Arguably the most intriguing of WTA quarter-final match-ups at the Mutua Madrid Open will be the one featuring top ranked Romanian Simona Halep and resurgent Serb Ana Ivanovic. This marks the fourth time they meet on the professional tour and the second time so far this season. Ivanovic leads the head-to-head record 2-1.
After dropping a mere 10 games in her first two matches in Madrid, world No. 5 Simona Halep continued her streak of impressive performances, this time taking out German No. 2 Sabine Lisicki to set up the quarter-final clash with Ana Ivanovic. Halep lost the first set 7-5, before rallying to win the next two sets in comfortable fahsion.
The Serbian No. 2 continued her fine form on Tuesday afternoon, when she defeated Bojana Jovanovski 6-4, 6-2 to earn her 25th WTA win of the season. After breaking in the ninth game of the match, Ivanovic cruised through the remainder of the match. In her first match in Madrid, she defeated Madison Keys to earn the 6-1, 7-6(4) victory, where the first set lasted a mere 22 minutes, while the second one was a much tighter affair, as Ana needed to recover from 1-3 down in the tiebreaker.
On Thursday Ivanovic continued to produce some remarkable tennis, as she stormed through her opening set against Pavlyuchenkova 6-1 and quickly took a break lead in the second set for 3-1 before closing out the match 6-2.
“I had a good week in Stuttgart, and I’m just trying to take that confidence into this week,” Ivanovic said. “To be honest, I’m not looking further than tomorrow’s match. I just like every new opportunity and challenge. Every point is different, and every match is different, and every day is different.
“I’m just enjoying competing. I love clay and it’s always good to be back on this surface.”
This marks the fourth time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Ivanovic leading the head-to-head series 2-1. Ivanovic won their most recent encounter, which was a clay court meeting in the Fed Cup.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic in Three Sets