Zvonareva and Mirza reach Pattaya Open final
Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia and India's unseeded Sania Mirza advanced to the final of the WTA's Pattaya Open in contrasting styles.sports Updated: Feb 16, 2009 00:34 IST
Top-seeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia and India's unseeded Sania Mirza advanced to the final of the WTA's Pattaya Open in contrasting styles on Saturday.
Zvonareva raced through her semifinal against seventh-seeded Shahar Peer of Israel to win 6-1, 6-4 in just 61 minutes. The Russian has now beaten Peer, the 2006 Pattaya champion, in all of their five matches.
Mirza had a tougher time but overcame a blown opportunity for a straight sets victory to beat Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia 6-4, 5-7, 6-1 in her semifinal.
"I missed a couple of easy points and lost the second set. It happened," said Mirza, who was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set but faltered. The No.8-seeded Slovak fired shots to Mirza's weak backhand and won the set when the Indian returned a backhand long.
Ranked 126th in the world as she works her way back from last year's long-term wrist injuries, the former world No. 27 Mirza raced through the third set to reach her first final since Stanford in 2007. Her only WTA-level singles title came at Hyderabad in 2005. "I'm not going to think about who I'm playing" in the final, Mirza said. "I just want to play my game."
Zvonareva, the world No. 5, holds seven WTA career titles and reached the Australian Open semifinal last month. Mirza won the mixed doubles title at the Australian Open with compatriot Mahesh Bhupathi.
Zvonareva and Mirza have only clashed once before, with Mirza winning in three sets on hard courts in the 2005 Japan Open.