French Open 2007: Andrew's TV-reports (QF + SF + Final)
ROLAND GARROS (Paris, France; red clay; Grand Slam)
1. Photos & videos
2. First-round result
3. Second-round result
4. Third-round result
5. Fourth-round result
6. Quarter-final TV-report: Ivanović v Kuznetsova
7. Semi-final draw
8. Semi-final preview: Sharapova v Ivanović
9. Women's Doubles: First round
10. Order of play for Thursday
1. Photos & videos (Ana-filtered)
Search Getty Images for "ivanovic"
More of Ana and others:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/2/photogallery/ (3r, 4r, qf)
http://www.tennis.info/Paris7.html (First round - day 4, Second round - day 2, Third round - day 2, Fourth round - day 1, Quarterfinals - day 1)
2. First-round result (Wednesday 30th May)
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF] d. Sofia Arvidsson [LL], 6-2 6-0
3. Second-round result (Thursday 31st May)
(7) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) vs. Sania Mirza (IND) - First Meeting
Thursday's Court 1 clash between Ivanovic and Mirza will see two of the game's most gifted young players go head-to-head for a place in the third round. Ivanovic has enjoyed a fantastic last few months, seeing her rise to a career-high world ranking of No.7 and culminating with the capture of her second Tier I title in Berlin. On Wednesday the 19-year-old carried on from where she left off in the German capital, producing a supreme display of clay court tennis to defeat Swedish lucky loser Sofia Arvidsson. Mirza also impressed during her first round, dropping just two games against Alberta Brianti on the way to recording her first ever victory at Roland Garros. The pair has never met before, but one thing is for certain, if they can reproduce the form they displayed in the opening round, the crowds on Court 1 are in for a real treat.
Nice winner, nice loser:
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF] d. Sania Mirza [DF], 6-1 6-4
Sania: "I had [knee-]surgery almost three months ago, and this is my third tournament back. I probably could have done a few things better, but I guess that's where the lack of match-practice comes into play. It has been a long process. We worked very hard in the gym the last couple of months. But I'm hitting the ball okay. Clay is not my favourite surface, so I'm looking forward to the grass-season."
4. Third-round result (Saturday 2nd June)
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF] d. Ioana Raluca Olaru [Q], 6-2 6-0
5. Fourth-round result (Sunday 3rd June)
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF] d. ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES , 6-3 3-6 6-3
6. Quarter-final TV-report: Ivanović v Kuznetsova (Tuesday 5th June)
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF] d. SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA , 6-0 3-6 6-1
I saw the match on BBCi, and while this was not my first time to watch Ana play, it was my first time to watch her play /well/. And she was quite brilliant, especially in the first set!
So I have to ask myself why I don't induct Ana into my Eternal Fanship. Two things are required to induct any player: Passion and Reason. In Ana's case, my Reason says I should induct her, but although I like her a lot, I just don't have sufficient Passion to follow her with the same level of dedication as my Eternal Fanship.
The match started at 12:10 CEST.
IVANOVIĆ @*@*@* 6
KUZNETSO ______ 0
Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Ana netted a backhand. 15/0. Ana crosscourt forehand winner. Sam Smith: "Very flat hitter. Can hit winners from anywhere on the court with her forehand. Very [iure striker." 30/0. Ana netted. 40/0. Kuznetsova forehand long after taking the initiative. 15/40. Ana broke with an error-forcing off-forehand.
Ana serving 1-0: Ana crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Ana ran around her backhand to hit a forehand winner down Kuznetsova's forehand-line. 30/0. Kuznetsova backhand winner down the line. 30/15. Ana forehand volley-winner after hitting a forehand that looked long. 40/15. Ana hit a rocketing forehand winner down the line after losing the early initiative from a good one-two punch.
Wow - a terrific start from Ana! This is the kind of tennis I've always read about from Ana, but never before seen on TV as I've only seen her bad days before.
Sam Smith: "Improved footwork, consistenct, fitness. But weak defensively. Forehand looks gigantic."
Kuznetsova serving 0-2: Ana backhand long (forced by depth). 15/0. A good wide return forced Kuznetsova into error. 15/15. Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 15/30. Kuznetsova's backhand clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/40 (2 BPs). Ana's backhand return clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 30/40. Kuznetsova's backhand floated just wide.
Ana serving 3-0: Kuznetsova netted a tame backhand. 15/0. Kuznetsova forehand volley-winner, set up by a searing crosscourt backhand. 15/15. Kuznetsova sprayed a forehand wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt forehand winner. Sam Smith: "Completely different shot to Ivanović's - loaded with spin, but can be equally effective." 30/30. Ana backhand long. 30/40. Ana took the initiative and hit a forehand smash-winner. Sam Smith: "Her transition-game has improved." 40/40. Ace down the middle. Ad Ana. Service-winner out wide.
Ana is playing just her 10th Grand Slam, Kuznetsova her 20th.
Kuznetsova serving 0-4: Ana hit a forehand return-winner down the line of amazing power! 0/15. Ana forehand return long by a whisker. 15/15. Kuznetsova hit a forehand smash long - a comically-bad error! 15/30. Kuznetsova hit a dreadful forehand halfway up the net. 15/40 (2 BPs). Kuznetsova hit a ragged backhand long to remain on course for the double bagel.
Sam Smith [re. Ana]: "There's some /safety/ in her play. Very much in control."
Ana serving 5-0: Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/0. Ana's depth forced Kuznetsova to net a forehand. Sam Smith: "She's feeding the beast - Ivanović's forehand." 30/0. Kuznetsova netted a backhand. 40/0 (3 SPs). Serve out wide + backhand winner down the line. Ana won the first set 6-0 at 12:32.
The Eternal-Fanship question is going through my head right now, so soon after I contemplated inducting Lucie Šafářová but decided to wait. I don't have that much Passion for Ana, but she's so much nicer than muscular mingers such as Kuznetsova and Mauresmo, and she's bloody good!
IVANOVIĆ _*__@__*_ 3
KUZNETSO * *@ @* * 6
Kuznetsova serving 0-0: Ana forehand lob just long. 15/0. Ana hit a precise crosscourt forehand pass-winner after Kuznetsova took the initiative and came to the net. 15/15. Ana forehand return just wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. Ana backhand winner down the line. 40/15. Ana backhand winner down the line - lovely change of direction. 40/30. Ace down the middle. Ad Kuznetsova. Ana bunted a forehand lob long.
Aww - no double bagel! :-(
Ana serving 0-1: Service-winner down the middle. 15/0. Kuznetsova hit a forehand too strong (just long). 30/0. Ana netcord wide. 30/15. Ace down the middle. 40/15. Ace out wide.
Kuznetsova serving 1-1: Ana sliced a backhand long & wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova hit a forehand winner down Ana's forehand-line after an interesting rally. 30/0. Ana error. 40/0. Kuznetsova came to the net, inducing Ana to net a backhand pass.
Sam Smith: "Kuznetsova too experienced to completely panic by losing the first set 6-0. She has a Spanish game with her heavy topspin, but has the Russian mentality: fight, fight, fight."
Ana serving 1-2: Double fault (second serve just long). 0/15. Ana mishit long. 0/30. Kuznetsova forehand winner down the line - caught the outside-edge of the sideline. 0/40 (3 BPs). Kuznetsova netted a tame backhand return off a second serve - no first serves by Ana in this game. 15/40. Kuznetsova floated a backhand long. 30/40. Second double fault of the game gives Kuznetsova the first break of the second set.
Kuznetsova serving 3-1: Ana off-forehand winner just inside the baseline. Kuznetsova is grunting loudly now, and moving like the elephant she facially resembles. 0/15. Kuznetsova backhand wide. 0/30. Kuznetsova hit a forehand long and did the splits. 0/40 (3 BPs). Ana netted a forehand and hung her head. 15/40. Ace. 30/40. Ana sliced a backhand just wide. 40/40. Ana hit a nice crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline, and shouted her first "c'mon" I've ever heard from her. Ad Ana (BP #4). Kuznetsova hit a forehand volley-winner after a long rally where Ana always looked on the back foot. Deuce #2. Kuznetsova backhand long. Ad Ana (BP #5). Kuznetsova sprayed a wild backhand way wide to give Ana the break back.
Sam Smith: "Kuznetsova is hitting hard, but it just doesn't affect Ivanović, who looks very comfortable. And Kuznetsova can't cope with this power coming from Ivanović, who is winning the mental battle out here. Kuznetsova is being outpunched in every department here."
Ana serving 2-3: Ana forehand wide (forced by Kuznetsova at the net). 0/15. Ana's forehand forced Kuznetsova to hit one wide. 15/15. Ace down the middle. 30/15. Ana netted a forehand. 30/30. Kuznetsova forehand just wide. 40/30. Kuznetsova off-forehand winner. 40/40. Ana forehand just wide. Ad Kuznetsova (BP). Ana netted a forehand.
Sam Smith praised how Ana disguises her forehand so well - you can't tell until the last moment which way she's going to hit it.
Kuznetsova serving 4-2: Ana floated a backhand long (forced by Kuznetsova at the net). 15/0. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 15/15. Kuznetsova off-forehand wide. 30/15. Ana backhand long. 40/15. Kuznetsova backhand winner onto the sideline; the umpire checked the mark and confirmed it as good. Sam Smith: "A much more considered game from Kuznetsova - ľ-pace serves to nudge up her percentage of first serves in. Ivanović not able to keep up the intensity of the first set."
Ana serving 2-5: Ana forehand volley-winner. Sam Smith: "Seeing Kuznetsova on the stretch and making her way forward. We saw that a lot in the first set, and Kuznetsova did not like that.". 15/0. Ana forehand winner down the line. 30/0. Ana came to the net, inducing Kuznetsova to hit a forehand pass wide. 40/0. Ace out wide.
Kuznetsova serving 5-3: Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Barry Davies: "Come the momsnets of inteensity, comes th noise" 0/15. ? 15/15. Kuznetsova virtual forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Kuznetsova framed a backhand into the net. 30/30. Ace down the middle. 40/30. Ana netted a tame forehand to lose the second set 3-6 at 13:12.
Sam Smith: "Better percentage of first serves in from Kuznetsova [than Ana in the second set]. That allows her to hold serve more easily, and put some pressure on Ivanović."
What a shame. Ana played so brilliantly in the first set.
Sam Smith: "It's an awful feeling to have the momentum in a match like this and then lose it. You have to fight so hard to get it back."
IVANOVIĆ * *@*@* 6
KUZNETSO _*_____ 1
Ana serving 0-0: Ana backhand long. 0/15. Ana netted a backhand. 0/30. First serve: Kuznetsova forehand return wide. 15/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. 30/30. Ace out wide. 40/30. Ana came to the net and hit a nice forehand punch-volley winner. She said "c'mon" for the second point in a row.
Kuznetsova serving 0-1: Ace out wide (Ana went 0-4 in). 15/0. Kuznetsova backhand volley-winner after forcing a short ball from Ana. 30/0. Ana forehand long. 40/0. Kuznetsova forehand winner down the line.
Ana serving 1-1: Kuznetsova forced a short ball from Ana and hit a crosscourt forehand winner back behind her. 15/0. Kuznetsova backhand lob long - much better second serve from Ana that time. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Kuznetsova netted a backhand return, and Nicole Vaidišová just saved Jelena Janković's first match-point at 6-3 *5-4 (40/30). 40/15. Kuznetsova sprayed a wild forehand very wide.
Kuznetsova saw the doctor at the changeover. Barry Davies: "Players always seem to call the doctor when they are behind."
Kuznetsova serving 1-2: Kuznetsova dominated the point from her serve and hit a forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Kuznetsova forehand long. 15/15. A good second serve induced Ana to earth a forehand. 30/15. Ana hit an aggressive off-forehand winner. 30/30. Kuznetsova netted a forehand, and Ana shouted "c'mon". 40/30. Kuznetsova forehand long by a whisker.
Ana serving 3-1: Kuznetsova forehand long. 15/0. Kuznetsova netted a backhand. Sam Smith: "She looks lost. Absolutely lost." 30/0. Ana hit a sliced backhand, and Kuznetsova hit a backhand halfway up the net. 40/0. Kuznetsova scooped a forehand wide after running down a dropshot.
Sam Smith: "I've got an expression for Kuznetsova: it's the sort of day where you put the roast chicken in the freezer, and the ice-cream in the oven."
Kuznetsova serving 1-4: Kuznetsova thrashed a forehand wide. 0/15. Ana hit a one-handed backhand winner down the line. 0/30. Ana forehand return long. 15/30. Ana forced Kuznetsova to hit a forehand wide. 15/40 (2 BPs). A good off-forehand from Ana forced Kuznetsova on the stretch to net a backhand.
Ana serving for the match at 5-1: Kuznetsova backhand wide. 15/0. Kuznetsova netted a forehand. Janković just beat Nicole 6-3 7-5 at 13:35. 30/0. Kuznetsova backhand just long. 40/0 (3 MPs). Kuznetsova sprayed a wild forehand wide, and Ana gave a little scream of delight as she sealed a 6-0 3-6 6-1 win at 13:36.
Sam Smith: "She corrected what she didn't do right in the second set, and didn't panic."
Ana's on-court interview: "I'm very excited to be here. Crowd is great supporters. I enjoy it. Tough match today, but I was lucky. Everything was happening really fast - no time to think much. She was nervous; I was also nervous in the beginning. Inside I'm a little bit nervous. Important to learn how to deal with emotions - that was my biggest opponent before, and now I think more about my shots."
Well, there will certainly be one nice player in the final, whether it's Ana, Maria Sharapova or Anna Chakvetadze! Sam Smith said that Ana on this sort of form would be a big favourite to beat the winner of Maria v Anna.
Q. You played a very good match, but there were some ragged moments both with Svetlana and yourself. Was it a good preparation for a semi?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Yeah, sure it was. It was a very tough match. Everything was happening quite fast. First set was, I would say, a little bit strange. I played some really good tennis. I was aggressive. And, I guess, she was a little bit nervous.
But in the second set, still I had some chances. I broke her back, and on 3-2, I was serving, and I just lost a little bit tension in my serve and my strokes. So she used that opportunity very well.
But I was really happy that from the beginning of the third, I could pull back and start being more aggressive again, and put pressure on her. And, yeah, I used the opportunities I had.
Q. Did you feel coming into the tournament that you could go this far? Did you have a good feeling about it this week?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: To be honest, I didn't think much about it. I just was really enjoying my game. And I felt fit, and I felt ready to compete against the top players. I'm really excited to get so far, and tournament is still not over. I am going to try and play my best each match I have.
Q. You're working here with have a Sven Groeneveld, what can you say about him?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: He's a great coach, and he's been really helpful. He was with me also in Berlin and here. And I can learn a lot from him. He was on the Tour for a very long time, and he's very experienced. So it's been great to have such a coach on my side.
And obviously it's tough when I play against side of this player, because he can't interfere, and he can't talk to me about matches. But still there is a few opponents that we can talk about and discuss. And we worked a lot on my serve, and I can see improvement in that. So it's very exciting.
Q. In the first set, did you play the best tennis you have ever played?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Everything was happening very fast, so I didn't think much about it. I just tried to move forward and be aggressive, and stay low. And I didn't make - I hadn't made any errors, so I would say I was pretty good.
Q. Back to Sven. So you hope Sharapova will win?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Oh, well, maybe it will be easier so he can advise me. But it's still, no matter against who I play, I'm going to try to play the best I can. And I had so many matches behind me now that I just want to go out there and enjoy it.
And, I mean, it was great two weeks for me, and I feel I improved a lot. And also I got some experience. So no matter against who I play, I'm going to try and play the best.
Q. Players always like to think just one match ahead. But is it impossible not to think about an Ivanović/Janković final?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: That would be very exciting. We never had. That didn't ever happen before, so I would be very happy if that happens. But as you said, it is important to take it match by match. And then, obviously, there is a lot of emotions involved. And it's very important for me that I keep that aside, playing semi-final, just to think more technically what I have to do in order to win.
And, as I said, I play a lot of matches lately, so that's going to help me a lot.
Q. Is the foot injury you had in the Berlin final, is that completely gone?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Well, I still feel it a little bit, time to time, also the other day after a tough match. But I do a lot of recovery and a lot of treatments. And it's getting better. I still wear braces just for protection until I get my full strength back.
Q. But it's not affecting your movement?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: No, no, no.
Q. You reached quarter-finals here a couple of years ago. How do you think you've improved as a player to make that jump to the semis over the past couple of years?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Two years ago when I reached quarter-final, that was my first year on the Tour. Since then, I think I improved a lot on my game. And my fitness, a big difference. And also, a lot of experience because I played so many matches since then. Also, I'm playing on Centre Court. It helps a lot because those are all situations you will have to deal with when you have to play further in the tournament. But that experience helped me a lot and made me more calm today.
Q. How much time do you spend between the tournaments in Switzerland nowadays?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Very little. It's very hard because I travel so much. And also, I went to Barcelona to practise, so I haven't really been to Switzerland for a very long time now.
Q. Kind of a magic moment. Why Serbia, why now? Is it a supernatural thing, what's going on?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Yeah, it's very exciting to see all of us doing so well. Especially we are all very young, so we all have many years in front of us and many possibilities. So it's very exciting, and I'm sure people back home are very proud of us, and that makes us feel very good.
Q. Do you talk with Novak [Đoković] much?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Yeah, we speak and we catch up. It's nice to see, because I've known him for a very long time, so it's nice to catch up.
As I said, as I mentioned before, I can learn also from watching him play, because men's game is different than women's, so I can learn watching him. And he is a great player. He can achieve a lot.
Q. Can you speak as freely with Jelena [Janković] as you can with Novak, because you're not competing with Novak?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Yeah, exactly, it's the same we play, so it's very hard to speak that way with her. But, I mean, we can all learn from each other, and we can all use other's successes and motivation extra for myself. So it's very exciting to see so many of us doing well.
Q. How come you play always so well in Paris? Is there anything special here for you?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: I like a lot of Paris, and obviously, my first memories I had from the reaching quarters here was an unbelievable experience. And I always like coming back here. And now I feel more comfortable playing on the clay as well. And I feel I improved my movements which helps a lot on the clay, because there is a lot of running, and a lot of, yeah, a lot of running to do.
So it's a great tournament for me, and the crowd, it's always great support. And I'm very excited to be here and to - I always look forward to coming back here.
Q. Is clay your favourite surface now?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: It's becoming, yeah. Yeah, sure.
Q. Would you describe your relationship with Jelena? Are you just casual acquaintances? Good friends?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Well, when we start playing tennis, she was - she's two years older than me, so we never played many tournaments together back home, and we lived in different parts of the city. So we never practised with each other. And then she went to America and I went to Switzerland. So kind of we had different ways, different roads, so we never really had a chance to practise with each other.
And even now, we both have our own teams and our own things we like to do. And it's a little bit different. And we are both a bit - we both found our way, and we are both doing well, so that's the most important thing.
Q. Are you looking forward to play Fed Cup with Jelena one day or not?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Yeah, I think we have very good chance. We have a good team, and we deserve a place in the World Group, and that would be a great step for our country. I would love to play a Fed Cup, and, yeah, play for my country again.
Q. You and Jelena both come in here and you kind of light up the room. You have great humour. You're happy and bubbly. Is this a national characteristic?
ANA IVANOVIĆ: Yeah, we are happy people. Yeah, people back home, they're very friendly and open. And, yeah, we like to have fun. And that's something, yeah, I guess we are just born like that and we bring that from home.
So it's - I think it's important to be positive and to have a smile.
Super Ivanović dumps out Kuznetsova [Teletext 495->497]
Ivanović reaches semis [Teletext 497]
Seventh seed Ana Ivanović knocked out last year's beaten finalist Svetlana Kuznetsova to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the first time.
The 19-year-old Serb, ranked a career-high No 7, raced through the first set without dropping a game before Russian Kuznetsova found her feet to level.
But Ivanović kept her belief to win 6-0 3-6 6-1 and will face second seed Maria Sharapova or Anna Chakvetadze in the last four.
Speed surprises Serb [Teletext 498]
Ana Ivanović admitted the speed of the first set took her by surprise in her quarter-final victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova at Roland Garros.
The in-form Serb seventh seed needed only 21 minutes to take a one-set lead before eventually winning 6-0 3-6 6-1.
She said: "Everything was happening quite fast. First set was a little strange. She was a bit nervous. I tried to move forward and be aggressive."
Ivanović upsets Kuznetsova to reach semis
By Pritha Sarkar
PARIS, June 5 (Reuters) - Serbia's Ana Ivanović roared into her first Grand-Slam semi-final with a topsy turvy 6-0 3-6 6-1 win over third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova at the French Open on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old never lost belief throughout the contest, and let out a shriek of joy as she kept alive hopes of an all-Serbian final on Saturday following the success of Jelena Janković.
"I'm very excited to be here and play my first semi-final. It was a tough match and I was lucky to come through," said Ivanović, who will run into another Russian, Maria Sharapova, next.
Kuznetsova was runner-up to Justine Henin at Roland Garros 12 months ago, but rarely looked like the player ranked third in the world, and an abdominal injury only added to her woes in the final set.
She was one of only three women to reach the quarter-finals without dropping a set, and that statistic lasted a mere 21 minutes on Tuesday when the first set flashed by in a blur of errors from the Russian.
A backhand-down-the-line winner sealed the first set for Ivanović.
After 27 minutes of one-sided action, Kuznetsova finally registered on the board, and she fought back to take the second set when Ivanović netted a forehand.
She sought assistance from the trainer for her injury at 2-1 down in the decider, and from that moment on, the Russian's game once again disintegrated.
A wild forehand booked Ivanović a place in the last four.
"I had to pull out for the doubles with abdominal-muscle pain," said Kuznetsova.
"It had been disturbing me for a while, but it wasn't hurting that badly.
"But at the end of the second set, I served hard and that pulled it more. So it was extremely hard in the third set."
Martyn Herman (Reuters)
The 19-year-old Ivanović could not stop smiling after reaching her first Grand-Slam semi-final by beating Kuznetsova. She romped to the first set in 21 minutes, and dominated again in the third set after her Russian opponent, hampered by an abdominal injury, briefly came to her senses.
"It's very exciting for us, and I'm sure people back home are very proud of us," said Ivanović after going one step further than she managed here in 2005. She plays Sharapova next.
Steve Douglas, Special to PA SportsTicker
The semi-finals will feature another Serb, as seventh-seeded Ana Ivanović outlasted third-seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-0 3-6 6-1. Kuznetsova struggled with abdominal pains in the final set.
The runner-up here last year, Kuznetsova thinks she knows when the injury occurred.
"It was when it was 5-3 in the second set," Kuznetsova said. "I served hard and I think I pulled it."
The 19-year-old Ivanović is in her first career Grand-Slam semi-final. She also knows there is a possibility of an all-Serbian final.
"It's important I keep that to one side, and just play my semi-final," Ivanović said.
Howard Fendrich, AP Tennis Writer
Ivanović dumped a backhand into the net on the very first point, then won 25 of the next 32 points, prompting this postmatch-analysis: "I would say I was pretty good."
Kuznetsova, who won the 2004 US Open, made things more interesting until aggravating an abdominal-muscle injury while serving in the second set's final game. Ivanović took 15 of the last 16 points.
"Everything was happening really fast," Ivanović said, "and I didn't have time to think much."
World's Top 2 Advance, Will Face Serbians in Semifinals
No.7 seed Ivanović defeated No.3-seeded Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-0 3-6 6-1, her second win in a row over the Russian, having beaten her in a thrilling third-set tie-break win in the final of Berlin just a few weeks ago. The Serb was ecstatic.
"I was enjoying my game; I felt fit and ready to play against the top players," said Ivanović on her attitude coming into Roland Garros. "I'm excited to get so far, and the tournament isn't over. I'll try to play my best each match I have."
Teen Ivanović predicts major future [Teletext 495->498]
Ivanović predicts success [Teletext 498]
Ana Ivanović insists Serbians could go on to dominate women's tennis for many years to come due to the number of talented young players they possess.
The 19-year-old seventh seed is three years younger than fellow Serbian and fourth seed Jelena Janković, and both look set for huge careers in the game.
Ivanović said: "It's exciting to see us all doing so well. We've a lot of years in front of us and many possibilities."
7. Semi-final draw
* JELENA JANKOVIĆ  v JUSTINE HENIN 
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [2,EF] v ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF]
8. Semi-final preview: Sharapova v Ivanović
This has to be the most mouthwatering Grand-Slam semi-final of all time, given that there's never been one between two members of my Eternal Fanship, and that Ana is the first player of whom I'm currently a demi-fan to reach a Grand-Slam semi-final.
My Eternal Fanship:
1. Monica Seles
2. Maria Sharapova
3. Daniela Hantuchová
4. Jelena Dokić
5. Iva Majoli (retired)
6. Karina Habšudová (retired)
7. Iroda Tulyaganova
8. Vera Zvonarëva
9. Nicole Vaidišová
10. Anna Chakvetadze
My current demi-fanship:
11. Lucie Šafářová
12. Tatiana Golovin
13. Maria Kirilenko
14. Sania Mirza
15. Ana Ivanović
16. Magdaléna Rybáriková
17. Karolina Šprem
18. Gisela Dulko
19. Flavia Pennetta
Matthew Cronin for www.rolandgarros.com: "Ivanović can crush the ball off both wings, and with her broad shoulders and powerful legs is one of the few top women who are not faking it when she launches an inside-out forehand. She also comes in to net quite a bit, and is the best young volleyer on the Tour."
Steve Douglas (Special to PA SportsTicker): "Sharapova, who is in the semi-finals here for the first time, has managed to reach this stage even though she is battling shoulder-trouble. She is unable to put her full weight behind her serve, and admitted she has been having about an hour and a half's treatment on her shoulder every day."
Maria has the astonishing record of never having lost a /completed/ match to a player who's younger than she is. I only have to say "completed" because she retired from her Tokyo Pan Pacific Open 2007 semi-final against Ana when Ana was leading 6-1 0-1. Ana is the player most likely to end this record if she happens to beat Maria before Nicole Vaidišová can get to her (Nicole beat Maria 5-3 in a World Team Tennis rubber back in 2004, but such matches are not recognised by the WTA Tour, and Maria has never played Nicole on the WTA Tour).
Maria and Ana met once before that: quarter-finals of Linz 2006, which Maria won 7-6 7-5 despite wasting three set-points at *5-4 in the first, and a 5-2* lead in the second. "She played some amazing tennis," said Maria.
Ana comes into this semi-final in excellent form, having won Berlin over Svetlana Kuznetsova, and her first five rounds at the French Open:
1r + Sofia Arvidsson [LL], 6-2 6-0
2r + Sania Mirza [DF], 6-1 6-4
3r + Ioana Raluca Olaru [Q], 6-2 6-0
4r + ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES , 6-3 3-6 6-3
qf + SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA , 6-0 3-6 6-1
While Maria has struggled through with the following results:
1r + Emilie Loit, 6-3 7-6 (7/4)
2r + Jill Craybas, 6-2 6-1
3r + Alla Kudryavtseva [Q], 6-1 6-4 (was 1-4* down in 2s)
4r + PATTY SCHNYDER , 3-6 6-4 9-7 (saved 2 MPs)
qf + ANNA CHAKVETADZE [9,EF], 6-3 6-4
So it will be a fascinating contest because Ana has the form to win it, but Maria is a great champion who has more experience, unbelievable focus and intensity, and magnificent groundstrokes even though her serve has gone AWOL this year (due to her shoulder-injury). It will be fascinating to see how Ana reacts to the occasion of her first Grand Slam semi-final against one of the greats.
Serb duo seeking shock semi wins [CEEFAX 490->495]
Ivanović ready for semi challenge [CEEFAX 495]
Ana Ivanović is preparing for her maiden Grand Slam semi-final against Maria Sharapova in Paris on Thursday.
The teenager caused an upset in the quarter-finals by knocking out third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Ivanović is coached by Sven Groeneveld - who has also worked with Sharapova - and said: "He's a great coach, and he's been really helpful.
"We've worked a lot on my serve, and I can see improvement in that, so it's very exciting."
World's Top 2 Advance, Will Face Serbians in Semifinals
Sharapova and Ivanović are 1-1; the Russian won at Linz last fall while the Serb won at Tokyo earlier this year, but that was due to Sharapova's injury retirement.
"She's had some good success on clay this season, so it'll be a very tough match and one I look forward to," Sharapova said. "I played a good match against her in Austria last year. Couldn't finish the match with her this year. But I'm looking forward to this one."
Ana: "There will be a lot of emotions, playing a semi-final. But it's important I keep those inside. Reaching the quarters here [in 2005] was an unbelievable experience, but I feel much more comfortable now."
9. Women's Doubles: First round (Thursday 31st May)
- Ana Ivanović [DF]/Maria Kirilenko [DF] lt. Jelena Janković/Li,Na, 1-6 2-6
10. Order of play for Thursday
Court Philippe Chatrier (start 14:00 CEST = 12:00 GMT = 13:00 BST)
1. WS sf: MARIA SHARAPOVA [2,EF] v ANA IVANOVIĆ [7,DF]
2. WS sf: JELENA JANKOVIĆ  v JUSTINE HENIN 
3. XD final: (KATARINA SREBOTNIK/NENAD ZIMONJIĆ) v (NATHALIE DECHY/ANDY RAM)
I'm glad that the important match is first, so I don't have to worry about getting to the end of my DVD-RAM unless it goes on for almost four hours! :-)
UK TV-alert: BBCi will be covering both semi-finals, starting at 12:50 BST.
Full order of play:
Dr. Andrew Broad
Last edited by andrewbroad; Jun 11th, 2007 at 08:32 AM.
Reason: edit Title