After two consecutive losses to Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic has finally leveled up her game and reached the seminfinals in Internazionali BNL d’Italia. Unseeded and the clear-underdog, the beautiful Serbian ousted Elena Vesnina in the first round (6-1, 6-3). In the second round, Ana scored her first straight-set victory over a top-ten player since French Open 2008. She overwhelmed Victoria Azarenka (6-4, 6-4).
“She served solidly, hit some characteristically aggressive forehand winners as well as a cluster of piercing sliced backhands. She also threw in the occasional drop shot and net approach as she kept Azarenka firmly on her toes.”
Advancing into the third round, Ana continued to play at her best form and upset Elena Dementieva for the first time in five meetings (6-1, 7-6). This unforgettable match lasted for one hour and thirty-nine minutes.
Nadia Petrova was also stunned in the quarterfinals (2-6, 5-7). Ana was very hungry for another victory. She “was serving with great purposes too and, allied to some excellent defense, looked in total control during the opening set.”
Ana ended her Rome Adventure during her semifinals against the eventual champion María José Martínez Sánchez of Spain (4-6, 2-6). “Putting this match to the side, I take a lot of positives from this week.” she said in an interview. “I achieved quite a lot and I’m looking forward to the rest of the clay court season. I hope to keep improving.”
Even with a loss, Ana’s rebirth in Rome is certainly one of the great things the tennis world is waiting for. Ana is now starting to believe that she can win. All her hard work with Heinz and Damian are paying of. Will this rebirth continue?
Text in italics courtesy of: Ana Ivanovic