Ana, Patty Into Final
Published October 16, 2010 12:00
LINZ, Austria - After a couple of trying seasons, Ana Ivanovic has a chance to bring some neat karma to her resurgence on Sunday, when she faces Patty Schnyder in the final of the Generali Ladies Linz. This was, of course, the last title the almost-23-year-old former No.1 won before her game succumbed to a crisis of confidence.
Playing her fourth semifinal of the year Ivanovic made an imposing start against unseeded Italian Roberta Vinci, saving a break point in the opening game before breaking for 2-0 on a forehand winner. The seventh-seeded wildcard maintained the advantage to pocket the first set; after service breaks were exchanged early in the second she broke again for 6-5, duly closing it out with her eighth ace, 63 75.
"I really played well, especially in the first set - I felt like I was hardly missing," said Ivanovic, whose last final was at Indian Wells in 2009. "Then she started playing a lot better in the second set, but I was able to stay on top of her with my serve. That made my life a lot easier in my service game so I could put a lot more pressure on her.
"It's great to be back in the final," she added. "I am really excited about it and I have been playing some good tennis lately. I am putting a lot of hard work in, so I really feel that I deserve that spot."
After winning the first five games against German No.6 seed Andrea Petkovic, Schnyder, a two-time runner-up at Linz, had to work harder for her berth in the title bout.
After battling her way into the match, Petkovic secured the second set on her sixth set point, and held two match points on Schnyder's serve in the decider. But 31-year-old lefty Schnyder saved the first with a forehand winner, and the second when Petkovic netted a forehand. She then broke the German on another forehand error and served it out, 62 46 75.
"I thought I played a great match in the third set," said Schnyder. "I was a bit lucky to save the match points but I deserved to win it."
Ivanovic and Schnyder will be meeting for the ninth time. The winner will break a 4-4 head-to-head deadlock.
"Tomorrow is going to be a very tough match," said Ivanovic, who won the pair's last four encounters. "Patty likes to mix it up a lot and never gives you two of the same balls. We had some good matches in the past and I expect a very tough match."
In the doubles final, top seeds Kveta Peschke and Katarina Srebotnik will face Renata Voracova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova. In Saturday's semis, Peschke and Srebotnik breezed past Vinci and Sara Errani, while Voracova and Zahlavova Strycova edged Polish duo Klaudia Jans and Alicja Rosolska in a match tie-break.