Ana Ivanovic ended a seven year ache by defeating Maria Sharapova 6-1 6-4 in the third round of the 2014 Internazionali BNL d’Italia . It had been seven years since Ana last beat Masha, then at Roland Garros 2007. In the interim, Ivanovic had lost her last seven matches against Sharapova. As if that weren’t enough history trending against Ana, Masha was undefeated on clay against everybody not named Serena Williams since losing in the semifinals of Roland Garros 2011 to Li Na. But on this day in Rome, Ana looked like the player with everything in her favor. Maria actually played fairly well, save for six double faults. Ana was just sharper and better. Ana moved incredibly well, hitting winners from both the forehand and backhand side. She returned very well, preventing Masha from holding her own serve until 49 minutes into the match. Ana doesn’t have time to celebrate, though. Carla Suarez Navarro won’t roll over for her in the next round. If Ana gets by Carla and Serena gets by Zhang Shuai, we would get a great semifinal battle between two fan favorites.
Eugenie Bouchard, the rising young Canadian tennis star, has had a few early tournament exits recently after starting the year strongly, including a run to the Australian Open semifinals. Maybe she can get some of her early season mojo back after capturing Pope Francis in the background of what she called “possibly the best selfie of my entire life” on her twitter page. Let’s see if there’s any divine intervention for Genie at Roland Garros!
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1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 6-1 6-2 vs Varvara Lepchenko)
2 LI NA (won 6-3 6-1 vs Samantha Stosur)
3 AGNIESZKA RADWANSKA (won 6-4 6-1 vs Francesca Schiavone)
6 JELENA JANKOVIC (won 6-2 6-3 vs 12 Flavia Pennetta)
11 ANA IVANOVIC (won 6-1 6-4 vs Maria Sharapova)
10 SARA ERRANI (won 6-4 7-6 (3) vs Petra Cetkovska)