Ana Ivanovic is through to the 4th round at the Australian Open with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over American Vania King. It was far from Ana’s best tennis, but she prevailed despite feeling a bit under the weather.
Ana jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st set, but then her level of play, which had been so good all week, dropped off. King won the next three games as Ana became more erratic with her shots, and then had a break point to go up 4-3 over the Serbian. Ana saved the break point, held, and then broke Vania King herself in the next game to take a 5-3 lead. Ana would go on to serve out the 1st set, taking it 6-3.
The 2nd set didn’t start off well, as Ana was broken early and fell into an 0-2 hole. After getting the break back at 1-2, Ana found herself down 0-40 in her next service game. After fighting back to level the game at deuce, Ana won the next point and received an gift from chair umpire Alison Lang. Lang awarded Ana the game, even though it should had only been advantage Ana. Everybody watching the match on twitter were confused, and even the players themselves look baffled at the call, but there was no protest and Ana won the game to even things up at 2-2. Both players exchanged breaks in the next couple of games. At 3-3, Ana broke King again, and this time she consolidated it to take a 5-3 lead. Vania held, which put all the pressure on Ana’s shoulders to serve it out, and that she did. Ana won the match and is now in the 4th round of the Australian Open. This is only the 2nd time in Ana’s career that she has made it past the 3rd round at the Australian Open. The other time being was 2008, of course, when she reached the finals. This also marks the 2nd straight slam in which Ana has reached the 2nd week, which is progress, considering all the early exits in the previous slams.
Ana did all of this, despite not feeling 100%. While down 1-2 and 0-40 on her serve, and signaled to the chair umpire for a doctor during the next changeover. She was given pills and played on. After this point, Ana begin playing much more aggressive, sometimes going for broke in hopes of ending the match sooner. Ana revealed in her post match presser that she had gotten sick after her 2nd round match on Thursday, and didn’t feel all that well yesterday. Whatever virus that she had, popped up again today during the 2nd set. “Today I felt fine. Just started to get a little nauseous again in that second set. Then I just took some tablets and it really helped to calm things down a bit,” Ana revealed. She should be fine for her next match on Monday. You can read the entire presser here. She also reveals that she has yet to decide if she will participate in Fed Cup or not in two weeks. Decision will be based on how far she goes this upcoming week. Serbia plays Belgium in Carleroi, Belgium.
Next up for Ana is #2 seed Petra Kvitova, who some say is the favorite to win this years Aussie Open title. This presents a huge challenge for Ana as Kvitova has been playing some outstanding tennis lately, dating back to last season. Ana actually owns a 3-0 record against the Czech, but all three of those wins came back in 2008 (Montreal and Zurich) and 2009 (Brisbane), where both ladies were completely different players then compared to now. In order for Ana to win, she’ll have to step up her game and play some her best tennis of the past 3 years. If Kvitova is on her game, which she was today against an injured Maria Kirilenko, she’ll be very tough to beat. However, Kvitova can go off the rails and turn into an error machine. This happened at the US Open when she was upset by Alexandra Dulgheru in the 1st round. Kvitova was nearly upset in the 2nd round, two days ago by Carla Suarez-Navarro, just edging her in 3 sets, 6-2, 2-6, 6-4. So there’s definitely a chance for Ana, particularly if the match is played during the middle of the day with humid temperatures, which is not favorable to the Czech world #2. Ana has not reached the quarter finals at a major since winning the French Open back in 2008. Now, she has another opportunity to do so. If she can pull off the upset over Petra Kvitova, Ana will gain a huge boost of confidence to start the season.
After her match, Ana made a visit to the ESPN set and talked with Chris McKendry and Mary Joe Fernandez.
(Pic via Getty)