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Rediff.com  » Sports » Hantuchova floored by Paszek

Hantuchova floored by Paszek

September 13, 2008 20:39 IST

Top-seeded Daniela Hantuchova slumped out of the Bali Classic on Saturday, beaten 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 by Austrian teenager Tamira Paszek in the semi-finals.

In the other match, Switzerland's Patty Schnyder defeated Russian Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-1.

Hantuchova struggled to keep the ball in play in the first set and although she did not overhit as much in the second set she still lacked the confidence and consistency of her tenacious opponent.

After an early exchange of service breaks in the second set, Hantuchova broke again at 6-5 on her fourth set point. The final set then remained evenly balanced, until 85th-ranked Paszek broke at 4-4 when Hantuchova netted a forehand.

Although she had secured an upset victory, Paszek felt she had not played well.

"I didn't move so well and I missed too many returns and I didn't serve well, so it was tough to win," said the 17-year old. "So I'm very happy I made it to the final."

Hantuchova has struggled since returning at Wimbledon after a lengthy injury break, so she saw a semi-final as a positive.

"Overall I've been very pleased with the way I've played here, coming from a first round loss at the US Open," the Slovak told reporters. "I was really looking forward to playing some matches and that's what I did so it was a great week for me."

HIGH QUALITY

Second-seeded Schnyder produced a high quality performance from beginning to end and although both players were evenly matched for much of the first set, fourth seed Petrova failed to maintain her challenge.

Schnyder's mix of steady baseline play, combined with a liberal use of dropshots and teasing angles, eventually earned her the advantage.

In the first eight games only five points were surrendered on serve by Petrova, and two by Schnyder, before Schnyder broke to lead 5-4 when the Russian made a backhand error.

Although the Swiss then failed to serve out the set, she broke again for 6-5 when Petrova hit a double-fault and took the set at her second opportunity.

Schnyder pressed home her advantage in the second set by forcing a volley error to break for 1-0. A second break for 3-0 after Petrova had led 40-0 on her serve all but sealed the Russian's fate.

Schnyder said: "I served well and moved her around on the court and I attacked her second serve and held back a bit on my shots until I saw which way she was moving."

Source:
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