Serena Through To Final
Published May 17, 2014 12:14
Ivanovic has been building up quite a head of steam of late, with two WTA titles and a number of deep runs edging her ever closer to a return to the Top 10. Arguably the catalyst for this run was her showing at the Australian Open, where the Serb defeated Williams on her way the quarterfinals.
The Turning Point
Williams' progress this week has been serene, but her game went walkabout at the start of the second, Ivanovic rattling off four straight games to level up a match that had looked to be headed in only one direction.
However, as on so many occasions in the past, Williams responded by raising her level once again. A series of devastating returns earned her a break at the start of the decider and from that point on it was one-way traffic as the American coasted across the finish line.
By The Numbers
Those first five games in the third set saw Williams rain down the winners - she would end the match with 31 - and drop just four points as she took a stranglehold of proceedings.
"She played really well in the second set and at the same time my first serve percentage dropped. She's a great returner, so she put me under a lot of pressure because of that," Williams said. "I lost my concentration a little bit, so at the start of the third set I just tried to get really pumped, keep myself focused and pretty much do everything to play my best tennis."
Facing Williams for the title will be Sara Errani, who earlier in the day became the first Italian in 29 years to reach the final at the Foro Italico.
"I think that she's improved immensely, even in just the last two weeks," Williams said when asked about Errani. "She's taken her game to another level and has a lot of confidence having beaten two really good Top 10 players. I have a lot of work to do to beat her and she also has nothing to lose."