In another shocking defeat at Internazionali BNL d' Italia, Serbian comeback queen Ana Ivanovic has toppled World No: 7 and Madrid Open champion Maria Sharapova in straight sets -- 6-1, 6-4.
Sharapova, who won back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and Madrid, failed to extend her winning streak on clay as she faltered against World No: 13 Ivanovic. The Serb finished the first set in a quick fashion in just 31 minutes. She then broke her opponent's serve in the first game of the second set. Having trailed by a set and a break, Sharapova bounced back immediately breaking Ivanovic’s serve in the second game. From then on, both the players kept their serve until Ivanovic broke in the ninth game, taking the score to 5-4. Ivanovic converted 5/8 break point chances, while Sharapova could convert only 2/6.
Both the players have played against each other 11 times, out of which Sharapova leads 8-3. Last time Ivanovic defeated Sharapova was during the 2007 French Open semifinals.
The win here serves as a sweet revenge for Ivanovic. Last month, she was defeated by Sharapova at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix tournament final -- 3–6, 6–4, 6–1, despite Ivanovic taking an initial lead. Though it seemed like Sharapova was about to recreate the pattern here at Rome, Ivanovic rose to the occasion, displaying brilliant tennis.
So far, 2014 has been good for the Serbian beauty. She started off the season with a win at ASB Classic title in Auckland, where she defeated Venus Williams in the final. At the Australian Open, she shocked everyone when she crashed World No: 1 Serena Williams in the Round 4. Although she eventually lost to Canadian youngster Eugenie Bouchard, the overall performance boosted her confidence. She also won the Monterrey Open in April, defeating fellow Serbian Jovana Jaksic 6–2, 6–1 in the final.
Ivanovic will now meet No.13 seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the next round.
Tennis World Magazine - issue 25
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