Chakvetadze reaches semifinal
Russian sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze advanced to her first Grand Slam semi-final by defeating Israeli 18th seed Shahar Peer 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday at the US Open.sports Updated: Sep 06, 2007 20:02 IST
Russian sixth seed Anna Chakvetadze advanced to her first Grand Slam semi-final by defeating Israeli 18th seed Shahar Peer 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday at the US Open.
Chakvetadze will play next on Friday against the winner of a quarter-final later Wednesday between Russian fourth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, and Hungarian teen Agnes Szavay.
Having already matched her best prior Slam showing from last-eight runs at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, Chakvetadze answered a break by Peer to open the second set by taking the final six games of the match to win in 82 minutes.
"I started to play more aggressive and Shahar went down a little bit," said Chakvetadze. "I took my opportunity. I'm so happy."
Chakvetadze beat Szavay in a second-round match at this year's French Open in their only caeer meeting but has lost both matches against Kuznetsova, falling in last year's Warsaw semi-finals and in the Eastbourne round of 16.
The other later quarter-final sends reigning Wimbledon champion Venus Williams against Serbian third seed Jelena Jankovic with the winner to meet world number one Justine Henin in the other semi-final Friday.
Chakvetadze came into the US Open on a high after taking four titles this year, including US Open tuneups at Stanford and Cincinnati.
"I'm so excited," Chakvetadze said. "I was so nervous before the match. Shahar is a great player. It was a tough match."
Peer, who converted only 2-of-9 break-poiint chances in the match, broke for a 3-2 lead but Chakvetadze answered to level at 4-4, then denied Peer on a pair of break points in the ninth game and broke Peer again to win the first set.
Chakvetadze and Peer, both 20, exchanged breaks to begin the second set before the Russian took over, winning 28-of-45 of her first serve points and 22-of-34 points on Peer's first serves, including 12-of-15 in the last set.
Peer, who fell to 1-3 against Chakvetadze, failed to become the first Israeli to reach a Slam semi-final after equaling her Israeli breakthrough final-eight run at the Australian Open.
Peer, who began her mandatory Israeli military training 22 months ago, also missed a chance to jump to 13th in the rankings, which would have been the best-ever mark for any Israeli man or woman.