Doha Crisis Center, Day 5

Saturday, November 08, 2008 /by

By Rosangel Valenti, TW Contributing Editor

Hi all.It's semifinals day at the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in Doha. The matches are due to begin at 5.30 p.m. local time - that's 9.30 a.m. EST. This is your regular space for discussing the matches as they are going on. We ask that you save any off-topic chat until the day's tennis is over.

Vera2Today's first match features Vera Zvonareva versus Elena Dementieva. Zvonareva's performance has been one of the surprises of the week, as she won all three of her Round Robin matches and topped her group. Yesterday when I looked for a picture to head the Crisis Center thread, it was clear that photographers' lenses had mostly been pointed elsewhere during the week, because I couldn't find an image that I liked of her among the few available. It often happens when the opponent has bigger star quality - I've done the same thing myself when photographing from the sidelines. Today I had a little more luck with the photo selection. Her record against Dementieva is 1-4, with the latter winning their last match, which occurred in the semifinals at this Beijing Olympics.

The second match involves Venus Williams and Jelena Jankovic. In failing to beat Zvonareva yesterday, Jankovic missed out on the chance to avoid Williams, who also headed her group with three wins. However, she has a good record against Williams (5-3), and has won both of their previous encounters this year. Seven of their eight encounters to date have gone to three sets, so it will be slightly surprising if this one doesn't follow the same pattern.

As most of you know, tomorrow sees the first day of play in Shanghai, at the Tennis Masters Cup. Matches start at 2 pm. local time, which translates to 6 a.m. in the UK, where I'm located, and 1 a.m. EST. I'm assuming that in spite of the timing, there will be some among the Tribe who are prepared to get up early, sit up all night, pore over stuttering livestreams or disrupt their lives in other ways in order to see Novak Djokovic face Juan Martin Del Potro, and Nikolay Davydenko take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, so a new Crisis Center will be made available as Shanghai begins.

In the meantime, enjoy today's tennis.

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