Semifinals of the Qatar Ladies Open in Doha will feature a clash of two potentially weak players – Vera Zvonareva may be tired from her 3 hours and 10 minutes long battle against Daniela Hantuchova in the quarterfinals and Jelena Jankovic who sustained a left knee injury in her quarterfinal.
Zvonareva avenged her defeat to Hantuchova in the recent semifinals of the PTT Pataya Open, but not before an exhausting 7-5 6-7(5) 7-5 match. The second-seeded Zvonareva, who hit 48 winners to Hantuchova’s 29, rallied from 5-3 down in the deciding set. Hantuchova committed a total of 57 unforced errors.
The last quarterfinal of the tournament, which finished past midnight local time, featured fifth seed Jelena Jankovic and lucky loser Klara Zakopalova. Jankovic was in charge during the first set, but then the knee injury appeared in the beginning of the second set and threatened her hopes of her second straight semifinal (last week in Dubai she lost at the semifinal stage to current world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki). Fortunately, Jankovic managed to play through the injury pain, survived a long 7th game of the second set for a 5-3 lead, and despite being broken in the following game, Jankovic broke back and won the match 6-2 6-4.
Zvonareva and Jankovic have played 13 times so far and Zvonareva leads 7-6, including victories in their last four encounters, three of which were last year and in straight sets.
The other semifinal at the 2011 Qatar Ladies Open will feature Caroline Wozniacki and Marion Bartoli. (photos: Johan Rivera)