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Ana Vanquishes Virginie In Luxembourg

Ana Ivanovic and Victoria Azarenka won their openers at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open, but Flavia Pennetta was upset.

Published October 19, 2011 09:07

Ana Vanquishes Virginie In Luxembourg
Ana Ivanovic

LUXEMBOURG, Luxembourg - Ana Ivanovic's compelling history at the BGL BNP Paribas Luxembourg Open continued on Wednesday with a narrow victory over Virginie Razzano.

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Ivanovic made her WTA debut here in 2003, falling in qualifying. Four years later she won the title. This year, she is trying to shake off a left thigh injury that forced her to retire from her quarterfinal in Beijing two weeks ago. She was rusty in her opener but got the better of Razzano, 76(2) 64.

"It was a tough match," said Ivanovic, who after dropping her first encounter with the Frenchwoman has now won four straight. "Yesterday was the first day I was actually hitting balls since Beijing. It's hard to expect that everything's going to be fine because I didn't serve for 10 days, and it's not like my serve was perfect before. So there are always going to be some ups and downs. I'm really happy that I managed to win and that gives me an opportunity to build on it tomorrow."

Next up for the fifth-seeded Ivanovic is British qualifier Anne Keothavong.

"My coach used to coach her," Ivanovic said. "I practiced with her quite a few times recently, but never really played points or matches with her. It's most important for me to try to play better than I did today and get my serve percentage up. I have a good chance and I'm excited to be competing again."

The day's biggest upset involving a seed saw Anastasija Sevastova snap a four-match losing streak in taking down No.4 seed Flavia Pennetta, 63 62. And while she wasn't seeded, few would have expected Angelique Kerber - who rose to a career-high ranking of No.29 on Monday - to have much trouble with Bibiane Schoofs, playing her first career WTA event this week. However, the Dutch qualifier rallied from a 62 20 hole and won 12 of the next 13 games for the 26 62 61 triumph.

"I was nervous in the beginning," Schoofs said. "I know her name and her results. I was a bit overwhelmed. In the second set I realized I had nothing to lose and just decided to go for it. Then I started playing better."

In a match-up involving the youngest and oldest players in the field, Simona Halep edged Kimiko Date-Krumm, 64 75. The 20-year-old Halep is almost exactly 21 years younger than the 41-year-old Date-Krumm.

Top-seeded Victoria Azarenka played her first match since a right foot injury took her out of Beijing, and won the final four games to get past Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, 62 64.

"In the second set I made more mistakes and she got into the match," Azarenka said. "She's the kind of player who always makes you hit an extra shot. I'm glad that I was able to get back in the second set and not give it away and prolong the match."

The second round also got underway Wednesday, with sixth-seeded Julia Goerges, Iveta Benesova and Monica Niculescu securing quarterfinal berths. Niculescu took a mere two-and-a-half hours to down Anabel Medina Garrigues, 76(5) 36 61, a day after surviving Karin Knapp in three hours, 41 minutes, which is tied for the third-longest match of the year.

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