, and I want to test my strength in matches with the best tennis players in the world, - said the polka.

In the meantime, Radwanska began defending her title by defeating Elena Jankovic . The first hour of the game took place under the dictation of Agnieszka. She confidently won the first set 6: 2and led 3-0 in the second, after which she had problems. Jankovic has managed to fine-tune her aim and reduced the number of errors.

Champions of Tokyo in the XXI century: Lindsay Davenport - 2001, 2003, 2004. Martina Hingis - 2002, 2007. Maria Sharapova - 2005, 2009. Elena Dementieva - 2006. Dinara Safina - 2008. Carolina Wozniacki - 2010 Agnieszka Radwanska - 2011.

As a result, Elena even served for the set, but wavered at one of the break points, allowing Radwanska to level the score - 5: 5. The end of the set took place in an equal fight, but at the key moments Agnieszka was a little more accurate - 7: 5. In the third round, the Polish woman will face Jamie Hampton , who sensationally knocked out Kayu Kanepi . By the way, another surprise was presented by Agnieszka's sister Ursula, who turned out to be stronger than Ana Ivanovich .

Victoria Azarenka took a confident start in the tournament, defeating Tamira Pazhek - 6: 1, 6: 1. The Austrian had a bad game from the start: she made two double faults in the first two rallies on her serve. After the lost game, Pazhek immediately changed her racket, but the new tool did not help her either. As a result, the Austrian made 37 unforced mistakes in a short fight, three times more than Victoria. In the next round, the Belarusian will face Robert Vinci .

All third round matches will take place on Wednesday, September 26. Petrova will play with Martich at seven o'clock in the morning Moscow time on the first court, and Sharapova and Shafarzhova will meet in the main arena for the third launch (the first launch starts at 6:00).

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