16th seed Ana Ivanovic made an emphatic start to her 2016 Miami Open campaign on Thursday morning, defeating Brazilian Teliana Pereira 6-3, 6-0 in an hour and two minutes. In the third round, Ivanovic will meet 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky, who breezed past Russian Margarita Gasparyan at the loss of just four games.
Ivanovic Overcomes Multiple Blips, Eventually Takes Opening Set
Right from the off, it was clear that Ivanovic was looking to get the first strike as consistently as possible to put pressure on Pereira from the back of the court, which is exactly what she did to break in the first game. Impressively, the 16th seed continued her dream start with an emphatic consolidation of the early break to lead 2-0, showing a clear sign of confidence in her game.
But to the credit of Pereira, her persistence and ability to get one extra ball back in the court was soon rewarded as she began to profit off a number of uncharacteristic unforced errors from the Serb out of nowhere. As a result, the Brazilian number one was able to restore parity not long thereafter, holding before recovering the early break to draw level at 2-all.
Right when Pereira seemed to have settled into this second round encounter, Ivanovic firmly shut the door, breaking straight back to take a 3-2 lead. From there, the world number 17 showed no signs of letting up. Utilizing her serve to great effect, Ivanovic continued to impose her dominance on this match, consolidating the double break to take a 4-2 lead. With the Brazilian unable to find the court on multiple occasions, the Serb took full advantage, breaking for a third time to take a commanding 5-2 lead.
Serving for the set in the eighth game, Ivanovic seemed to have little trouble when she gave herself two set points with stunning down the line winners off both wings, but was unable to get over the line. As the world number 17 began to tighten up under the pressure, the world number 40 wasted no time in recovering one of the two breaks against her, thus reducing the deficit to 3-5.
But in the end, it was a case of too little, too late for Pereira as Ivanovic converted her fourth set point and was handed the opening set 6-3 on a silver platter thanks to a double fault from the Brazilian.
Ivanovic Races Away to Victory
Much like in the opening set, Ivanovic began the second in perfect fashion, winning eight points in a row to jump out to a 2-0 lead. From there, the former world number one showed no sign of letting up as she continued to dictate with her forehand while keeping a consistent depth on her backhand, consequently consolidating the early break to go a set and 3-0 to the good.
With Pereira seemingly having no answers to Ivanovic's sheer power, the 16th seed broke for a fifth time and quicky jumped out to a double break lead in the second set. Despite a minor blip in the following game, Ivanovic continued to roll on, sealing the game with a beautiful forehand crosscourt to take a commanding 5-0 lead.
The sixth -- and ultimately final -- game of the second set proved to be the most competitive, with the momentum swinging back and forth. Despite holding a trio of match points at different points in the game, all three slipped through the fingers of Ivanovic by virtue of three unforced errors, and Pereira was suddenly given a chance to get on the board. But in the end, Ivanovic's offence was able to break down Pereira's weakened defence, and that was the difference maker in this match. Unfortunately for the Brazilian number one, it was a case of déjà-vu as she double faulted away the set for a second consecutive time and with it, the match. With a 6-3, 6-0 victory, Ivanovic moved swiftly into the round of 32 where she will meet 19th seed Timea Bacsinszky.
The pair have met thrice before with the Serb holding a slender 2-1 head-to-head record against the Swiss, but the latter did win their last meeting in Beijing late last year, which coincidentally propelled her into the top 10 for the first time.