Ana breezed through her opening round match, defeating Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino 6-1, 6-1. Arruabarrena-Vecino (who’s name is difficult to spell without looking), posed no problems for Ana, who played some brilliant tennis.
Ana broke immediately to open the match, only to surrender the break right back in the next game. Ivanovic then reeled off 1o consecutive games, taking the first set 6-1, then building a 5-0 lead in the second. Arruabarrena-Vecino finally held, after falling down 0-30 on her own serve to avoid the bagel; but Ana took care of business on her own serve, closing out the match without any problems. Aside from her low first serve percentage (43%), Ana played stellar tennis today. Ivanovic’s forehand was on fire, and she utilized it to hit 27 winners to just 21 unforced errors. It was the best tennis she’s played since Indian Wells. Grant it, her opponent wasn’t all that great, but after losing to Larsson in the opening match last season, this was a great showing.
Next up for Ana is Shahar Peer, who defeated Stephanie Dubois today 6-2, 6-2. Peer played well, at least according to the stats. She hit 28 winners to just 17 unforced errors against the Canadian. Peer also currently owns a 3-0 career record vs Ana. But as I said the other day, I wouldn’t put too much stock in that head-to-head. Two of those loses came back in 2010 when Peer was ranked inside the top 20, while Ivanovic was ranked outside the top 50. A lot has chanced since then as both players have gone in opposite directions. It could be a challenge, but I fully expect Ana to win, especially if she played like she did today. In the meantime, Ana will have the next two days off, playing her next match on Wednesday.