Ana Ousts Vika At Night

Ana Ivanovic rallied from 62 53 down to beat Vika Azarenka. Dinara Safina moved through too.

Published August 09, 2010 12:00

Ana Ousts Vika At Night
Ana Ivanovic

CINCINNATI, OH, USA - The first round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open kicked off on Monday and last year's runner-up Dinara Safina was among those making it through to the next round.

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Safina, who was ranked No.1 in the world here a year ago but lost to Jelena Jankovic in straight sets in the title match, made a winning start to her 2010 campaign at the $2-million tournament, edging Roberta Vinci, 75 64.

Safina showed flashes of the fighting spirit that has taken her to three Grand Slam finals, rallying from 3-5 to win the first set and escaping a 15-40 hole serving 3-4 to win the second set to put the crafty Italian away.

"Some points I didn't play well, some I played really well. At this stage of the tournament, the most important thing is to get the win," Safina said. "It was a tough match but I was happy I stayed positive and gave 100%."

See pics of Dinara practicing before the tournament right here!

In the second round Safina plays No.4 seed Kim Clijsters, who got a first round bye. Clijsters made her comeback to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour here last year, falling to Safina in the quarterfinals. The Russian has won their last two meetings, though Clijsters leads Safina in the head-to-head, 6-2.

Last week in San Diego, in her first match as a married woman, Alona Bondarenko lost to Safina. On Monday she got her first win as a married woman, beating fellow former Top 20 player Dominika Cibulkova, 36 62 63. Cibulkova led by a break in the second set and twice by a break in the third but couldn't close it out. Read more about Bondarenko's wedding here.

The three seeds in action in the daytime had mixed results, with No.13 seed Shahar Peer and No.16 seed Marion Bartoli advancing but No.14 seed Aravane Rezai - who recently won her fourth career title in Bastad - upset by Bojana Jovanovski, a young qualifier from Serbia, 46 63 64.

"I've had two difficult losses in the last two weeks, especially last week when I had three match points against Daniela. So I'm just happy to be in the second round," said Bartoli, who next plays Bondarenko. "I lost to Alona the last time we played, in Toronto last year. I completely messed up that match."

Bartoli leads Bondarenko in their head-to-head series, 3-1.

At night, Ana Ivanovic rallied from a 62 53 deficit to beat No.9 seed and recent Stanford champion Victoria Azarenka, 26 76(6) 62. Azarenka was two points from winning the match three times in the second set but former No.1 Ivanovic fought back to beat her for the second time in two tries this season.

"I'm sure I can come up with better tennis, because today was a little bit of a disaster," Azarenka said. "I have to improve. I have another tournament before the Open and I'm definitely going to work hard to bring my A-game there.

"I wish Ana good luck the rest of the tournament."

"The crowd helped me so much. It was so great to see a lot of young kids," Ivanovic said. "It's my biggest win since Rome. Rome was a great week for me, but this victory means a lot. She just came off a title, but also the way the match was progressing, the last few weeks I was losing matches like this.

"It's good to see that hanging in there gives the good results."

Check out YouTube footage of Ana against Vika right now!

Alisa Kleybanova, Yaroslava Shvedova, Sara Errani and qualifiers Vera Dushevina, Ayumi Morita, Monica Niculescu, Akgul Amanmuradova and Nuria Llagostera Vives also won their first round matches.

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