2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic and 2009 French Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova will meet in the quarter-final round in Stuttgart in what will mark their 12th encounter on the WTA tour. Ivanovic leads the world No. 29 8-3 in the head-to-head series and will be looking to add to that record en route to the final four.
After breezing into the second round of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Tournament with a win over one of the local favourites Sabine Lisicki, Ana Ivanovic was faced with a tougher battle in the second round when she was matched up against another German in Julia Goerges. The world No. 94 stormed to a 4-1 lead before closing out the opening set 6-1. Ivanovic would strike back in the second set and would increase her points won on 1st serve from 50% to 92%, which her second serve rose from 33% to 75%, which made her far more solid during her service games. She eventually levelled the match and forced a decider.
The Serbian No. 2 would secure a break in the opening game and it appeared to have demotivated Goerges, who would soon find herself at 1-5 in the final set and serving to stay in the match. After a battle in deuce, Goerges would secure her second game in the final set but would fail to stop the inevitable, as Ivanovic reached the quarter-final round with a 6-3 win in the final set – finishing the match in 1 hour and 40 minutes.
“Julia is a very good player and very streaky – she started off so well,” Ivanovic said. “I didn’t feel I did many things wrong in that first set, she was just playing very well. I don’t think she had any unforced errors, to be honest, and she had a lot of winners. But I knew I had to stay positive and calm.
“I waited for my moment and turned it around early in the second set. I played a really good game to break her and then managed to hold my serve, and that set the tone a little bit in the second set. After that a few errors started creeping into her game and I think I used that to my advantage really well. I used that momentum and in the third set I just kept going, staying aggressive and taking risks.”
Kuznetsova stunned world No. 5 Simona Halep on Thursday afternoon, defeating the top Romanian 7-5, 7-6 to reach the quarter-final round. The world No. 29 avenged her last loss to Halep, which took place last year in Rome and will now look to add to her streak with another big win against Ivanovic.
This marks the 12th time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Ivanovic leading the series 8-3. The Serb is also 3-1 against Kuznetsova on clay, including their most recent encounter on that surface in Rome two years back. While Ivanovic has been a resurgent force in 2014 and will look to reach her second final in as many months.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic in Three Sets