The Sony Ericsson Open is underway in Key Biscayne, and today was Ana’s turn to take to the court of the Main Stadium. Ana comes into this tournament with lots of momentum after last week’s semifinal appearance at Indian Wells. She also comes into this event with questions regarding her left glute injury. Lots of intrigue to say the least.
Unless you were at Crandon Park, there was no possible way to watch today’s match. There has been a lot of anger from disgruntled fans over the lack of television coverage of the early rounds at both Indian Wells and Miami, but unfortunately tennis fans are all left in the dark. So instead, we were stuck following the match on livescores which is never fun. It just adds to the stress without having no idea on what is going on. Without any real idea of how Ana played, it is impossible to really analyze the match, so we just have to go with the stats and tweets from people who are on the ground.
The 1st set was an tight affair, with neither player being able to break the other’s serve. King had more opportunities to do so, having a total of 5 break points during the 1st set. Ana came through in the clutch situations, however, saving all 5 of them. On the flip side, Ana didn’t have a single break point until the final point of the set, which was set point. It only took Ana one opportunity and she seized upon it. The 1st set went to Ivanovic, 6-4.
Ana found herself down an early break in the 2nd set, and eventually fell behind 2-4. But she stepped it up and won 3 straight games to take a 5-4 lead. After Vania King held to even up the set at 5-all, the pressure was back on Ana to hold her serve. She did just that to take a 6-5 lead and found herself match points in King’s next service game. Ana promptly converted and took the match 6-4, 7-5.
People who actually attended the match today at Crandon Park, such as Aisha, noted that Ana wasn’t in the form that took her to the semifinals last week in Indian Wells. At the end of the day though, she pulled through with a victory and that is all that matters. Sometimes a tight win like this, is more beneficial to Ana than a easy, straightforward win. These kind of wins can do more for ones confidence than the other.
Ana will face Daniela Hantuchova next on Sunday in the 3rd round. Hantuchova barely got past Kateryna Bondarenko 6-7 (4), 6-2, 7-6 (4), in what looked like an ugly match from the stat sheet. There were a total of 24 breaks of serves between the two players, and a combined 32 double faults (23 from Bondarenko). So Hantuchova will not be coming into this match with a whole lot of confidence, especially in her serve. Ivanovic and Hantuchova played each other twice last year. Ana won on clay during Fed Cup, then Dani got revenge on grass in the Birmingham semi’s. The last time these two met on hard courts was at the 2008 Australian Open, where Ana came back from 6-0, 2-0 down, to book her spot in that years final. Of course, that match is also famous for “Squeak Gate” which Ana was asked about last week in Indian Wells. Ana overall leads the their head-to-head 4-2.
Something that many were wondering about coming in was, how is Ana’s injury? We got a little insight today from Ben Rothenberg:
Good to know that she is feeling well. It will be interesting to see if this injury will have any hindrance on her play in the upcoming week. It is something to keep an eye on. But so far, so good.
With tomorrow off to rest, expect Nigel Sears to go over the scouting report on Daniela Hantuchova with great detail. He was Hantuchova’s former coach after all, so he knows her game about as good as anyone. Could come in handy while Ana prepares for her next match on Sunday. Until then, she has another day to heal her glute. Looking forward to what Ana has in stored for us next.