Vera Zvonareva opened proceedings on day ten of the Australian Open. The Russian, played with a heavy heart after yesterday’s Moscow bombings. Wearing a black ribbon in support of the victims of her native city the second seed could have excused for a slow start.
There was little to worry about in that department, Zvonareva breezed through the opening set 6-2. She looked to be comfortably heading to the semi finals, but the start of the second set though saw her lose concentration. Her opponent, Petra Kvitova, reeled off four straight games before second seed found her form once more and clinched the match with a 6-4 second set.
In the semi finals Zvonareva will face Kim Clijsters; it will be a rematch of last year’s US Open final. That match saw Clijsters take her third crown at Flushing Meadows with a commanding 6-2, 6-1 win. Even so Zvonareva, also a beaten finalist at Wimbledon, will take solace in the face that she defeated Clijsters three times in 2010.
The Belgian was pushed hard by Agnieszka Radwanska before winning 6-3, 7-6. Speaking after her victory Clijsters, the only Grand Slam winner left in the draw, said “I hope the experience can help me a little bit,” Clijsters said. “But there are some tough players out there, we have Nos. 1, 2, 3 still in and Li Na has been playing really well. So it is going to be really tough.”
In the men’s draw, Andy Murray was pushed to four sets by Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Scot had enjoyed straight set wins en route to his quarterfinal and it was interesting to see his recovery from the set back of losing a third set tiebreaker. In the fourth set Murray broke on the first game of the set and was never challenged thereafter. The number five seed ran out a 7-5, 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 winner.
Murray will face David Ferrer in the semi finals.