Saturday, October 29, 2011

King-Shvedova end year with loss in elite tournament

   It's tough to call a year in which doubles partners Vania King and Yaroslava Shvedova reached the U.S. Open final and the season-culminating WTA Championships disappointing.
   But they set a very high standard.
   The third-seeded team of King, a member of the Sacramento Capitals living in Boynton Beach, Fla., and Shvedova, a Moscow native who plays for Kazakhstan, ended its 2011 season with a 6-3, 6-4 loss Saturday to top-seeded Kveta Peschke of the Czech Republic and Katarina Srebotnik of Slovenia in the semifinals (first round) of the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul.
   King and Shvedova, who became partners in June 2010, are still looking for their first victory in the WTA Championships, featuring the top eight singles players and four best doubles teams of the year in the point standings. They also lost in the semifinals last year.  
   For the second consecutive year, King and Shvedova won two titles. But they won Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2010 and no Grand Slams this year. They almost repeated at the U.S. Open, falling to Americans Liezel Huber and Lisa Raymond 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3) in the final.
   Shvedova served for the U.S. Open crown at 5-4 in the second set. She also had the match on her racket at 5-4 in the second-set tiebreaker but double-faulted, and she and King lost the next point after Shvedova's 76-mph first serve.
  After the U.S. Open, King and Shvedova reached the semifinals in Tokyo and Beijing and the final in Osaka and won the title in Moscow before coming to Istanbul.
   When asked on Twitter to rate her 2011 season, King wrote, "not as good as last years, but hard to compare! But solid second half, esp from us open on."
   To read King and Shvedova's latest blog from Istanbul, go to 
   In the other semifinal, the second-seeded Huber and Raymond edged No. 4 seeds and defending champions Gisela Dulko of Argentina and Flavia Pennetta of Italy 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 tiebreak. Huber and Raymond trailed 3-6 in the match tiebreaker.
  Below are Saturday's singles and doubles results and Sunday's schedule. Tennis Channel will broadcast the doubles final at 5:30 a.m. PDT (live) and 2:30 p.m. (taped) and the singles final between third-seeded Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic and fourth-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus at 5 p.m. (taped).
   Bryans reach final --Top-seeded Bob and Mike Bryan, former Stanford All-Americans living in Wesley Chapel, Fla., advanced to their 10th final of the year with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over fourth-seeded Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski of Poland in the $905,000 Erste Bank Open in Vienna.
   The Bryan twins are playing in Vienna for the first time since 2002. They will seek their seventh title of the year, but first since winning their second Wimbledon crown in July, when they face second-seeded Max Mirnyi of Belarus and Daniel Nestor of Canada.
  Ilyushin eliminated -- Unseeded Artem Ilyushin, a Mississippi State senior from Granite Bay, lost to top-seeded Nicolas Devilder of France 6-4, 6-2 Friday in the quarterfinals of the $10,000 Players' Choice Open in Birmingham, Ala. 
In Istanbul
Singles semifinals
   Petra Kvitova (3), Czech Republic, def. Samantha Stosur (7), Australia, 5-7, 6-3, 63. Victoria Azarenka (4), Belarus, def. Vera Zvonareva (6), Russia, 6-2, 6-3.
Doubles semifinals 
   Kveta Peschke, Czech Republic, and Katarina Srebotnik (1), Slovenia, def. Vania King, Boynton Beach, Fla., and Yaroslava Shvedova (3), Kazakhstan, 6-3, 6-4.
    Liezel Huber, Houston, and Lisa Raymond (2), Wayne, Pa., def. Gisela Dulko, Argentina (4), and Flavia Pennetta, Italy, 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 tiebreak.
Sunday's schedule
(Beginning at 5:30 a.m. PDT)
   Peschke and Srebotnik (1) vs. Huber and Raymond (2), Kvitova (3) vs. Azarenka (4) not before 7 a.m. PDT.

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