Ana scored a 6-1, 7-5 victory over Francesca Schiavone today in Dubai, in a match-up of former French Open champions. It was only Ana’s 3rd win against a top 15 player since the end of 2010, and just her 2nd win over a top 50 player this year.
Ana cruised in the 1st set to a quick 5-0 lead and looked to make quick work of the Italian. Ana was on the verge of dishing out a bagel, having a total of 8 break points in a long 6th game. However, she failed to convert on any of them. Schiavone went on to hold before Ana took care of business on her own serve, taking the 1st set 6-1.
The 2nd set wasn’t as simple. Ana’s level dipped a bit from the 1st set, while Schiavone stepped up her game, which created a tighter affair. It took Ana twice to serve out the match, but she eventually sealed the deal to clinch a spot in the 2nd round.
Ana was 5 for 23 on break point opportunities today, reminiscent of her semifinal match against Daniela Hantuchova in Birmingham last June. Unlike that match, it didn’t cost her here. Although, it did cause a lot of facepalming among her fans. She also served out 7 double faults and only achieved a 53% 1st serve percentage. Wasn’t exactly a clean match, but we will take the win. Ana will have to step it up in her next match, when she takes on Maria Kirilenko, who defeated Monica Niculescu yesterday 6-3, 6-0. Kirilenko was forced to pull out of doubles due to a neck injury, but plans on playing tomorrow in singles. The match will be 2nd on Court 1, which means scoreboard watching. Fun! Their last meeting came back in late September in Tokyo, where Kirilenko defeated Ana 6-3, 6-1.
(Pic via Getty)