Ivanovic Upsets Peng, Joins Top 3 In SFs

Ana Ivanovic spoiled an all-Top 4 seed semifinal line-up with an upset of No.4 seed Peng Shuai.

Published August 05, 2011 12:00

Ivanovic Upsets Peng, Joins Top 3 In SFs
Ana Ivanovic

CARLSBAD, CA, USA - Ana Ivanovic spoiled an all-Top 4 semifinal line-up at the Mercury Insurance Open on Friday night, upsetting No.4 seed Peng Shuai in straight sets after the Top 3 seeds all won through earlier.

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Ivanovic, the No.5 seed, was slow out of the blocks and found herself down 4-1 in the opening set, but won 11 of the next 13 games to score a 64 62 win over the Chinese star, finishing strong - she won the last 14 points of the match.

"At the beginning I was pushing a little bit, trying not to make a mistake, trying to place the ball rather than just committing and hitting it," Ivanovic said. "Then I started swinging a lot more and it made a difference. I still made some mistakes I can improve, but overall I was really, really happy from 4-1 on."

Next up for Ivanovic will be No.1 seed Vera Zvonareva, who got the better of No.12 seed Sabine Lisicki, 63 36 64. After the two split sets they embarked on a marathon one-hour-plus third set, with Zvonareva just able to make the cut - although she needed five match points to close out the big-serving German.

"I was trying to be in the moment, trying to keep my focus and trying to fight for every single point," Zvonareva said of the third set. "Even though I made a couple mistakes, I was trying to just focus on what I had to do on the next point. When you play tough opponents like Sabine, every point is important."

Zvonareva is now 8-0 in the summer hardcourt season, going 5-0 to win in Baku and 3-0 so far this week. "I'm just enjoying the moment and just want to do well in every match," the Russian commented. "I want to get 100% in every match."

Zvonareva and Ivanovic are tied in their head-to-head series, 4-4.

"We have had a lot of tough matches in the past. I know if I play well, I can challenge her," Ivanovic said. "My goal will be to play free and enjoy it again like I did today. If I play well and she still wins, congratulations to her. I just want to try to give my best tomorrow and apply the things I've been working on."

No.2 seed Andrea Petkovic and No.3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska won their quarterfinal matches earlier in the day. Radwanska was the first to win, rallying from a first set blowout to beat No.8 seed Daniela Hantuchova, 06 64 64.

"Daniela started very, very well. She was so aggressive," said Radwanska, who lost the first set in 24 minutes. "I was able to try something different later on in the second and third sets. After the first set I had nothing to lose and started to play more aggressively and win some games. I was more relaxed after that."

Petkovic followed with a 66-minute, 62 61 win over American Sloane Stephens, an 18-year-old wildcard who was playing her first WTA quaterfinal.

"I'm not upset. I had a pretty good week. My first quarterfinal of a WTA. I'm not disappointed at all," Stephens said. "But if I lost the second set 6-0, I probably would have died. Before I knew it, it was 5-0 in the second set. I was like, 'Oh my God, I have to get a game.' It was awful. But I got a game, so it was fine."

Radwanska leads Petkovic in their head-to-head series, 2-0.

"It's going to be a tough one. I don't have what you would call a good record," Petkovic said. "She just plays so sneaky. I love watching her because she knows everything to do with the ball. She has such great touch. She plays the drop shot, she comes to the net... it's a pleasure watching her, not so much a pleasure playing her. But I think since the times I lost to her, I'm a much more stable player now. I'm looking forward to playing her again."

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