Ana Ivanovic opened her campaign at the BNP Paribas Open with a battle against the always dangerous, Camila Giorgi. This would mark the second meeting between both players, the first one was last year in Tokyo where the Serbian won in straight sets. This clash turned out to be more difficult for the former world number one who managed to win 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (5).
Giorgi Wins Five Games In a Row and Takes the Opening Set
It was a set full of inconsistencies from both players, but it was Ivanovic the first to cause damage. Giorgi had several opportunities to save her opening serving game, but a double-fault gave the Serbian the early lead. The Italian remained focus and showed her aggressive game to break back. Ivanovic used Giorgi’s slow second serve to her advantage, pulling great returns that helped her break again. The Italian broke back, even when Ivanovic saved three break points.
After four exchange of breaks, it was Camila Giorgi the first one to hold her serve. The consistency from the Italian continued as she broke the Serbian again. Giorgi who’s known for not showing her emotions on court carried on a display of great tennis. She was leading comfortably at 5-2 and was only a game away to take the opening set. The Italian was unstoppable, even after Ivanovic hit an amazing volley, Giorgi was able to win the point by doing an outstanding passing shot. On the second set point, Ivanovic did her eleventh unforced error.
Ivanovic Comes Back and Dominates
Again, Ivanovic broke in the first game of the set. However, this time, she managed to hold her serve in the following game. Unlike the opening set, in this one both players showed more consistency holding their serves for five straight games. During the set, the quality of tennis was high level, but the Italian was still a break down. In the sixth game, the Italian had three opportunities to get the break back, but Ivanovic remained strong and held her serve.
The Italian started to make unforced errors at a key moment in the set and the former world number one didn’t hesitate to seize her opponent's mistakes. Two double faults in a row handed the second break to Ivanovic and she would have the chance to win the second set. Ivanovic played probably her best game until this point of the match, her first serve forced Giorgi to make mistakes.
Tiebreak in the Deciding Set
The third set was a mix between the first and the second set. The first part was full of inconsistencies by both players while the second part was probably the best part of the match. For a third time, Ivanovic broke Giorgi’s serve in the first game. It looked like a replay from the first set as the next five games were breaks. Still, even if both players couldn’t hold their serve there were more winners than unforced errors, they were giving her best and even after some breaks both players remained focused. Just like in the first set, Giorgi was the first to hold her serve while the Serbian did the same but finding some difficulties.
As Ivanovic prepared to stay in the match, the crowd started to get louder supporting the great display of tennis that was occurring in the last match of the day. Ivanovic’s frustration started to show early in the game when she almost fell trying to reach a great volley from the Italian. The crowd was loving every minute as the match only became more entertaining. Giorgi with the scoreboard on her side started to take more risks, coming into the net to finish points. The Serbian responded to her opponent’s aggressiveness with a great serve. But the Italian stayed with her risk-taking approach and it started to pay off as she got her first match point. Ivanovic let out one of her well-known ‘Ajde’ when a forehand from Giorgi stayed on the net, saving a match point. Giorgi got her second match point after hitting an amazing backhand down the line that left Ivanovic immobile. Another good serve from the Serbian helped her to stay in the match.
After throwing her chances away, Giorgi held her serve and Ivanovic did the same to force a tiebreak. The Italian struck early in the tiebreak, getting a mini break from Ivanovic. However, the Serbian got the mini break back after a long ball by the Italian. For the first time in the tiebreak, Ivanovic was leading after holding both of her serves, but the Italian did the same with hers. Ivanovic didn’t let down as she continued to hold her serves and that gave her the first match point for the Serbian. Giorgi needed to hold her serve to stay in the match. Ivanovic let out a loud scream as a ball from Giorgi went long, giving her the victory
Ivanovic’s Win By Numbers
Both players did four aces, but Ivanovic kept the double faults low only committing three while Giorgi did ten. The Serbian won thirty-seven out of sixty-three points on her first serve. It was Camila Giorgi who made the most winners, but also the most unforced errors with 47 winners and 40 unforced errors. Ivanovic was a bit better making 21 winners and 27 unforced errors. The Serbian came to the net in six occasions where she won four points while the Italian had seventeen opportunities at the net winning thirteen of those. Both won seven break points and it was Giorgi who had more chances to break with sixteen.
Karolina Pliskova is Next
On her third round match, Ivanovic will face a familiar player, Karolina Pliskova. This will mark the fourth meeting between both players, Pliskova has won all their meetings. The last time they played each other was this year at Sydney where Pliskova prevailed in straight sets. Ana Ivanovic will try to beat the Czech for the first time.