Zvonareva optimistic despite loss at Indian Wells

The Associated Press
Zvonareva optimistic despite loss at Indian Wells
.

View gallery

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) -- Vera Zvonareva lost to China's Peng Shuai in the first round of the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday - and found a reason to be optimistic.

''It was a tough match,'' Zvonareva said after the 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 loss that dropped the Russian to 1-3 this season. ''I took a little risk in the last game because I had to and unfortunately it didn't work out for me. I made a couple of mistakes and I think that helped her to break me in the last game. I think my game is better than it was in Australia, so I can't complain too much.''

In Australia, where she lost to Casey Dellacqua in the opening round of the Australian Open, Zvonareva was playing her first match since the London Olympics in August 2012. The 2009 Indian Wells champion sat out all of last year and had surgery to correct right shoulder problems that bothered her throughout 2012, when her ranking dropped from No. 7 to No. 98.

Zvonareva, who will be 30 on Sept. 7, has college degrees in physical education and international economic relations, and she said there were times when she wondered if it might not be time to put tennis aside and pursue other interests. But she loves playing too much to quit as long as she feels she can return to the level that had produced 12 singles and six doubles titles and made her No. 2 in the world in 2010.

''I have to keep working,'' said Zvonareva, who also is playing doubles in the tournament. ''Any matches that I can get is great for me, either in singles or doubles or whatever. Playing out there against the top players in the world is how you're going to get your game back. You can practice as much as you want, but playing is different. I just need to get matches.''

In other action on the first day of the 12-day, $10.5 million event, 38th-ranked Madison Keys led four Americans into the second round.

The 19-year-old Keys, from Boca Raton, Fla., rolled over Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 6-1, and will face 13th-seeded Roberta Vinci of Italy.

Also advancing were Shelby Rogers, with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Petra Cetkovska of the Czech Republic; Lauren Davis, who beat Taiwan's Yung-Jan Chan, 6-4, 6-3; and Varvara Lepchenko, a 6-2, 6-2 winner over Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.

New Jersey resident Christina McHale lost 7-6 (4), 6-4 to Australian qualifier Dellacqua in the final match of the session. Alison Riske and qualifier Allie Kiick also lost, Riske bowing to three-time tour winner Bojana Jovanovski of Serbia 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Kiick losing 6-4, 6-0 to Kurumi Nara of Japan.

The women's first round will continue and the men will begin play Thursday.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Stanford tops North Carolina on PKs, advances to NCAA final

      Stanford advanced to its second straight College Cup final beating North Carolina 10-9 on penalty kicks after a scoreless tie Friday night. After each team converted its first nine attempts in the tiebreaker, Stanford's Amir Bashti made it … More »

      AP - Sports - 4 minutes 41 seconds ago
    • Cowboys aim to clinch NFC East at New York

      The Dallas Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot, becoming the first team to punch their ticket to the NFL playoffs. A victory Sunday over the New York Giants (8-4) would lock down the NFC East title and keep the Cowboys (11-1) on the inside … More »

      AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
    • James Madison routs Sam Houston, reaches FCS semifinals

      James Madison routs Sam Houston, reaches FCS semifinals

      Fourth-seeded James Madison scored early and often while eliminating the fifth-seeded Bearkats 65-7 in the national quarterfinals at Bridgeforth Stadium in Harrisonburg, Virginia. James Madison (12-1), which won the CAA Football title under … More »

      AP - Sports - 6 minutes ago
    • Pistons thump Timberwolves, 117-90

      Pistons thump Timberwolves, 117-90

      Andre Drummond flexed his muscles, bowed his back and enforced his will on the Minnesota Timberwolves. Drummond had 22 points and 22 rebounds for his second straight 20-20 game and the Pistons cruised to a 117-90 victory over the Timberwolves on … More »

      AP - Sports - 8 minutes ago
    • Hawks rally from 20 down to best Bucks

      Hawks rally from 20 down to best Bucks

      Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night. Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. The Hawks, who ended a … More »

      AP - Sports - 10 minutes ago