March 13, 2012

On Tuesday, Ana Ivanovic, former World No. 1 in women’s ranking, grilled Francesca Schiavone to seal a berth in the round 2 of the Dubai Duty Free Championships. Ivanovic kept her unbeaten run against the Italian tennis player in their 4th match with a straight win 6 – 1, 7 – 5. She took just 1 hour and 41 minutes to beat the 7th seed player.

The Serbian tennis sensation started the match in a classic manner; winning the first 5 games of the first set including two breaks which left Schiavone at a complete loss or words. Schaivone managed to hold just 1 game before having her confidence squeezed again, and losing the first set in record time.

Nothing was going the Italian’s way and she appeared frustrated at her game play. She was nowhere near her brilliant form and her shots were wayward a lot of the time; eveny her favourite forehand winners were failing to find the target.

Francesca Schiavone steadied herself in the break between sets and returned as an improved player; managing to hold on to her serve in the first few games to hold the scores level at 2 – 2. A switch of breaks saw the score tick over to 3 – 3 and with no further drama scores advanced to 4 – 4.

Both of them broke each other three times in succession before Ana Ivanovic managed to hold on to her serve at take the set 7 – 5.

After the match, Ivanovic said that Francesca stepped up and really hung in there and gave her a tough match in the 2nd set. With the pool of women being so small, Ivanovic wasn’t expecting an easy game, and she didn’t get one. Games between Francesca and Ana are always hard-fought, so it was no surprise that once Schaivone got going there was very little to choose between them.

Francesca now has a chance to grab a short break before the tournament in Indian Wells Gardens. Even though she lost today, she remains one of the main contenders for the Grand Slams, and, according to the latest Wimbledon tennis betting, is the favourite to land the Winners plate in London later in the year.