Ana Ivanovic found her serve in the fourth round of the 2011 BNP Paribas Open, just in time to dismiss fellow Serbian superstar Jelena Jankovic 6-4 6-2. The former French Open champion and world #1 served up 7 aces, and more importantly, won 71% of points on her first serves in. Ana also showed a lot more control of her nerves on pressure points, saving 6 of 7 break points.
“Ana played really well. She was really on her game,” Jankovic said. “I had a lot of break points. Especially in that first set, every game on her serve I had break points. I managed to convert only one, which was in the second. I wasn’t really doing the right things out there and she was. So she was the better player.”
The bottom half of the draw has really opened up, if Ana can take advantage. The top player in the bottom half of the draw, Kim Clijsters, was forced to retire after winning the first set in her match with Marion Bartoli with a shoulder injury. Clijsters says she will rehab and try to defend her title in Miami at the Sony Ericsson Open. Vera Zvonareva and Francesca Schiavone also are no longer in the bottom half after suffering upset losses. No player can be considered a pushover, and they all could beat Ana, but Bartoli, Shahar Peer and Yanina Wickmayer are all players Ana could conceivably win against. Next up for Ana is Bartoli.
Looking as good as she has in ages was Maria Sharapova, who turned the battle of former #1 Russians into a blowout, crushing Dinara Safina 6-2 6-0. It was all working for Sharapova. She hit 28 winners while serving an exceptional 75% on first serves, winning 79% of first serves in. If Maria Sharapova serves 75% and wins that high an amount of first serves in, it would be tough for anybody to beat her. Up next for Maria is Peng Shuai, who has upset both Li Na and Nadia Petrova on her way to the quarterfinals. Again, no player is a pushover and anybody can beat anybody on a given day, but as long as Maria doesn’t make the mistake of looking ahead to a potential semifinal showdown with Caroline Wozniacki, she should get by Peng.
Singles – Fourth Round
(1) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. (22) Alisa Kleybanova (RUS) 26 63 61
(15) Marion Bartoli (FRA) d. (2) Kim Clijsters (BEL) 36 31 ret. (right shoulder injury)
(10) Shahar Peer (ISR) d. (5) Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 64 36 76(3)
(19) Ana Ivanovic d. (6) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 64 62
(8) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (9) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) 46 63 76(3)
(16) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Dinara Safina (RUS) 62 60
Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (18) Nadia Petrova (RUS) 64 57 63
(23) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. (25) Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) 75 75