Ivanovic Wins Battle Of Champions
Published June 24, 2014 12:15
The No.11-seeded Ivanovic, who is coming off her first WTA title on grass at the Premier-level event in Birmingham, was just that little bit more aggressive than Schiavone - she hit 24 winners to her opponent's 14 - and it paid off, as she just edged her fellow French Open champion, 7-6(6), 6-4.
It was a good day for most big names, with No.1 seed Serena Williams blasting 16 aces to beat Anna Tatishvili, 6-1, 6-2, No.3 seed Simona Halep beating Teliana Pereira, 6-2, 6-2, No.4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska completing her match that was carried over against Romanian qualifier Andreea Mitu, 6-2, 6-1, and No.5 seed Maria Sharapova beating British wildcard Samantha Murray, 6-1, 6-0.
Halep showed no signs of the upper back injury that forced her to retire in 's-Hertogenbosch last week, and played cool, calm and aggressive tennis against Brazilian No.1 Pereira on Centre Court.
"I recovered very well from the injury and I can play now," the World No.3 said. "And this was the perfect start for me. First rounds are always difficult, but I think I played really well today.
"The court was beautiful, so I was enjoying every moment of it."
Last year, Sharapova suffered a second round exit here - those were distant memories on Tuesday.
"I try not to dwell on what has happened in the past, whether good or bad memories," she said. "This is a new day. It's not a new tournament, but it's a new opportunity. You start from scratch. And I have a great opportunity to do well here - there's no reason I can't turn those results around this year."
Other winners included No.9 seed Angelique Kerber, No.13 seed Eugenie Bouchard, No.15 seed Carla Suárez Navarro, No.16 seed Caroline Wozniacki, No.19 seed Sabine Lisicki, No.20 seed Andrea Petkovic, No.24 seed Kirsten Flipkens, No.25 seed Alizé Cornet and No.31 seed Klara Koukalova.
Donna Vekic outlasted No.21 seed Roberta Vinci, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, Victoria Duval, who came through the qualies, beat No.23 seed Sorana Cirstea, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, Alison Riske rallied to beat No.26 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, and Michelle Larcher de Brito, another qualifier, and the player who beat Sharapova here last year, battled past No.28 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.
"We drove in Saturday night, had a pretty easy day on Sunday, hit yesterday, and just tried to get my legs back and feeling good for today," Keys said. "Then warm-up and played another match today.
"Obviously I'm feeling pretty confident right now, especially on grass. I feel like I can play entire tournaments and I'm actually about to go out and win, so that's definitely a good feeling."