For all her career achievements, Ivanovic arrived in Birmingham having never appeared in the final of a grass court tournament. She has looked intent on righting this wrong this week, though, playing an attractive brand of all-court tennis to cruise into the semifinals without dropping a set.
The Turning Point
As she had in her quarterfinal with Sloane Stephens, Zhang started brightly, breaking early for a 2-0 lead. However, from this point on, it was all downhill, and by the time she got on the scoreboard again the match was beyond her.
Playing an irresistible brand of tennis, Ivanovic pinned her Chinese opponent firmly to the baseline, winning nine straight games. Zhang rallied near the end, yet she was powerless to stop Ivanovic's march towards the final, another forehand winner wrapping up a 6-2, 6-2 win.
"On grass it can slip away really fast, so I was a little worried at the start," Ivanovic said about Zhang's fast start. "She's a great player and I'm sure we'll see plenty more of her in the future.
"I played myself into the match slowly. I could have served better but I also did a lot of things well and didn't give her many chances, which is important as she's a dangerous player. I'm just happy to play here. It's great preparation for Wimbledon and I'm glad to have got so many matches in on the grass."