Russian Vera Zvonareva made the most of the absence of the Williams sisters and Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Open, defeating former No. 1 Ana Ivanovic, who collapsed in a pile of unforced errors 7-6(5), 6-2 in extremely gusty conditions in the final at Indian Wells.
Zvonareva, better known for collapsing in tears when things haven’t gone her way on court, was the picture of poise in dealing with the windy conditions, including an Ivanovic serve that bounced twice before she was able to get to it.
Ivanovic repeatedly bashed her racquet on the court in frustration when she was unable to win the first set, squandering three set points when serving for the match at 6-5.
Ivanovic made a total of 44 unforced errors in the match, compared to 16 for the Russian.
The loss was another jolt to the confidence of Ivanovic, who achieved the No. 1 ranking last year but then fell down the rankings with a combination of injuries and failing confidence.
Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka won their first title as a team in the doubles final, beating Gisela Dulko and Shahar Peer on Saturday.
“It’s amazing,” Zvonareva said after the singles final. “It’s a great feeling to win such a big event. I’m still a little bit in the match. I think I did a great job. Even though I made some mistakes and had some frustrating points with the wind, I was still trying to concentrate. I was fighting for every point, no matter what. Even if I was down 0-40 in a game I played for it. Maybe I was better at doing that today than Ana.”
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