Seventh-seeded Vera Zvonareva was running top-seeded Caroline Wozniacki ragged Saturday in their Family Circle Cup singles semifinal match, moving the world's No. 2 player all around the green clay court.
Zvonareva was up 4-2 and serving in the seventh game when the two played what was without question the best point of their match. During the extended rally, Zvonareva sent a drop shot just over the left side of the net. Wozniacki made a valiant effort to reach the ball, but realizing she wasn't going to make it, she began to slide. But her right foot caught and she rolled over on her ankle, immediately tumbling to the court.
Medical officials came out and assisted Wozniacki to her chair, where they taped the injured ankle. Wozniacki, who lost in the final of last year's Family Circle Cup, returned and served one more point before retiring from the match. Officially, it was a 5-2 (ret.) decision for Zvonareva, who faces No. 4 seed Samantha Stosur in today's championship at 1 p.m. on ESPN2.
"I was running for a drop shot and I could see that I couldn't get it. I wanted to stop, and then I made a few more steps … but then I went to stop again and I just couldn't slide. I just got stuck and twisted my ankle," Wozniacki said.
Wozniacki, who is scheduled to get an MRI today, said she heard the ankle snap and that it was painful.
"I knew right away something was wrong," she said.
Wozniacki said the reason she didn't retire immediately was because she wanted to see if she could stand on the leg "which was very positive. But as soon as I was moving to the side, it was impossible, so I couldn't play."
Wozniacki said she suffered a similar injury to her left ankle a couple of years ago at Amelia Island and missed three weeks.
"I don't remember too much about the match," she said. "I'm so focused on my injury. I just want to get better. It's a disappointment that I have this injury, and I think it's unfortunate … And of course, it's a relief once it happened that hopefully it's not too bad. We have to look at the MRI (today) and just make sure it's not broken."
Zvonareva, No. 22 in the world, said she felt good about the way she was playing against Wozniacki.
"I think I started off pretty well, but it was still only six games into the match when that happened," said Zvonareva, who lost to Serena Williams in three sets in the 2008 Family Circle Cup singles final and made it to the semifinals the year before. "It's probably not enough time spent on the court to really assess how I was playing. But I definitely started really well and I think I improved my game throughout the tournament. It's much better tennis than in the first round."
Ironically, Zvonareva went down with a similar injury in the Round of 16 during last year's Family Circle Cup and had surgery at the end of the season.
She offered some words of encouragement to Wozniacki as the two left the court and said she hoped the injury was not serious.