Vera Zvonareva sure isn’t making it look easy. The #2 seed at the 2011 US Open won a tightly contested third round contest with Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-4 7-5. Because Vera has not blitzed through her opposition like Serena Williams or Caroline Wozniacki have, she’s not getting much attention. To be fair, Medina Garrigues was the #30th seed and a 2-time winner on tour this year. Anabel is not a pushover and she didn’t come into the match just to roll over. Perhaps Vera will start to get more people talking about her if she beats her fourth round opponent, the very dangerous Sabine Lisicki, winner at Birmingham and Dallas, as well as a semifinalist at Wimbledon. Lisicki absolutely crushed Irina Falconi 6-0 6-1 in the third round.
The clock struck midnight on Christina McHale’s Cinderella summer as Maria Kirilenko stopped the rising young American star, 6-2 6-3. Still, this is a young lady who will raise a lot of trophies in her career. On this night, experience beat ability. Christina has the ability to beat Maria, but has never been under the pressure of being the night feature match on Arthur Ashe stadium at the US Open. She looked nervous in her pre-match interview and she played like she was nervous; missing some easy shots, trying to change the direction of the ball too early in the rally, playing too far behind the baseline resulting in a lot of short balls for Kirilenko to pounce on. Those are all things that experience will teach her. I have no doubt she will continue to build on her success. For now, she should be very proud of everything she has accomplished this summer, with big wins over Caroline Wozniacki, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Marion Bartoli.
Singles – Third Round
(2) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) d. (30) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 64 75
(26) Flavia Pennetta (ITA) d. (3) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 63 36 64
(9) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (24) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 76(5) 67(5) 75
(13) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (19) Julia Goerges (GER) 64 76(1)
(22) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Irina Falconi (USA) 60 61
(25) Maria Kirilenko (RUS) d. Christina McHale (USA) 62 63
Monica Niculescu (ROU) d. (27) Lucie Safarova (CZE) 60 61
Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Alla Kudryavtseva (RUS) 63 61
ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES