Zvonareva dents Serena’s comeback dream - Pakistan Today

Zvonareva dents Serena’s comeback dream

Serena Williams hit the wall in her career comeback at Eastbourne on Wednesday after only one victory, with top seed Vera Zvonareva sending the American back to the practice courts. The Russian’s 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5 three-hour triumph was revenge for the Wimbledon final a year ago won by Williams, now ranked 26th after nearly a year out of the game. Williams was appearing at Eastbourne for the first time after two operations on a foot she cut after last year’s Wimbledon followed by further surgery in February to remove blood clots from her lungs. “It was a good two matches for me,” said Williams. “I couldn’t be happier with the amount of tennis that I’ve played.
“I haven’t played in almost a year, so I’m a little sore. Grass always gets you a little sore. It’s good I’m sore now, because hopefully next week I won’t be as sore.” Zvonareva lost to the American in the last match Williams played prior to this week, the All England Club final nearly 50 weeks ago. “It was definitely tough,” said Zvonareva, also a US Open finalist last autumn. “Serena is such a champion. She’s making an unbelievable comeback. We had a battle out there.”
Williams served for a straight sets victory leading 5-4 in the second set, only to concede the game on a double-fault. Zvonareva suddenly found a new lease of life, with the Russian showing mental strength in a see-saw contest as Williams struggled in saving 15 of 21 break points and producing seven double-faults. After squaring the match, Zvonareva, who held a 5-2 lead at one point, was unable to convert three match points in the 10th game of the third set, dropping serve for 5-5.
But the relieved Russian broke again a game later and finally served out the victory.

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