Ana Ivanovic Wins In First Round Of 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships; Sloane Stephens, Laura Robson Upset

Ana Ivanovic (click to enlarge)

Ana Ivanovic opened her 2013 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships with a 6-3 7-6 (5) victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Ana was cruising up 6-3 4-0 when the wheels almost came off. Pavlyuchenkova battled from 0-4 down in the 2nd set to force a tiebreak. As a longtime Ivanovic fan, I have unfortunately seen her steal defeat from the jaws of victory, stumbling when a match seemed won. Not this time. Ana pulled her game together in the tiebreak to advance to the 2nd round.

Sloane Stephens (click to enlarge)

Not pulling her game together in time was Sloane Stephens. Granted, she was playing a very formidable opponent in Sorana Cirstea. However, since her upset of Serena Williams in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Australian Open, Sloane has lost 3 of her next 4 matches. You could see the frustration within Stephens coming to the surface in this loss. 12 double faults, unforced errors galore. She’s still a young growing player. This is the learning curve. All players go through it. I think she’ll be just fine.

Laura Robson (click to enlarge)

I’d also say the same for Laura Robson, another up and coming star. However, unlike Sloane losing to Sorana, this loss by Laura to 101st ranked Yulia Putintseva was a shock to me. I can’t really say Laura was outplayed. She served better, was the overall better player. But on the crucial points in the 3rd set tiebreak, Yulina would come out on top. This one definitely could have gone either way, but in the end chalk it up to a learning experience for Robson who will have better days ahead.

1st Round – Completed
1 2 3
S. Stephens 7 3 2
S. Cirstea  « 5 6 6
1st Round – Completed
1 2 3
Y. Putintseva  « 6 2 7(8)
L. Robson 4 6 6(6)
1st Round – Completed
1 2 3
M. Bartoli  « 3 6 6
K. Zakopalova 6 4 1
1st Round – Completed
1 2 3
S. Hsieh  « 6 6
V. Lepchenko 1 3
1st Round – Completed
1 2 3
A. Pavlyuchenkova 3 6(5)
A. Ivanovic  « 6 7(7)

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

ANA IVANOVIC

MARION BARTOLI

SORANA CIRSTEA

YULIA PUTINTSEVA

SLOANE STEPHENS

LAURA ROBSON

AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA

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