“It was the toughest conditions I have ever played in. It was very, very windy, and I think it wasn’t much about the game or a game plan today. It was just about who could handle the conditions better, and who can probably stay mentally tougher through it. Today she did. She played really well.”
These are the words of Ana Ivanovic after falling to Vera Zvonareva in cold and breezy BNP Paribas Open Finale 7-6, 6-2.
Despite the hard-blowing wind, the two finalists displayed impressive flair by exchanging deep and at times, few controlled groundstrokes. In tough cases like this, it was the better player who survived, right?
Unfortunately, the luck didn’t side with the Roland Garros Champion.
Ivanovic came powerful during the first set though. As reported in her website, Zvonereva “striked first with a mini-break and a 3-2 command, but Ana hit back to level the score at 4-4. Afterwards, Zvonareva was the better player on the key points and got another mini-break to win 7-6.” During the second set, Ivanovic in the lead 2-0 but due to frustration, she lost her consistency allowing the Russian to devour her.
It was absolutely a close fight in the first set. Ivanovic had her chances but she couldn’t control her frustrations well. There were many times when she just needed to stop and wait before serving. Her returns and groundstokes were solid but were mostly in vain due to the wind.
As for Vera, her win (with her doubles win with Belarusian Azarenka) were majestic. Her 18-2 record in 2009 only reveals she was now one of those fierce competitors in the WTA. Truly a dark horse at 5!
On the other side, World Seed 1 Rafael Nadal triumph over Andy Murray but unexpetedly, it was not not an impressive play like those Zvonareva-Ivanovic. Murray came so short 1-6, 2-6.
Murray said in an ESPN interview, “Rafa dealt with it well. He hit the ball cleaner and just seemed to get himself in better positions than I did. You want to be in the best position possible to hit each ball and I wasn’t. That’s why he managed to dictate most of the points.”