Knapp ended 2013 on a high and inside the Top 50, but she has struggled to replicate that form this term, arriving in Rome on a seven-match losing streak. Ivanovic, on the other hand, has been building up 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.
The Turning Point
Despite her recent travails, Knapp made a flying start and captured a break in the opening game when Ivanovic fired a forehand long. Unfortunately for the Italian, and the partisan Roman crowd, it was all downhill from there, with Ivanovic finding her range and rattling off the next six games.
In eight previous appearances at the Foro Italico, Knapp has won just one match, and she did not look like altering this statistic in the second set as Ivanovic surged ahead once more, swatting away a second serve to wrap up victory at the first time of asking.
By The Numbers
For all her opponent's excellence from the baseline, Knapp contributed to her own downfall with 30 unforced errors. She also struggled to get any rhythm going on serve, winning just 34% of the points behind her first delivery.
Ivanovic will face the WTA's marathon woman, Alizé Cornet in the next round after she saw off Kirsten Flipkens. The two previous meetings between the two have been shared, with the most recent going the Frenchwoman's way last summer in Cincinnati.