The Aussie Open draw ceremony took place today in Melbourne, and the tennis gods smiled down on Ana and gave her a pretty favorable draw. You can check the entire draw out here.
Ana will open up against Lourdes Dominguez Lino in round one, an opponent who Ana has never played before. Her possible second round opponents are Kristina Barrois or Michaella Krajicek. Pretty winnable matches for the first two rounds. 15th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova could await in the 3rd round, along with Vania King, Kateryna Bondarenko and Klara Zakopalova. As far as 3rd round opponents go, Pavlyuchenkova is about as favorable an opponent Ana could have received, maybe with the exception of Jelena Jankovic. Ana has an 3-0 career record vs Pavs and won all three of those matches in straights set, dominating most of the time. Pavs has struggled herself, lately. She avoided potential 3rd round clashes with the likes of Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, Marion Bartoli and Sabine Lisicki. For rounds 1-3, Ana got as good of a draw as she could had hope for and should go in favored to reach the 4th round. There, things start to get difficult. #2 seed Petra Kvitova could await in the 4th round. Ana actually owns a 3-0 record vs Kvitova with wins in Montreal & Zurich in 2008 and Brisbane 2009. But that should be taken with a grain of salt as both Ana and Petra are completely different players now than they were then. Hometown favorite and US Open champion Samantha Stosur or Marion Bartoli are potential quarter final opponents if Ana were to even get that far.
If you’re a Ana fan, you have to love this draw. Ivanovic has a great opportunity of reaching the 2nd week by getting to the 4th round. Does that mean she’ll do it? No. It’s all on Ana’s racket, and this certainly isn’t the first time she has gotten a favorable draw. If Ana shows up playing close to what she is capable of playing, she has a good chance of going on a little run here, which would be good for her confidence and ranking, as she is defending no points with last years 1st round exit. But as we have learned time and time again, never take anything for granted. Especially with Ana. I’m hopeful for a good showing from Ana here, but I’m not going to get overly excited. We, like Ana, need to take things match by match, game by game, point by point. A 4th round appearance would be a successful tournament, in my honest opinion. Anything less would be a disappointment. Let the games begin.
(Pic via Getty)