Ana Ivanovic defeated Tamira Paszek in the opening round of the 2012 Brisbane International today, 6-3, 6-3 to capture her first victory of the new season. While it wasn’t Ana’s best tennis, she showed flashes of brilliance and it was a solid performance for her first match of the year.
Ana jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first set, breaking Paszek in the opening game. She had a break point to go up 3-0, but failed to convert. Paszek held and went on to break Ana in the very next game to level the set at 2-2. Ana responded with a break of her own and didn’t look back as she took the opening set 6-3. Ana seized control early in the 2nd, jumping out to a 4-0 lead, and it looked as if she would be able to walk away with an easy victory. But as it is so often with Ana, it never comes so easily. Paszek fought back and broke Ana twice to get the 2nd set back on serve at 4-3. However, Ana in the very next game, broke Paszek at love, and went on to serve out the match to seal up her first win of 2012.
The match featured some sizzling forehand returns from Ana and even a couple of good backhand return winners. While there were patches of not so good play, for the first match of the year, it was a good showing. You just really can’t read too much into the first match and impossible to assess Ana’s game and whether there’s been improvements. We’ll get a better idea tomorrow when she takes on Kim Clisters in the 2nd round. Clijsters is 4-0 vs Ana in their careers and is coming off a routine win of her own over Simona Halep, in which Kim won 6-1, 6-4. Got to tip Kim as the favorite in this one, but hopefully Ana will surprise and pull of a big early season, confidence boosting win. Ana talked about facing Kim in the next round during her post match presser which you can view here.
(Pic via Getty)