No tantrums this time says Zvonareva

Vera Zvonareva is one match away from a second straight Grand Slam final and she is determined not to make the same mistake she made here last year.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 9 Sep 2010, 9:55 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 9:18 AM

On that occasion, seeded seventh as she is this year, the temperamental Russian underwent a spectacular meltdown after letting slip six match points in the second set against Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in a fourth-round tie.

From being within touching distance of victory, minutes later Zvonareva was an emotional mess, hurling her racquet across the court, tearing at the tapes protecting her knees and eventually sobbing on court.

The result was inevitable, the experienced Pennetta went on to win 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0.

Asked what she had learned from that match after her 6-3, 7-5 US Open quarter-final win over Kaia Kanepi on Wednesday, Zvonareva replied: “Um, well, that match was in the past, but I learn from every single match.

“There is something to learn about from every match you play. So there are probably things that, you know, made me more experienced player at the moment.”

The 26-year-old Muscovite was more forthcoming at Wimbledon in July when she appeared in her first Grand Slam final, losing in straight sets to Serena Williams.

“It happens, sometimes you need to do it. You cannot keep everything inside,” Zvonareva said of her regular outbursts.

“If you’re not happy about yourself, sometimes you need to break the racquet and move on.

“If there is something inside of you that’s stopping you from bringing the best out of the yourself, you need to scream at yourself, pump yourself up, break that racquet, I will do it if I know it will help me to perform better. Why not?

“Tennis is an emotional sport. If you don’t have any emotions, you will never be able to win.”

What is sure is that Zvonareva will have to keep her emotions fully in check in her semi-final match as she takes on either top seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark or Dominika Cibulkova of Slovakia.

“You cannot get frustrated if you are playing against anyone. If you get frustrated, well, you will probably lose the match,” Zvonareva said.

“Doesn’t matter if it’s Caroline or someone else on the other side of the net.

“You should get sometimes angry with yourself. Sometimes you should pump yourself. But you have to always be out there and trying not to get frustrated against anybody.”

Zvonareva, who is studying for a degree in international economic relations in her spare time, has another reason for doing well at Flushing Meadows.

She has pledged to donate her prize money to a Russian foundation working to increase understanding of Retts Syndrome, a complex neurological disorder predominantly affecting girls. The daughter of a close friend is affected by it.

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