Following dominant performances in their second round performances, a highly intriguing third round clash will take place Friday evening between world No.14 seed Ana Ivanovic and Australia’s Sam Stosur. The two competitors have previously met on seven occasions, with the world No. 17 leading the head-to-head series 4-3.
After seeing off Holland’s Kiki Bertens in straight sets in the opening round in Melbourne, Ana Ivanovic needed only 56 minutes to dismantle Annika Beck, 61 62 to set up her third round encounter with Stosur. The 2006 French Open champion is in top form this week in Melbourne, and is riding the momentum of her title win in Auckland last week, where she defeated Venus Williams in the final to lift the trophy.
While her first two matches ended quickly, Ivanovic admits that her upcoming match against Stosur will certainly be a much tougher outing.
“No secret it’s going to be a tough match,” Ivanovic said. “I had two tough matches last year against Sam. I lost one, won one. She’s a tough player with a very strong game. I have to raise my level.”
Australia’s Samantha Stosur also made quick work of her opponent, Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, finishing the match 62 60. Pironkova was coming off an inspiring week in Sydney, where she defeated Angelique Kerber, Sara Errani and Petra Kvitova to win her maiden WTA title. In Melbourne though, she was no mach for Stosur, who lost a mere four points on her first serve and only two games in the entire match.
Stosur is anticipating her third round clash with Ivanovic and is excited about the opportunity to go deeper in the tournament.
“Last two tournaments last year we played, she won one, I won one – couple three-setters in there,” Stosur said. “I’m looking forward to it. I’m happy to be in the third round. I want to keep going.”
Of their seven previous encounters, Stosur leads Ivanovic in their head-to-head series, 4-3. The two athletes went 1-1 in 2013, with the Serb winning their last meeting in Sofia in three sets. Prior to that, her last win over Stosur came in the 2009 Wimbledon Championships, which she won in straight sets. Her victory in Sofia was her first hard court victory over the Australian, brining their record on that surface to 4-1 for Stosur. Samantha also happens to holds a win over the Serb in Melbourne, which she won in straight sets back in 2006.
Prediction: Sam Stosur in Three Sets