Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Beautiful Sydney
Ana Ivanovic !!!!!! press
The final first-round match contested on Wednesday featured a pair of 16-year-old qualifiers not willing to go down without a fight. Serbia and Montenegro's Ana Ivanovic outlasted France's Tatiana Golovin in a 75 67(2) 76(3) battle that lasted 2 hours, 11 minutes.
Golovin got off to a strong start, taking a 4-1 lead before Ivanovic rattled off four straight games to serve for the set. She lost the next service game to the young Frenchwoman at love but broke right back and served out the first set.
Golovin also held a lead in the second set at 5-3 before Ivanovic again leveled the match at 5-all. The set eventually went to a tie-break where Golovin held steady to even the match.
In the third, it was again Golovin who dashed out to a strong 5-1 lead. However, she served for the match at 5-2, 5-4 and 6-5, holding two match points while serving in the 5-4 game, but failed to close out the match. She then dug herself a 5-0 hole in the tie-break and ultimately squandered her large lead and the match to Ivanovic.
"I was a little bit nervous to start the match, but after a while I became more comfortable," Ivanovic said. "Even when I was down 5-1, I tried to stay calm and believe in myself. This is obviously my biggest win.
"I started the year ranked around 700, but I played a lot of matches in ITF events, sometimes playing eight matches in one week, going through qualies, so that has been good to give me match practice and self-confidence."
Despite being just 16, Golovin has now lost two straight matches to a fellow teen opponent. Along with the loss to Ivanovic - who turns 17 on November 6 - Golovin fell to 15-year-old Nicole Vaidisova two weeks ago in the second round at Tokyo [Japan Open].
"I was impressed with her game today," Golovin said. "She definitely has a great future.
"I should've taken my chances because I had big leads in all three sets. But in the end I felt she won it instead of me losing it."
Ivanovic will next have to take on No.7 seed Venus Williams, the highest-ranked player she's ever faced on a tennis court.
"I've never played someone as high-ranked as her, so I'm just going to play my game," Ivanovic said. "I have nothing to lose, so it's going to be a very good experience for me."
Good Luck - JELENA, ANA, MARIA & IVANA
We will never see a player like Monica Seles - a true legend