Tennis: Serbia's Ana Ivanovic defeated her compatriot Jelena Jankovic in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 in a clash of former world no.1s to set up a final with 2-time defending champion Maria Sharapova at Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
Making her fifth appearance in Stuttgart, Ivanovic was playing semifinal here for the first time. Jankovic had won the title here in 2008 so she had been there before.
Ivanovic had a clear edge over her opponent in the head-to-head as she had won 8 of the 11 meetings between them, so she knew what it takes to beat her opponent.
She needed only one break of serve in the opening set to win it 6-3 and take a one set lead. The 26-year-old won 78% points on her first serve as she faced only one break point in the whole set, which she saved.
Second set went closer than the first set and there were no breaks of serve until the 11th game. Ivanovic broke Jankovic at 5-5 to take a 6-5 lead and had a chance a serve out the match.
The 2008 French Open champion successfully served out the match to close it in 1 hour and 29 minutes to move into her first final in Stuttgart.
She will face 2012 French Open champion, 4-time Grand Slam champion and another former world no.1 Maria Sharapova in the final, who defeated 2012 French Open runner-up Sara Errani in straight sets 6-1, 6-2.
Speaking about the match, Ivanovic told that she was relieved and she tried to step up when it mattered.
"I'm definitely relieved," Ivanovic said. "The last game was a little bit of a drama. When she saved that match point when my ball hit the net cord, that was just an amazing point. But it was a great way to finish the match. I really tried to step in on the tight situations at the end - that's my game."
She also know that final would be difficult because Sharapova loves this tournament and has never lost here.
"It's definitely going to be a very tough match - I don't think she's ever lost a match here," Ivanovic said. "She loves this tournament, and hopefully it will be a great match like we had here last year."
How to play from the baseline
The expression “to endure the rally” is about those indeterminate moments of a rally where none of the players is leading.
The ability to endure the rally is fundamental when you play a “long rally”, because it offers you the chance to measure your opponent’s strong points and vulnerabilities, besides letting you position as best as possible for your next offensive shot.