The doubles final featured the No. 4-seeded team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova against the unseeded team of Liga Dekmeijere and Patty Schnyder. In the first set, Dekmeijere and Schnyder had a chance to go up an early break when Petrova served at 3-4. Petrova found herself down 0-40 after missing three first serves, but then came up with two unreturnable serves and an ace to reach deuce, from which she finally held serve. Not deterred, Dekmeijere and Schnyder eventually won the first set 7-5 in the tiebreak. In the second set, Mattek-Sands and Petrova played more aggressively, ended more points at the net, and easily won the set 6-2. Poor Patty Schnyder was almost hit a few times during some of her net exchanges with Petrova. In the super tiebreak Mattek-Sands and Petrova simply refused to be denied. They saved three match points at 6-9 and won five points in a row to take the title, 6-7(5), 6-2, 11-9.
The wish for more competitive matches today was definitely granted. The day started off with the first doubles semifinal featuring Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Nadia Petrova against Kveta Peschke and Lisa Raymond. The first set was very close, but Mattek-Sands and Petrova took advantage of a few long volley shots by Peschke and Raymond to win the first set 7-5. Peschke proved to be the steadiest player in the second set, using her quick speed to reach drop shots. She and Raymond broke each of their opponents’ serves one time to win the second set 6-1. While Mattek-Sands and Petrova won the match 10-6 in the super tiebreak, Peschke and Raymond actually won two more points in the match. In one of the odder moments of the day, Raymond was allowed to take a bathroom break after breaking Petrova’s serve to go up 3-1 in the second set, even though they were still one game from an official changeover. It must have been a big emergency as I have never seen that happen before.
It was a cold and windy Quarterfinal Friday at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina. If anyone had offered an extra blanket and gloves, I would have gladly used them. The first singles match of the day featured top seed Elena Dementieva and Dominika Cibulkova, seeded 7th. The first set showed the most competitive play of the day. Even though she is only 5’3’’, Cibulkova is able to generate a great deal of power on her shots. Dementieva controlled most of the points, but Cibulkova chased down Elena’s shots to lure the Russian into many great baseline rallies. Cibulkova tried to gain control by using drop shots several times toward the end of the set, but Dementieva used her great movement to respond with volley winners. Cibulkova had her thigh wrapped, but she was still moving well and didn’t appear to be hindered by it.