2009 WTA Tour - LA WOMEN'S TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS Held at the Home Depot Center, Carson, Ca. Day - 1
SHARAPOVA IS READY TO GET BACK ON THE HORSE
By Kelly Richards
CARSON – It seemed as if her comeback was practically a done deal.
Maria Sharapova walked on the court like a champion and played like one Monday night at the Los Angeles Women’s Tennis Championship. She breezed through the first set in just 20 minutes, beating Slovakia’s Jumila Groth easily 6-0.
“Her game plan was to attack but I was able to retrieve and make her hit more balls,” said Sharapova.
However, the second set was a different story at the Home Depot Center. Whatever Groth’s coach said to her during the break set a new tone and suddenly there was a match. It looked like a #60 (Groth) in the world playing a #61 (Sharapova).
“When she got up a break, I knew I had to step it up.”
Step it up she did. The former #1 proved why she won all those majors….prevailing to take the second set 6-4.
About the only thing hinting Maria may be feeling her recent shoulder surgery were five double faults in the second set. The worst came in the third game when Sharapova missed both serves on the final point, in effect breaking herself.
But on the positive side, Maria aced Groth three times.
All in all, Maria said she thinks her serve is back. “I’ve always had a risky serve. I’ve always gone for the second serve. It’s not about the errors but about how you recover and get back on the horse.”
Maria Sharapova - USA
Photos by Adam Davis
Vania King - USA
Maria next challenge is Wednesday night when she faces Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, #9 in the world and the third seed here in Carson. “She’s had a great year, she’s not an up and comer anymore. She’s arrived.”
Other winners on the first day at the LA Women’s Tennis Championship include American Vania King beating Sybille Bammer of Austria, 6-3, 6-2.
A big win for Jill Craybas of Huntington Beach. She defeated 16th ranked Francehesca Schiavone of Italy. American wild-card Coco Vandeweghe took out Italy’s Tathiana Garbin 6-4, 6-4.
On the losing side, Arizona’s Meghann Shaunessy defeated by Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine. American Carly Gullickson lost to Japan’s Ai Sugiayama 6-3, 6-1.
USA’s Varvara Lepchenco lost to Italy’s Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 5-7, 6-0
RESULTS – MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2009
First-round singles — Flavia Pennetta (10), Italy, def. Varvara Lepchenko, 6-2, 5-7, 6-0
Anna Chakvetadze, Russia, def. Virginie Razzano (11), France, 7-6 (5), 6-3
Lucie Safarova, Czech Republic, def. Kaia Kanepi (15), Estonia, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
Jill Craybas, U,.S., def. Francesca Schiavone (16), Italy, 7-6 (7), 6-2
Vania King, U.S., def. Sybile Bammer, Austria, 6-3, 6-2
Ai Sugiyama, Japan, def. Carly Gullickson, U.S., 6-3, 60-1
Alisa Kleybanova, Russia, def. Alla Kudryavtseva, Russia, 6-1, 6-3
Yanina Wickmayer, Belgium, def. Nicole Vaidosova, Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-1
Shahar Peer, Israel, def. Anastasia Rodionova, Russia, 7-5, 4-1 ret. (left ankle)
Elena Vesnina, Russia, def. Agnes Szavay, Hungary, 6-1, 6-0
Shuai Peng, China, def. Michaella Krajicek, Netherlands, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-3
Alona Bondarenko, Ukraine, def. Maghann Shaughnessy, U.S., 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
Maria Sharapova, U.S. def., Jarmila Groth, Slovakia, 6-0, 6-4
CoCo Vandeweghe, U.S. def. Tathiana Garbin, Italy, 6-4, 6-4.
First-round doubles — Chia-Jung Chuang, Taipei-Zi Yan, China def. Sorana Cirstea, Romania-Caroline Wozniacki, Denmark, 1-6, 6-4, (10-5)
About the Tournament
The LA Women’s Tennis Championships presented by Herbalife, in its 39th year, is one of the most historic events in women’s tennis and is being held for the sixth consecutive year at The Home Depot Center. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier event offers prize money of $700,000 to the 56-player singles and 16-team doubles draws. The distinguished tournament champions list includes Dinara Safina, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Lindsay Davenport, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, all of whom have also been ranked No. 1 on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour during their careers.
The LA Women’s Tennis Championships presented by Herbalife is part of the prestigious Olympus US Open Series, which links nine summer hard-court tournaments to the famed U.S. Open. This year’s tournament marks the sixth year players competing in the U.S. Open Series tournaments will be vying for bonus prize money at the U.S. Open. Players competing in the “summer season” of tennis at the participating Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tournaments will receive Olympus U.S. Open Series points, which will ultimately earn the series winner the opportunity to double her U.S. Open prize purse