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By Rohit Sharma
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13 time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams takes on two time major finalist Vera Zvonareva for a place in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Aegon International, a WTA premier event being played here at Eastbourne, England.
Click here to enjoy the point-by-point commentary of this match.
Serena Williams made a fabulous yet, less than satisfactory, in her own opinion, comeback to the professional circuit after a year long injury hiatus and defeated 2010 Wimbledon semifinalist Tsvetana Pironkova after losing the first set in just 28 minutes. Williams took the first half of the match to settle down on the grass and find her pace, which was obviously absent due to lack of match play. Serena is a fighter and is good enough for the best in the business no matter what the conditions. However, Williams' biggest rival is the erratic play, which may surface at any given time during the matches, causing her to go the extra mile unnecessarily.
Williams' opponent, Vera Zvonareva was the losing finalist in the American's last Grand Slam triumph at Wimbledon in 2010. Zvonareva has improved her game multifolds since then and is one of the most dangerous players on the circuit currently. After finishing a semifinalist to Kim Clijsters at the Australian Open, Zvonareva won her first title of the year in Doha.
Both players have contested seven matches and World No.26 Serena Williams holds an impressive 6-1 lead in the head-to-head. Besides their previous meeting at Wimbledon, Williams was often taken the distance by this feisty Russian.
Where Williams' under-preparations are a big concern in today's match, Zvonareva's inconsistent results in the past few months have taken the better of her. So if all gets down to mental toughness and hunger to win, Williams has an edge and she is likely to win today's match, but only after three sets of scintillating tennis.
TennisEarth.com's Pick - Serena Williams in three sets.
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