Tuesday, July 1, 2008

LIVE BLOG: Quarterfinal Day

8:30 AM - Well, folks, my ESPN2 coverage has cut out and NBC will run tape delay starting in 90 minutes. Dementieva and Petrova are still fighting each other on who can lose to whom. I'll be back later tonight with a video post on all today's action!

7:48 AM - Williams defeats Tanasugarn 6-4, 6-3. I really wanted to see Venus serve it out, but she's through to the semifinals without facing a Top 50 player on her way. Has this ever happened before? This tournament has had a lot of firsts, so I'll have to do a little digging on this one. Meanwhile, Dementieva lost the second in the breaker, but leads 2-0, 30-0 in the third.

7:41 AM - Venus just hit an abysmal forehand long (or, as Pam Shriver called it, a "fearhand") to keep Tanasugarn in this set, 4-3. Meanwhile, Elena is pulling the ultimate choke job after leaded 6-1, 5-1 and is now at 5-6 in the second set against Petrova.

7:25 AM - Venus has continued to play mediocre tennis in this second set. She's 8-0 on service points, but her groundstrokes continue to spray long. Elena Dementieva is crawling toward the finish line against Nadia Petrova. The two winners will meet in the semis.

7:08 AM - First set to V, 6-4. Some quality and exciting tennis to close the first set. It will be interesting to see if Tanasugarn keeps fighting in set two the way she did in the first or she go away rather silently, as she has in the past.

6:55 AM - Great point at 3-5, 30-all for Tammy. Venus' backhand has been more problematic in this first set than I would have thought, showing that her first four matches against lower-ranked players don't have her playing at her best level. Two backhand errors give Tsquared - who has struggled to close out games - the game for 4-5.

6:46 AM - This match has been more of a seesaw battle since Venus broke. V has certainly struggled on her serve, but so has Tsquared. Williams saved six break points in her last service games, which may become a stat that tells the story of this match. After a few hiccups for both players, they each hold to go to 4-3, first set.

6:24 AM - Venus holds and then breaks for 2-1. As James Martin talked about a few days ago over at TENNIS.com, these commentators really are running their mouths. But it's good to be in front of the tube watching some live tennis, I haven't done that in who knows how long. And for Tsquared, it feels good for her to be here, too.

6:14 AM - Good morning, everyone! Already Venus and Tamarine Tanasugarn are on the court and Tanasugarn has taken the first game of the match and leads, 1-0. Tanasugarn started the match out well before two straight double faults. It's windy down there, too. Advantage Tsquared?

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