Victoria Azarenka Defeats Ana Ivanovic In Semifinals Of 2013 Southern California Open, Regains #2 Ranking

Victoria Azarenka (click to enlarge)

Early into the Victoria Azarenka-Ana Ivanovic semifinal at the 2013 Southern California Open it looked like a runaway for Vika as she dropped a 6-0 bagel on Ana in the first set. Considering how Ivanovic has wilted in the past, I give her tremendous credit for fighting back and pushing Azarenka, turning a lopsided affair into a razor-thin three setter. In fact, Ana even looked like her former #1 self early in the second set. As has been the issue with Ana’s game for a long time, when she had her serve (and specifically her service toss) working, she was actually able to dominate. Her big serve-big forehand combination can be difficult for anybody to handle. The problem is that her toss is all over the place…too far right, too far in front, too far left, etc. She repeatedly caught errant tosses to try again. Even worse, she often hit errant tosses, stretching into awkward positions just to reach the ball. That approach led to lots of service faults. Whether it ultimately produced double faults or weaker second serves, the end result is the same…the Ana that hits big first serves and sets up big ground strokes is a vastly different player than the one that tries to get by on second serves. With the 6-0 4-6 6-3 victory, Vika reclaims the world #2 ranking. As much of a Maria Sharapova as I am, I feel Vika was the true #2 anyway…at least when she’s on her game, especially now that the tour moves into the summer hard court season where Vika should excel.

singles – Semifinals
[1] VICTORIA AZARENKA (BLR) D [7] ANA IVANOVIC (SRB) | 6 – 0 | 4 – 6 | 6 – 3 |  
[5/W] SAMANTHA STOSUR (AUS) D VIRGINIE RAZZANO (FRA) | 7 – 6 (2) | 6 – 3 |  
doubles – Semifinals
H CHAN / J HUSAROVA (TPE/SVK) D [4] J JANKOVIC / K SREBOTNIK (SRB/SLO) | 6 – 3 | 6 – 2 |  
[3] R KOPS-JONES / A SPEARS (USA/USA) D C BLACK / M ERAKOVIC (ZIM/NZL) | 7 – 5 | 6 – 1 |  

ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

VICTORIA AZARENKA

ANA IVANOVIC

SAMANTHA STOSUR

VIRGINIE RAZZANO

RAQUEL KOPS-JONES and ABIGAIL SPEARS

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