In her fourth round victory over fellow Serb, Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic was on the ropes early facing several break points and fighting them off. She was not perfect, but raised her game when she needed. In her quarterfinal against Marion Bartoli, who is playing her 7th event of the young year, Ana’s erratic play doomed her in a close 6-4 7-6 (4). It was not a bad showing by Ana. She played well at times. But while she more than doubled Bartoli’s winners 39 to 19, she also doubled Bartoli’s unforced errors 44 to 22. On serve, Ana had 4 aces, but also 6 double faults while only managing a 51% first serve percentage. Despite all of that, Ana still had chances in this match. She just couldn’t find consistency when she needed it on big points. Even with the quarterfinal loss, I consider this week a plus for Ana. I think she did a great job getting to the quarterfinals. I honestly didn’t expect her to get that far, and neither did she.
“I created a lot of opportunities but didn’t use them,” Ivanovic said. “At 4-all in the first set she played some good shots and broke me and then the set was gone. I lost a few service games but didn’t feel I was serving badly. I made a few unforced errors from my forehand side and that was a little bit disappointing.
“It’s a good base to go to Miami from, though. Coming into this week I didn’t expect to get this far in the tournament and I can learn a lot from this match.”
Up next for Marion will be Belgian Yanina Wickmayer. Unlike the other Belgian Marion Bartoli faced this tournament, Kim Clijsters, I don’t expect Bartoli to be given a pass into the next round with her opponent retiring due to injury. I do make that match a 50-50 toss up. Both players are very talented, but both can also be erratic. If I had to pick one, I’d go with Wickmayer to reach the final.
Ivanovic vs. Jankovic