Following their magnificent encounter at the Australian Open earlier in the season, world No. 1 Serena Williams and Ana Ivanovic will meet in the semi-final round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in what should be another thrilling affair. Ivanovic provided the upset of the tournament when she picked up her first ever victory over the top ranked American in the fourth round in Melbourne, and will be looking to follow up with another strong showing against her on Saturday afternoon.
Williams maintained her dominant streak on Friday afternoon, as she stormed past her Chinese adversary Shuai Zhang 6-1, 6-3 to reach the semi-final round of the Italian Open. It was another strong showing from Williams, who continues to show no sign of fatigue or lingering pain from her thigh injury last week.
Ivanovic is showing some fantastic form in Rome this week, as she toppled Maria Sharapova in the third round before surviving an extensive battle against Carla Suarez Navarro to arrive at the semi-final round of the Italian Open.
The Serbian No. 2 was down 4-2 in the opening set, but proceeded to reel off four straight games to win the set. Suarez Navarro would fight back to take a two break lead in the second set to force a decider. Ivanovic would push the pace once again down 3-4 to win the next three games and the match.
“I think it’s a different match on a different surface,” Ivanovic said of the looming match-up. “Both of us have a clear style of game and it kind of depends on the surface, but no matter what, it’s going to be a tough match. She has won a lot of tournaments on clay and she plays very well on every surface.”
While this has the potential to be a blowout for Williams, Ivanovic has shown some fantastic form and is coming off a recent win over Williams. The Serb is comfortable on clay this season and has played more matches than her opponent. At the very least, she is capable of forcing a third set in this contest, which makes it a compelling match-up.
Prediction: Serena Williams in Three Sets