The final day of the 2010 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix saw two top seeds and - a first ever for the tournament- two wild cards square off for the doubles and singles titles.
When Peschke and Srebotnik started the second set with a break against Pennetta, the Italian smashed her racquet as she stormed to her chair. It didn’t help. Despite Peschke and Srebotnik slightly dropping their own level of play, Dulko and Pennetta made too little of the advantage they had over their opponents from the baseline.
A Day's Labour
Former World No. 1 Justine Henin had her work cut out for her against Israel’s Shahar Peer in the first match of the day. Peer, who celebrates her 23rd birthday today, has been in great form this week, scoring wins over Top 10 players Agnieszka Radwanska and Dinara Safina. Henin edged out a close win against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia in the previous round, a match that saw her hit 43 winners, but also 44 unforced errors. Today’s match was, going both by statistics and Henin’s own assessment, much more straightforward. “It was less up and down,” she analyzed in her post-match interview. “It was interesting, I just did a good job.”
This week’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix has seen two highly anticipated returns. One was that of World No. 3 Dinara Safina, who is finally back on court since having to retire against Maria Kirilenko at the Australian Open in January with a recurrence of a back injury. The tournament in Stuttgart is also the first clay court event in the comeback tour of four-time Roland Garros Champion Justine Henin.
After receiving a bye for the First Round, Safina beat Agnes Szavay of Hungary in the Second, but lost in straight sets today to Israel’s Shahar Peer. “[It is] just a little routine missing,” she assessed afterwards. “When I was home, it was just practicing standing. So here I started to play points.” The rustiness showed, especially on serve. Before today’s matches, Safina had the lowest percentage of service points won of all quarterfinalists. On average, she served a little bit better against Peer, but both of her double faults came at break point down, which proved to be costly. Safina also suffered due to the inconsistency in her groundstrokes.