Ivanovic Beats Bartoli, Moves Into Semifinals
Published March 15, 2012 12:00
INDIAN WELLS, CA, USA - Her forehand as ferocious as ever and with some particularly big serving, Ana Ivanovic powered into the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday afternoon, beating Marion Bartoli in straight sets - revenge for a quarterfinal loss to the Frenchwoman one year ago.
The No.15-seeded Ivanovic looked sharp in every department as she took on the No.7-seeded Bartoli, dictating play with her forehand as always but also rock solid on her backhand side, and pulling out some very big first serves - she hit five aces in all. After taking the first set she broke right away in the second and never let go, the two players holding serve until Ivanovic won, 63 64.
"In the eighth game of the first set I really stepped up another notch, staying low and being aggressive with my feet - that was something I was lacking in the beginning," Ivanovic said. "I really played well the next few games, then in the beginning of the second set I broke her straight away. It was very important."
The numbers suggest both players were going for it, but Ivanovic was by far the sharper of the two: while they both had similar unforced errors in the match (Ivanovic 25, Bartoli 22), Ivanovic produced far more winners (21 to 9).
"I knew I had to be aggressive. Marion does strike the ball a lot harder than it looks," Ivanovic said. "Her serve also comes through a lot more than it seems, so I tried to stay positive and accept she might hit some really good shots and winners, and miss some too. It wasn't going to be as much rhythm as maybe with Caroline. My mentality going on the court today was just to accept that."
With her wins over World No.4 Caroline Wozniacki and World No.7 Bartoli, Ivanovic has now beaten two Top 10 players at the same tournament for the first time since Rome in May 2010 (where she beat Victoria Azarenka and Elena Dementieva). She has never beaten three at the same tournament.
Bartoli, who was a finalist here last year, had caught the bug that has been going around the tournament over the last week. "I started not feeling very well last night," she said. "It's frustrating, because it's not really one of my mistakes - I didn't eat something bad or do anything bad on my side. It was just very unlucky, and obviously it hit me at the end of the tournament, which I guess is better than at the beginning. But it's the way it is. And I still made the quarterfinals here, which is positive. Now I'll just try to recover before Miami."
Bartoli had beaten Ivanovic in three of their last four meetings.