Following their last meeting a month ago at the Auckland finals, Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic and former world No. 1 Venus Williams will clash once again, this time in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. This marks the eleventh time these two will meet on the professional tour, with Williams leading the head-to-head series 8-2.
Serbian No. 2 Ana Ivanovic had a tough opening round contest against world No. 9 Angelique Kerber. After dropping the opening set, Ivanovic rebounded quickly to lead 2-0 in the second set before forcing a decider with a 6-3 score. While she was mostly in control in the third set, Ivanovic needed a tiebreaker to secure the victory on her third match point. It was a hard-fought win for the former No. 1, who is now looking for her second title of the season.
Former world No. 1 Venus Williams clinched a 6-3, 6-2 win over Elena Vesnina in the opening round in Dubai, setting up a rematch with Ivanovic tomorrow afternoon. Vesnina broke for the first time in the fourth game, but Williams broke back quickly and consolidated the break for a 5-1 lead to finally wrap up set and match in a little over one hour on Centre Court. She will look for revenge in the second round against Ivanovic, who snatched the Auckland trophy from her grasps last month ahead of the Australian Open.
Williams holds a dominant 8-2 lead over Ivanovic in their head-to-head series, yet while that may be the case, Ivanovic holds the victory in their most recent encounter only a month ago. Prior to that, the last time the Serb was victorious against Venus was in the quarter-finals of the 2008 Australian Open, which is the only time they met on Australian soil. Out of their ten previous encounters, only one went the distance, emphasizing William’s stronghold in the series, yet she will have a tough task against the in-form Ivanovic that will meet her on court tomorrow afternoon. She will have the benefit of a day’s rest before the contest, as Ivanovic will be fatigued from her gruelling three set encounter on Tuesday, but it is unlikely to make a significant difference in this match-up.
You can see all of their previous matches and stats here: Ivanovic vs Venus Williams Head to Head
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic in Three Sets