After last weeks semifinal run in Indian Wells, Ana will look to take her talents to South Beach, and continue her good form in Miami this week at the Sony Ericsson Open. She will be doing so coming off an injury to her left glute, which she suffered in her match against Maria Sharapova during the Indian Wells semi’s, forcing her to retire. There was a lot of concern about how long that injury would keep Ana sidelined, and if she could even play Miami this week. Those worries were put to bed yesterday, when Ana announced via her website that she would indeed participate this this years Sony Ericsson Open, albeit without much practice. She’ll be working with her physio down in Miami, trying to get fit in time for her first match, which will be Friday.
Now about her draw. The main draw was done yesterday, which you can view in its entirety right here. As in Indian Wells, Ana will receive a 1st round bye, along with all the other 32 seeded players. She will open up against either Vania King or Laura Pous-Tio in the 2nd round. If you recall, Ana defeated King in the 3rd round at the Australian Open two months ago. If she advances, Ana will face either Daniela Hantuchova in the 3rd round or a qualifier, then a possible match-up against either Petra Kvitova or Venus Williams in the 4th round. Possible quarterfinal opponents are Agnieszka Radwanska, Vera Zvonareva, Flavia Pennetta or Kaia Kanepi. Semifianl opponents include Viktoria Azarenka, Angelieque Kerber and Marion Bartoli.
No easy draw by any standard, but it could have been worse. How far Ana goes will depend on 1) Her health, and 2) Whether she can continue to play at the form that got her to the semifinals in Indian Wells. Assuming she is fit in time for her first match, I can see good results happening. Ana should take care of Vania King on Friday. Daniela Hantuchova is certainly no easy task, but given the way Ana performed last week, I would certainly give her the edge right now. If Ana finds herself in the 4th round, like she did last year, a match-up with Kvitova could be really interesting. We all know that when the Czech is on her game, she is extremely difficult to beat. Petra however, hasn’t been on her game as of late. She suffered a disappointing early round defeat to Christina McHale at Indian Wells, and historically does not do well on the American hard courts. Her game can be so on and off, and if Kvitova is having an off day, Ana will be in a prime position to take her out. Venus Williams is also another opponent Ana could see in the 4th round, but she hasn’t played since last years US Open, so I don’t see that match-up happening. As far as the quarters go, well I’d be happy if she just got there, so no point in analyzing the draw any further.
If I were to be honest, I would be happy if Ana just defended her points from last year and made the 4th round. That being said, I can see her reaching the quarterfinals, and would be absolutely delighted if she did so. She made it one round further at Indian Wells from a year ago, why not Miami? At the end of the day though, I just want to see a healthy Ana Ivanovic, who is playing well. That is what we all want to see.