Ivanovic Beats Barthel In Birmingham
Published June 10, 2014 12:13
Barthel came into this match-up with 10 Top 20 wins under her belt, including two over Ivanovic. All three of their clashes had been close, with this being the first on grass. Barthel had an impressive first round win over Ajla Tomljanovic on Monday, while Ivanovic had a bye into the second round of her first grass court tournament of 2014 and was looking to shake off a disappointing third round loss to Lucie Safarova at Roland Garros. She is also seeking to go beyond the semifinals of a WTA-level grass court event for the first time, having gotten that far at Wimbledon in 2007 and here in 2011.
Ivanovic got broken right off the bat and found herself in an early 3-1 hole. But she quickly righted the ship and won eight of the next nine games to take the set and go up a break in the second. She eventually broke again and went on to a 6-4, 6-1 victory.
By The Numbers
Ivanovic was especially dominant on her first serve, winning 24 of 30 points. Her 33rd win of the season put her one behind Carla Suárez Navarro for most on the WTA.
"It's never easy playing your first match on grass," Ivanovic said. "She had a match yesterday, so that helped her rhythm. I was really happy to break her back in the middle of the first set. That sort of set the tone and calmed me down. My coach gave me some directions that worked well.
"I don't have a grass court title. That would be amazing. But that's a long way away. I really enjoy playing each match. It's a very tough field with a big draw. I just want to get some matches in and get into the grass court season."