Ana Wins On Wednesday
Published October 20, 2010 12:00
LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - On a day where four seeds fell at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, red-hot Ana Ivanovic had no such trouble.
Ivanovic, fresh off her first title in two years last week in Linz and ranked No. 26 - her highest ranking since February - disposed of Johanna Larsson, 63 60, in the first round on Wednesday. They split the first six games before the fourth-seeded Ivanovic took the next nine to seal the victory, her ninth win in her last 10 matches.
"She's dangerous. I actually practiced with her earlier this year," Ivanovic said of Larsson, who split the first six games of the match before losing the next nine. "She's a young, up and coming player with a big serve and a big game. I tried to put pressure on her, and I served well today. I'm very happy that I managed to win by that score."
Next up for Ivanovic, champion here in 2007, is Arantxa Parra Santonja.
"I'm just going to try to play like I did today and last week and hope to keep that level up," Ivanovic said. "It's going to be tough. There are no easy matches."
The two other seeds in first round action Wednesday were not so fortunate, as Patty Schnyder - Ivanovic's victim in the Linz final - defeated No.3 seed Yanina Wickmayer, 64 64, and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova beat No.6 seed and defending champion Timea Bacsinszky, 75 61.
"Yanina is a great player and has really improved over the last year or two, so I'm happy to win today," said Schnyder, who had match point before eventually losing to Wickmayer in a third set tie-break in the third round of this year's US Open. "I knew she would attack everything, so I had to serve and return well. I felt the ball and the court well today. I was a little bit tired coming from Linz but was able to play some good tennis to win."
As for Zahlavova Strycova, she had lost six of her last seven matches before this week, but turned things around versus Bacsinszky. Not only was the Czech down 5-3 in the first set, but she had three set points against her at 5-4.
"One moment I had set point and the next moment she was in control of the match, but that's part of tennis," Bacsinszky said. "I'm still happy with my season. Since July I've been playing very well. Also, last year nobody was talking about me winning here, so I'm not too upset. I didn't put too many expectations on myself here."
On the same day the first round concluded, three second round matches were played. Kirsten Flipkens routed second-seeded Aravane Rezai, 60 61, in 47 minutes, Iveta Benesova upended seventh-seeded Jarmila Groth, 64 75, and eighth-seeded Julia Goerges eased past Carla Suárez Navarro, 62 61.