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Serena Williams' comeback win doesn't surprise Vera Zvonareva

The top-seeded woman at the Mercury Insurance Open in LaCosta says time off from the game can help a player, and Williams proved that point with her first victory after a year off.

August 01, 2011|By Matt Stevens
  • Vera Zvonareva returns a shot against Sabine Lisicki during the second round of the French Open this spring.
Vera Zvonareva returns a shot against Sabine Lisicki during the second… (Susan Mullane / US Presswire )

Reporting from Carlsbad — Vera Zvonareva, the top-seeded woman at the Mercury Insurance Open in LaCosta, is sitting comfortably near the top of the WTA rankings as the world's No. 3 player. But one American is starting her comeback, and looking to shake things up.

Former world No. 1 Serena Williams won the WTA's Bank of the West Classic on Sunday, cruising past Marion Bartoli in straight sets for her first title in more than a year. Williams is coming off two foot operations and complications from a blood clot that caused her to miss almost a year.

Zvonareva said she wasn't surprised by Williams' solid play.

"Those players like Serena can always put the racket away, pick it up, come back and play very, very strong," Zvonareva said. "She's done a lot of comebacks in her life, and this one is one of the biggest probably; but for me it is something I always believed she could do. She's a great competitor."

Zvonareva suffered a wrist injury in 2007 that kept her out of the game for seven months, and she said she came back better than before.

"Sometimes it takes time to realize how much you miss the game, it gives you extra motivation and you start enjoying it more," Zvonareva said. "Sometimes, that's how you get better results."

Picking a partner

Amid buzz over a potential Martina Hingis comeback in the 2012 Olympics, No. 18-ranked Ana Ivanovic unveiled her plans for the Summer Games.

Of course, Ivanovic will try to qualify for singles, but she also has her doubles partners picked out. Ivanovic said she has been talking with fellow Serbian Bojana Jovanovski about playing doubles, though nothing is official. And in the first year of Olympic mixed doubles, Ivanovic said she would play with Nenad Zimonjic.

"It's so easy for us girls," Ivanovic said with a laugh. "We just try to cover our one-third of the court."

Golf, anyone?

Agnieszka Radwanska, a finalist here in 2010, played some of her best tennis last year at the Mercury Insurance Open. But the No. 3-seeded player in this year's tournament was really looking forward to some golf this week at La Costa Resort and Spa.

Last summer she picked up clubs for the first time in Carlsbad, and a cameraman got nailed by one of Radwanska's tee shots.

The La Costa course is currently under renovation until November.

"I had some good experience playing golf here last year," she joked. "I don't know if you guys saw the video. But now I just saw the parking lot, and I was so disappointed. I thought I was going to try it again, but now probably not."

Raising the debt ceiling

Zvonareva is only one year away from a degree in international economic relations. So she was asked Monday about what's wrong with the American economy.

"You've got some smarter people than me to tell you," Zvonareva said initially.

Then she continued: "I think that's a problem not only in the [United] States, but everywhere in the world. But yeah, definitely, you shouldn't be taking too many credits, no?

Monday's day session featured results

Alexa Glatch defeats Ekaterina Makarova, 6-1, 6-2.

Elena Baltacha defeats Melanie Oudin, 6-0, 6-1.

Vera Dushevina defeats Aravane Rezai, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

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