Mauresmo wins easily in WTA Championships
Amelie Mauresmo routed Vera Zvonareva 6-1, 6-0 in 54 minutes at the WTA Championships on Thursday night, extending her winning streak to nine matches as the Frenchwoman tries to overtake Lindsay Davenport for the year-end No. 1 ranking.
Mauresmo's streak includes titles the last two weeks in Philadelphia and Linz, Austria. She also reached the final last month in Filderstadt, Germany, but had to withdraw because of a groin strain.
Mauresmo spent five weeks in the No. 1 spot after the U.S. Open before her injury gave Davenport a walkover victory in Germany. That allowed the American to overtake Mauresmo, and Davenport could stay there if she reaches the final Monday night.
"Reaching the No. 1 ranking was a big step for me. I felt relief at that," Mauresmo said. "Since then, I feel very confident on court and my game is there. I want to get the ranking back, but it's very different than before I was number one. It was an obsession, but now I take it in a relaxed way."
Making her first appearance in the season-ending tournament, Zvonareva committed 25 errors and never had a break point against Mauresmo's serve. The Frenchwoman connected on 73 percent of her first serves.
"She got mad a little bit and I played some great tennis," said Mauresmo, who was runner-up to Kim Clijsters in last year's final.
Zvonareva is 0-2 so far, having lost 6-2, 6-4 to Svetlana Kuznetsova on Wednesday night. For the second straight match, an emotional Zvonareva bounced her racket off the court, smacked balls in anger and tears streaked her face after the loss.
"Sometimes not everything works," she said. "It was lots of pressure. Maybe that is why I couldn't do one hundred percent. But I was fighting."
The players are assigned to Red and Black four-woman groups and play each other once. The two players with the best record from each group will advance to the semifinals. The singles winner will earn $1 million and a car to donate to charity.
Davenport didn't play Thursday, but she still won a nice prize. She received a new car as the leading qualifier for the eight-woman tournament.