Vera to join Marion in Liverpool!

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Original article by David Prentice for Liverpool Echo; Go to original

 

Vera Zvonareva celebrates match point during the Ladies Semi Final match against Tsvetana Pironkova at Wimbledon 2010.

Former world number two Vera Zvonareva will join Marion Bartoli on the comeback trail at the Williams BMW Liverpool International Tennis tournament next month.

Tournament organisers have landed a major coup for the 17th staging of the event by persuading the 33-year-old Russian to play alongside 2013 Wimbledon champion Bartoli at Liverpool Cricket Club.

Zvonareva reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals in 2010, losing to Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, and also won Doubles Grand Slam titles in Australia (2012) and US (2006) and was a Wimbledon Mixed Doubles champion in 2006.

In 2015 she took a two-year break to get married, become a mother, earn yet another Masters degree and recover from a series of injuries.

Tournament co-ordinator Anders Borg said: “We are delighted that a player of Vera’s quality has agreed to play this year’s event. With Marion also taking part the Ladies event will be one of the strongest we have attracted to Liverpool for a long time.”

Zvonareva’s biggest rivalry as a professional was against another Liverpool International favourite.

Vera Zvonareva of Russia in action in Eastbourne in 2011.

Tournament co-ordinator Anders Borg said: “We are delighted that a player of Vera’s quality has agreed to play this year’s event. With Marion also taking part the Ladies event will be one of the strongest we have attracted to Liverpool for a long time.”

Zvonareva’s biggest rivalry as a professional was against another Liverpool International favourite.

Caroline Wozniacki, the 2006 and 2008 Liverpool champion, was world no.1 to Zvoraneva’s world no.2 throughout 2010 and 2011, while the Russian leads their head to head 5-4.

In January this year, before taking part in the City of Playford Tennis International, Zvonareva said: “It’s great to be playing outdoors and I’m really enjoying my time,” said Zvonareva.

“I kind of tried to come back last year and I had a series of injuries, so I thought I would get a chance to play some matches here.”

The right-hander, now ranked 145, hung up her racquet in April 2015 following persistent injuries.

She was married and gave birth to her daughter, Evelyn, the following year.

“I hadn’t planned on coming back,” said Zvonareva, who had earned $17.2 million prizemoney throughout her career.

“Once I got married, I was expecting a child and I was pretty sure I will not be back competing.

“But my main motivation was to get back in shape after giving birth.

“By playing tennis, I motivated myself to go to the gym to get stronger and to get better.

“I love tennis, I love to play … and I have a passion for it.

“As long as I am physically fine, as long as I am injury free and I still have the desire to be out there and compete and fight, I think I would give it a try.”

 

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