Following impressive opening round contests on Tuesday, Serbian star Ana Ivanovic and Canada’s Carol Zhao will meet in the second round of the Bank of the West Classic in Stanford. This marks the first time the two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour and should make for an entertaining contest.
World No. 11 Ana Ivanovic did not have the best of starts in her opening round match, where she faced German No. 2 Sabine Lisicki for the third time in three months. In fact, Lisicki was the last match she had before arriving in Stanford, and was defeated by the former Wimbledon finalist in the third round at SW19.
It appeared as though Lisicki would have little resistance from Ivanovic, as she shot to a 4-1 lead in the opening set before the Serb worked her way back to level terms. While Lisicki was clearly the better competitor during the early stages of the match, it was Ivanovic who produced outstanding tennis at the crucial moment to eventually snatch the first set tiebreak.
The second set was more straightforward, as Ivanovic broke for the lead and closed out the contest on the second match point when Lisicki hit a forehand wide. It was not the prettiest of match-ups, but Ivanovic knuckled down and got the job done in the end to set up an even more intriguing second round contest.
Qualifier Carol Zhao may have only played 9 games in her opening round match in the main draw in Stanford, but it was a convincing showing during that period, as she led 6-2, 1-0 before her opponent, Yanina Wickmayer was forced to retire from the contest. The match lasted a total of 36 minutes.
This is the first time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour and could make for an intriguing contest. The Chinese-born Canadian showed some talent during the qualifying round and was even more impressive in her first main draw match in Stanford. While it is unlikely that she will defeat the former Grand Slam winner in her first attempt, it could be a more competitive contest than most would expect.
Prediction: Ana Ivanovic in Straight Sets