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Thursday, February 11, 2010


Pennetta lays down her logic


Flavia Pennetta will be present in the quarter finals after her victory over Kleybanova, who only lasted one set 7-6, 6-1 in 1h26.
While Alisa Kleybanova isn't the circuit's most harmonious and easy to watch, she is still a worthy opponent for each point. Julie Coin discovered this sadly yesterday, while the Frenchwoman was leading 4-0 in the second set!


The Russian is physically imposing, measuring 1m81 for 72kg and uses her bodily force to knock out her opponents. With each blow, it seems like her head might fly off with the ball, which is not always the best method, but very effective! Her moves aren't though, giving way to a game at the back of the court. Her first two volleys end up as faults which hand over the first break to her opponent (1-2). Kleybanova hangs on, and comes back to the score, but Pennetta cranks up her game (2-4). Kleybanova doesn't abdicate, turning around a set that got off to a bad start and grabbing a tie-break. Just like the first set, keenly contested, but Alisa Kleybanova quickly sends out a last volley to the net, handing over the first set to her opponent (6-7).


Silent strength! Like a Maestro Raro (fine Italian wine), Flavia Pennetta seems stronger year after year. World 39th in 2007, 13th in 2008, and 12th in 2009. Pennetta, number 2 seed has business to tend to in Paris. Except that she doesn't have a very flattering record: 2 defeats in two visits to Coubertin. However, the lovely Milan native is just back from a tiring weekend. Victorious this weekend at the Fed Cup with Italy (4-1 against Ukraine), she lost her strength in the battle, but that doesn't stop her from breaking her opponent early in the second set (0-2). Flavia Pennetta then unwinds, sets her game straight, and smothers Kleybanova who is visibly shaken. The Milan native finally wins 7-6, 6-1 in 1h26. In the quarterfinals, she will face her friend and compatriot Tathiana Garbin. Italy was and still will be a guest of honour in this year's Open GDF SUEZ !

By Robert Kemp

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