I expected the match between Marion Bartoli and Vera Zvonareva to be good, and it was. Zvonareva took the first set, Bartoli took the second, and I settled in for what I thought would be a thrilling third set. But Bartoli was visibly tired, and this lack of fitness caused her to fade away in the third. It was a shame, because we saw moments of brilliance from the Wimbledon finalist, but she clearly did not have the physical stamina to go the distance. Zvonareva, for her part, had some problems serving, but other than that, was in good form, as the two players showed off their blistering backhands over and over. Zvonareva def. Bartoli, 6-4, 4-6, 6-1
I saw the first part of the match between Victoria Azarenka and Elena Dementieva, and I saw the last half. Both players hit fast, hard groundstrokes from the moment they stepped onto the court. Dementieva def. Azarenka, 6-4, 7-5.
I also saw the last half of the Katerina Srebotnik-Serena Williams match. Srebotnik played a really tough match, and Williams prevailed out of sheer champion's determination. She also sprained her ankle; here's hoping that wasn't too serious.
Tatiana Perebynis had played Maria Sharapova only once before today. That match was also on a clay court, and Sharapova won it, 6-4, 7-5. Today's match was not as close--Perebiynis faded in the second set--but the first set included a set point for Perebiynis on Sharapova's serve. Sharapova saved it, and things went downhill for Perebiynis after that. Still, Perebiynis played a good match, especially in the first set, when she served well and held her nerve. Sharapova def. Perebiynis, 7-5, 6-2.
I really wanted to see the Cornet-Cirstea match, but I did not get to. Cornet won it, 6-1, 7-5. I did see the Likhovtseva/Raymond-Molik/Stewart match, which Likhovtseva and Raymond won. I also saw Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, whom Bud Collins interviewed this afternoon. That was exciting.
Poor Anastasia Rodionova probably never wants to look at another bagel. She received one today from Jelena Jankovic, who beat her 6-0, 6-2, and two more for her defeat (with partner Tatiana Poutchek) by Chan and Chuang in doubles. I saw some of her match against Jankovic, and Jankovic signed a photo I took of her as she was leaving the court after winning the Cup last year.
Bethanie Mattek and Vladimira Uhlirova--Amelia Island champions--were knocked out today by number 2 seeds Ai Sugiyama and Katerina Srebotnik.
Tennis outfit of the day: Elena Dementieva, looking lovely in her shimmering peach dress with white trim.