A very interesting match-up between resurgent competitors Ana Ivanovic and Flavia Pennetta is scheduled to take place in the third round of the Sony Open on Saturday afternoon. Ivanovic holds a 4-0 head-to-head record against Pennetta, yet the Italian has stormed back into the Top 15 this season, winning the Indian Wells Premier Mandatory title in the process. It will be interesting to see if she can translate that into a first-time win over Ivanovic in Miami.
World No. 13 Ana Ivanovic breezed into the third round with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 win over Lauren Davis. Following her third round exit to Sloane Stephens last week in California, Ivanovic will be determined not to falter this week in Miami. She has already won one title this season and will be looking to add to her expanding collection with a maiden title at the Sony Open, where she has never gone further than the quarter-final round. While the stats favour the Serb on Saturday afternoon, her opponent is currently peaking at 32 years of age.
Flavia Pennetta provided the biggest upset at the 2014 Indian Wells tournament, when she stormed through a stacked WTA draw to lift the biggest title of her career. The Italian did not have it easy either, as she needed to defeat a gauntlet of top competitors including Stosur, Giorgi, Stephens, Li and Radwanska to lift the title and boost herself ahead of Ivanovic at world No. 12. Now, after successfully beginning her campaign in Miami with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Govortsova, Pennetta will look to pick up the pace with a first-time victory over Ivanovic.
While Ivanovic has won all four of their previous encounters on the professional tour, she will be forced to muster her best tennis to overcome the Italian on this particular occasion. Pennetta is currently peaking following her extraordinary victory at Indian Wells, and while that does not necessarily translate more victories after the fact, it is quite possible that the world No. 13 could reach the fourth round tomorrow with a tight three set win.
Prediction: Flavia Pennetta in Three Sets