Saturday, March 12, 2011
Ana advances, Petra stunned.
After a first round loss to Patty Schnyder in Dubai three and a half weeks ago, Ivanovic withdrew from Doha the week after due to an abdominal injury; on Friday night she made a welcome return to court as the No.19 seed against Date-Krumm, losing just 17 points in nine service games against the Japanese.
"The first set was a little bit shaky but my serve kind of pulled me through it," Ivanovic said. "I played Kimiko in Bali last year and practiced with her recently. I know she likes pace, so if you give it to her in her hitting zone, she can hurt you off if. I tried to get it out of her comfort zone, mixing up the pace and height.
"I have so much respect for Kimiko, just her story, being on top of the game and coming back and still playing so well, and in the meantime running marathons. It's just impressive. If I am that fit at her age, I would be more than happy."
Ivanovic was in a few places since the aforementioned loss in Dubai. "After Dubai I was in London for about a week with my brother, also doing some rehab work. Then I went to Vegas for a week and I worked there with my sparring partner and Darren was helping me on the court. Then I came here on Sunday."
Next up for Ivanovic is Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, who pulled off the biggest upset of the day, rallying to beat No.12 seed and good friend Petra Kvitova, 3-6 6-2 7-5. They played recently in Paris, with Kvitova saving match point to win.
"It was another tough match with Petra today. It's always hard to play against a friend," Zahlavova Strycova said. "I think Paris was a much better match than today, but I managed to win this one so I'm very happy. She's a great player. It was very hot today and a long match, but this is what we train for."
Zahlavova Strycova's win over the No.14-ranked Kvitova was the best of her career, her only two previous Top 20 wins coming against No.15-ranked players (Flavia Pennetta at Monterrey in 2009, Nadia Petrova at Sydney this year).
Ivanovic leads Zahlavova Strycova in their head-to-head series, 1-0.
Kvitova was the only Top 16 seed to fall, although two others had big battles: No.10 seed Shahar Peer was down 6-4 4-3 and fended off two points for a 6-4 5-3 deficit to beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands, 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3; and No.15 seed Marion Bartoli came from a set down to defeat Monica Niculescu, 2-6 6-3 6-2.
Kim Clijsters, Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone and Jelena Jankovic moved into the third round in straight sets.