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SerenaSlam
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:17 PM
Williams pushed hard by Serbian teenager
October 21, 2004

ZURICH, Switzerland (AFP) - Venus Williams (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/87/) barely survived a spirited challenge from Serbian teenager Ana Ivanovic (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/998/) before earning a tense 7-6 (13/11), 7-6 (8/6) victory at the 1.3 million dollar WTA event in Zurich.

Her win set up a quarter-final clash with Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/403/), but the seventh seeded American had to fight off five set points in the opening set tiebreak and three more in the second tiebreak.

Ivanovic, ranked 155 and playing only her fourth match in the main draw of a WTA event, matched the former world number one from first ball to last. Still 16, the 2004 junior Wimbledon runner-up used the confidence gained from winning all 31 of the Challenger matches she has played this year to stretch Williams to the limit.

She served well, struck her ground-strokes with pace and accuracy and showed a superb tactical awareness to keep Williams under pressure. Rallying strongly from the baseline, she forced her opponent to overhit the ball on countless occasions, and showed no sign of nerves in the most tense moments.

Although Williams broke to lead the first set 3-1, Ivanovic broke back in the seventh game, and then escaped a set point at 6-5 when Williams netted a weak return.

In the tiebreak, Ivanovic earned five set points, before a backhand error gave Williams the set on her third set point.

It appeared that Williams might take control when she broke for 2-0 in the second set, but three more breaks followed to leave the players tied at 4-4.

[/url]Ivanovic again resisted pressure as Williams held two break points to lead 5-4, and three more break points at 5-5, to take the match into a second tiebreak.

Ivanovic then built a 6-3 lead, but she was unable to close out the set as a desperate Williams claimed the next five points and the match.

Third seed [url="http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/89/"]Elena Dementieva (http://us.ard.yahoo.com/SIG=129f3d837/M=316104.5473707.6555260.1806201/D=sports/S=96058020:LREC/EXP=1098465265/A=2392457/R=2/id=noscript/SIG=10q12t19i/*http://toolbar.yahoo.com) overcame fellow-Russian Elena Bovina (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/players/140/) 7-5, 3-6, 6-0.

It was a patchy performance from both players, who traded powerful groundstrokes but made a succession of often unforced errors. They both also had difficulty holding serve, with five breaks in the first set and five in the second, before Bovina's game totally disintegrated in the third set as she constantly overhit the ball.

tumbleweed
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:22 PM
i thought she was from Croatia?

tumbleweed
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:26 PM
i thought she was from Croatia?
my bad. :o

:lol:

tennischick
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:31 PM
well she certainly has softened up Venus for Maria! :eek:

the cat
Oct 21st, 2004, 06:46 PM
I won't say Maria is licking her chops after Ana gave Venus such a hard time. :lick: But I think Masha will go into her match against Venus with alot confidence. :) It will up to Venus to break Sharapova's confidence and serve.

the cat
Oct 22nd, 2004, 01:45 AM
I think Maria will win a tight 3 set battle against Venus in Zurich.

Marcus1979
Oct 22nd, 2004, 02:12 AM
Venus was up a break in both sets.

and it ended up dragging on.

Mateo Mathieu
Oct 22nd, 2004, 02:51 AM
Ana is much better than Maria = Venus will beat Maria in easy straight sets :)

Mateo Mathieu
Oct 22nd, 2004, 02:52 AM
Perhaps not... ;)

rada
Oct 22nd, 2004, 03:13 AM
Ana is going to be a player to watch out for she has a strong game and will be a great fighter ;) can't wait to see ana play in aust:):):) good luck in your next match ana :)