World No. 7 Vera Zvonareva has powered through to the semifinals of Australian Open 2009, reeling off the last 11 games of the match to dispatch Marion Bartoli 6-3 6-0 in their quarterfinal on Tuesday.
Zvonareva now awaits the winner of Jelena Dokic and Dinara Safina tonight.
Zvonareva served at just 49 per cent, but won 74 per cent of points when her first serve was successful
The Russian had 17 winners and 17 unforced errors; Bartoli had just nine winners and made 26 unforced errors
Zvonareva converted six of her 13 break point opportunities, while Bartoli capitalised on two of her four break point chances
The second set, where Bartoli won just 12 points, lasted 30 minutes
Q. You were down 3‑1, and then you reeled off 11 consecutive games. What happened?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don’t know what happened. But I really thought Marion was playing really well in the beginning and I made a few unforced errors, so that’s why I think I was down 3‑1.
Then I was able to cut down on my unforced errors and I was able to keep a good level of play throughout the whole match. I think it made the difference.
Q. Yet to drop a set. Is this the best you’ve played in a tournament?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don’t know. I’m not really thinking about the scores or sets or any statistics. I’m just trying to concentrate on every match and trying my best in every match.
And I think I’ve been doing pretty good so far.
Q. Your semifinal opponent plays tonight. You played today in the heat. Is that unfair?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don’t think there is something unfair. It’s a schedule. I think I played good my match, and hopefully they will have a good match tonight.
Q. Will you be watching tonight?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think a little bit. I might watch, come here and watch a little bit.
Q. How do you think Jelena will go against Dinara?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I don’t know. I think it’s going to be very tough and a very interesting match. All players are very tough in the quarterfinals, so you never know what’s gonna happen out there.
I hope they will have a good match. I’m really looking to my semifinal.
Q. Seems to be a very open tournament. Have you thought about the possibility of winning it?
VERA ZVONAREVA: You know, if I’m coming for the tournament, I’m pretty confident in myself. If I’m in the tournament, I’m here to try to win it.
But I’m really concentrating on every match. For me, it doesn’t really matter what’s happening around any other matches. I just try to concentrate on myself as much as possible, try to improve match to match because I know I need it.
That’s why I’m just looking forward for the next one, not thinking about anything else.
Q. Marion’s take on today was that you just played amazing tennis, it was all down to you. Is that how you saw it or were you surprised you didn’t get a better fight?
VERA ZVONAREVA: No, I think I played very good tennis. I think Marion been playing very good as well, but I was able to play very clean match today. I think that’s what made the difference.
Like I said, in the beginning I made a few unforced errors and I was down, because Marion wasn’t giving me any opportunities. And as soon as I was able to play a very, very clean match, and it’s happening not that often, and I’m very satisfied about it today.
Q. How tough is it to keep playing at that level? Is it difficult to retain your concentration in that situation?
VERA ZVONAREVA: I think it always looks much easier from the side. It was very tough and very close. I think every point, we both were fighting as hard as we can. It’s just today it happened I was able to be a little bit better than her.
But we’ll see what’s gonna happen in the next match.
012709 tuesday /info-photo via Australian Open / Getty Images