French Open: Ana Ivanovic holds off challenge of Kurumi Nara to reach third round

French Open: Ana Ivanovic holds off challenge of Kurumi Nara to reach third round

2008 French Open champion and 14th seed Ana Ivanovic held off the challenge of Japan's Kurumi Nara to reach the third round with a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

thomas-cluck
Thomas Cluck

2008 French Open champion and 14th seed Ana Ivanovic kept up her winning ways in Paris, holding off Japan's Kurumi Nara to move through to the third round with a 7-5, 6-1 victory. After a shaky start, Ivanovic seemed to find her groove, dominating the second set to move on.

Ivanovic fights through opening set

Ivanovic began the match with a nice hold finished off with a trademark big, forehand winner to take the game. The following game, the Serb broke Nara off of another forehand winner. The 2008 champion then consolidated the break, punctuating the game with an ace for a 3-0 lead. Nara finally held to get herself on the board, fighting through a tight deuce game to keep the margin to one break of serve. 

The 14th seed then held again for 4-1, with her trademark weapon, the forehand, doing wonders for the former world number one. The Japanese then took her second game for 4-2, keeping herself in striking distance at only a one break deficit. Nara gained a key break the following game, forcing errors out of the former champion to bring the match on serve. Nara then leveled the match at 4-all, crushing an overhead to finish the game. 

Ana Ivanovic hits a forehand at the French Open in Paris/Getty Images
Ana Ivanovic hits a forehand at the French Open in Paris/Getty Images

Ivanovic responded to the break well, holding with another forehand winner to go up 5-4. With the world number 91 serving to stay in the set, Nara played a beautiful game to hold, blending consistency and aggression to hold for 5-all and keep herself in the set. The Serb held routinely to force Nara to serve to stay in the set again, this time at 6-5. Ivanovic upped her level once again, using her forehand to perfection, breaking to take the set 7-5 finished off with a big forehand winner. 

Ivanovic eases through second set to move on

Ivanovic began the set holding easily off of a forehand error from the unseeded Japanese player. The Serb then gained the immediate break, with errors coming from all over Nara's game. Both players then exchanged holds for 3-1, before the 14th seed held followed by another break of the Japanese's serve for 5-1. With Ivanovic serving for the match, the Serb claimed her first love hold of the match, with the match finishing on a trademark Ivanovic forehand winner for a 7-5, 6-1 win. 

Ana Ivanovic hits a backhand at the French Open in Paris/Getty Images
Ana Ivanovic hits a backhand at the French Open in Paris/Getty Images

Up next for Ivanovic

Up next for Ivanovic is 18th seeded Ukranian Elina Svitolina, who the former champion beat in last year's quarterfinals. The Serb holds a 7-0 head-to-head against Svitolina, with their last meeting coming here last year. Svitolina also eased past her second round opponent, defeating American Taylor Townsend 6-3, 6-0 to move on. Ivanovic and Svitolina will have a day off tomorrow before returning to the courts on Saturday for their third round match. 

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