Ivanovic Secures Semifinal Spot

Top seed Ana Ivanovic withstood a second set revival from Klara Koukalova to book her place in the semifinals of the Aegon Classic.

Published June 13, 2014 12:13


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BIRMINGHAM, England - Top seed Ana Ivanovic continued to impress at the Aegon Classic, seeing off Klara Koukalova, 6-1, 6-4, on Friday.

The Plot
It has not taken Ivanovic long to get over her French Open disappointment, with straight set wins in her two matches so far this week. Her next opponent, Koukalova, has had even more time to acclimatize to the move from clay to grass, battling for nearly five hours to see off Virginie Razzano and CoCo Vandeweghe.

The Turning Point
Ivanovic continued to impress in the opening stages, jumping all over the Koukalova second serve and carving out an opportunity to break in the second game. While the Czech escaped this particular moment of danger, she could not withstand the pressure for long, Ivanovic reeling off the next four games before closing out the set with a textbook backhand volley.

Eager to redress the balance of play, Koukalova started the second in a much more adventurous frame of mind and enjoyed some early success. However, the Serb was not to be denied, taking the final three games of the match to book her place in the last four.

By The Numbers
All facets of Ivanovic's game were working in tandem, but it was the defensive side of her game that looked particularly good; she committed just 14 unforced errors and, thanks to some impressive court coverage, restricted Koukalova to 13 winners.

"I really tried to do my thing because I know she can be dangerous and last time we played, in Doha, I lost," Ivanovic said. "She's won on grass in past and is a great competitor as she showed in her matches this week.

"I'm serving well, which I'm happy about. Each match is a new challenge and I'm happy I improve with each one."

What's Next
In the semifinals, Ivanovic will face Zhang Shuai, who upset No.3 seed Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

"She's a great girl and I'm sure we'll see lot of her in future," Ivanovic said when asked about Zhang. "It will be a tough match tomorrow, she had great result today and has improved a lot recently."

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