View Full Version : Wimbledon 2007: Andrew's TV-reports (1r + 3r + 4r + QF + SF)

Apr 6th, 2008, 05:39 PM
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Grand Slam)
================= http://championships.wimbledon.org/

Okay, I'm gonna do this in weekly instalments rather than one long, indigestible post. Although since I didn't see Ana's second-round match, my next stop here will be in two weeks' time for the third round.

1. First-round TV-report (Wednesday 27th June 2007)

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [6,DF] d. Melinda Czink, 6-0 7-6 (7/3)

I watched much of this match (first on Court 18) on BBC1, but only casually as I was following live scores of Vaidišová v Knapp at the same time.

Virginia Wade said Ana had a great variety of shots - more than the other big hitters. She said that Ana was inconsistent, and needed to "raise the least good of her matches up higher". She said that Ana had the best forehand in the game, with great crosscourt angles.

Ana has added a sliced backhand to her game, whilst retaining her regular two-handed backhand. Slice is very effective on grass, as it makes the ball bounce even lower.

First set:
IVANO *@*@*@ 6
CZINK ______ 0

Second set:
IVANO __*@* * * * T 7(7)
CZINK @*___* * * *_ 6(3)

Ana won the first set 6-0, then Czink broke her while BBC1 switched over to BBC2. And held for 2-0*! Ana had "gone right off the boil - gone /too/ relaxed" [Virginia Wade].

And Czink, who had been nervous in the first set, was now playing decent tennis, so it was a good test to see how Ana would respond.

Virginia Wade said Ana won the first set so easily that she didn't have a clear picture of how she herself was playing.

It started raining with Czink leading *2-1. Court 18 was getting greasy, and play was suspended at deuce at 12:45.

It resumed at 13:25, and Ana broke back immediately with a crosscourt backhand winner. With Czink playing much better than in the first set, games went with serve until Czink served to stay in the match at 5-6. Ana had match-point at 30/40, but Czink saved it with a one-two punch, and hit a forehand winner to force a tiebreak.

During the tiebreak, Ana was often in retrieval-mode against the more aggressive Czink, but she somehow managed to stay ahead in the score and close it out. Perhaps that could be good preparation for the power-players she could meet in later rounds, such as Nadia Petrova in the fourth.


Ivanović through to second round [CEEFAX 490->493]
French Open finalist Ana Ivanović took her place in round two after a 6-0 7-5 (7/3) win over Hungary's Melinda Czink.

The sixth seed made a strong start and wrapped up the first set in just 18 minutes before Czink woke up and broke back at the start of the second.

After a 40-minute rain-delay, the Serb sixth seed broke back. Czink saved a match-point before losing a tiebreak.

The Czech 14th seed Nicole Vaidišová reached round two with a 7-6 (8/6) 6-2 win over Karin Knapp. The Italian hit seven aces but five double faults.

Rain helps sixth seed Ivanović overcome Czink
By Alison Wildey (Reuters)
French Open finalist Ana Ivanović made the most of a rain break to overcome Hungarian Melinda Czink 6-0 7-6 in the first round at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

The Serbian sixth seed with the powerful serve raced through the first set in 19 minutes, but left-hander Czink rallied at the start of the second set, breaking Ivanović when she sent the ball long.

Ivanović, 19, was 2-1 down and at deuce on Czink's serve when the rain came, forcing both players off the court.

"It helped me a lot because I could take some time and realise what I was doing wrong," Ivanović said of the rain.

"Then from the first moment when I was back on court, I could be more aggressive again," she told reporters.

"I started a very good match. I think I played some really good tennis, but then she started being much more aggressive. I didn't adjust to that really quickly.

Ivanović broke back after the 40-minute rain-delay, but the 1.86 metres tall Serb was still made to work for her points.

Czink, ranked 133 in the world, pushed the set to a tiebreak, only to give Ivanović the match when she put a forehand out.

Ivanović faces American Meilen Tu in the second round.

The Serb, who famously practised shots in an empty swimming-pool in war-torn Belgrade, capitulated to world number one Justine Henin in last month's Roland Garros final, but was confident that when it came, her second Grand-Slam final would be easier.

"I think every Grand-Slam final you play, you're nervous, you have some kind of nerves you have to deal with. Just because you've been in that situation before[,?] you have to deal with it.

"Every next match I play, if I get this feeling that I'm nervous, I will just go back to that experience and say, 'What can be more nervous that a Grand-Slam final?' So that will help me for sure."

Q: "How do you feel when people say you are the prettiest girl ever to play at Wimbledon?"
A: "Once you're on the court, it doesn't matter the way you look. It doesn't help you win points."

IMO, Jelena Dokić and Karina Habšudová are the prettiest girls ever to have played at Wimbledon! ;-)

2. Second-round result (Thursday 28th June)

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [6,DF] d. Meilen Tu, 6-4 6-3

Ivanović uses French experience at Wimbledon
By Alison Wildey (Reuters)
Sixth seed Ana Ivanović drew on her experience at last month's French Open final to help her to a 6-4 6-3 win over American Meilen Tu at Wimbledon on Thursday.

Ivanović had to work hard for the second-round victory against the world number 38, who increased in confidence and attacked the net as the match wore on.

"It was a very tough match for me," Ivanović told a news conference.

"I don't know how much the score indicates that, but it was fight. She played really well today. We had lot of long rallies. But my serve was working very well today. I was mixing it a lot. That helped me a lot to get through today's match," she said.

The tall 19-year-old became the first player to represent Serbia in a Grand-Slam final when she lost to Justine Henin at Roland Garros, and said the memories of that encounter had helped her since.

"I've been through so many tough matches in the French Open, so now when I'm in the same situation, I just go back to that experience and I feel able to go through that again. I feel strong and confident," she said, adding that she was still finding her feet on grass.

"It takes some time to adjust to it. But now I'm starting to feel better on the court. I feel I'm moving well. I just want to play my game basically, try to be more aggressive, which I think can be very useful in the grass."

Ivanović broke Tu in the opening game when she put a backhand into the net, but was then forced to save two break-points in the next game, the second with an ace.

She broke Tu again in the second set. At 5-3, Ivanović set up match-point on her opponent's serve, and sealed her place in the third round when Tu hit a backhand long.

Dr. Andrew Broad


Apr 22nd, 2008, 09:36 PM
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Grand Slam)
================= http://championships.wimbledon.org/
Third round (Saturday 30th June / Monday 2nd July 2007)

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [6,DF] d. Aravane Rezaď, 6-3 6-2

An attractive match between two of the best ball-strikers on the Tour, and two of the best looking. The beauty of Ana Ivanović is well documented, but Aravane Rezaď has a lovely smile, and a cute gawp when she's waiting to receive.

The match was completed on the Monday, but I only saw Saturday's play on BBC television: Ana led 6-3 0-0* (ad Rezaď) when play was suspended.

First set
IVANO *@* * * * 6
REZAĎ ___* * *_ 3

Ana serving 0-0: Serve + backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Aravane netted a forehand return. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Aravane netted a forehand.

Aravane serving 0-1: Double fault (second serve long). 0/15. Ana forehand just long. 15/15. Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. 30/15. Aravane sprayed a backhand wide off a deep ball just inside the baseline from Ana. 30/30. Service-winner. 40/30. Aravane forehand just wide. 40/40. Aravane forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Aravane. Double fault (second serve into the net). Deuce #2. Ana backhand wide. Ad Aravane. Double fault (second serve just long). Deuce #3. Ana hit a deep crosscourt forehand return into the corner, forcing Aravane to net a forehand. Ad Ana (BP). Double fault. At least Aravane could smile about it.

Aravane has quite a weird take-back on her forehand.

Ana serving 2-0: Aravane netted a backhand return. 15/0. Aravane painted the sideline with a backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Service-winner out wide. 30/15. Service-winner out wide. 40/15. Ana forced a short ball and hit a forehand winner down the line.

Aravane serving 0-3: Ana dominated the point, came to the net, hit a nice forehand volley + forehand smash-winner. 0/15. Aravane hit another great backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Service-winner down the middle. 30/15. A deep backhand return down the line forced Aravane to earth a forehand. 30/30. Ana netted a backhand off a deep shot just inside the baseline from Aravane. 40/30. Ana forehand just long.

Ana serving 3-1: Aravane showed some marvellous groundstrokes, finishing with another backhand winner down the line, right in the corner. 0/15. Ana hit a wild forehand wide. 0/30. Aravane mishit a backhand into the bottom of the net, and wide. 15/30. Aravane netted a forehand smash from the baseline after letting Ana's lob bounce - an inexperienced decision. 30/30. Aravane forehand return long. 40/30. Serve out wide + crosscourt forehand + forehand smash-winner - great footwork by Ana on the third stroke, and a great get by Aravane on the fourth.

Aravane serving 1-4: Ana forehand winner down the line on the fourth stroke, on the sideline. 15/0. Ana forehand wide. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. Aravane netted a forehand - possibly distracted from a loud scream from outside. 30/30. Aravane backhand long. 30/40 (BP). Ana backhand return wide. 40/40. Ana netted a forehand off a crosscourt forehand with a weird take-back from Aravane. Ad Aravane. Ana netted a backhand return.

Ana serving 4-2: Ana netted a forehand return. 0/15. Service-winner out wide, just inside the sideline. 15/15. Aravane netted a forehand off an awkward deep, low-bouncing ball from Ana. 15/30. Ace out wide, on the sideline. 30/30. Ana backhand just long. 30/40 (BP). Aravane netted a sliced backhand off an awkward low ball from Ana. 40/40. Ana ran around her backhand and sprayed a forehand wide - "her racket and feet in argument with each other" [Barry Davies]. Ad Aravane (BP #2). Second serve: Aravane backhand return just long. Deuce #2. Body-jamming service-winner hit the service-line and stopped on Aravane. Ad Ana. She netted a forehand off an aggressive one down the middle from Aravane. Deuce #3. Ana tried to run around her backhand but netted a forehand. Ad Aravane (BP #3). Aravane sprayed a forehand long. Deuce #4. Ana slipped over as she hit a forehand dead netcord-winner. Ad Ana. Ana forehand just long. Deuce #5. Aravane backhand just wide. Ad Ana. She netted a backhand after some aggressive hitting (and grunting) from Aravane. Deuce #6. Aravane netted a forehand. Ad Ana. Aravane earthed a sliced backhand off a great crosscourt backhand from Ana - "she got a great angle by quick feet" [Barry Davies].

Aravane may not be the most photogenic player, but she looks so cute on TV! She has a cute little gawp as she's waiting to receive.

Ana is currently being coached by Sven Groeneveld, and has a physical trainer named Scott Burns.

Aravane serving 2-5: Second serve: Ana netted a backhand return. 15/0. Ana backhand just long - forced by depth. 30/0. Aravane sprayed a backhand wide off a deep sliced backhand down the middle from Ana. 30/15. Aravane ran down a short ball but hit a wild backhand very long & wide. 30/30. Aravane backhand just long. 30/40 (SP #1). Service-winner out wide. 40/40. Ana netted a forehand return. Ad Aravane. Double fault #6 (second serve just long). Deuce #2. Ana came to the net, but a hard backhand pass down the line forced her to hit a forehand volley wide. Ad Aravane. A short return off a second serve allowed Aravane to hit a great crosscourt forehand winner.

Ana serving 5-3: Ana forehand long. 0/15. Ana ran around her backhand and hit a forehand wide. 0/30. Ana backhand netcord-winner. 15/30. Second serve: Aravane backhand return long. 30/30. Aravane backhand long on the fourth stroke. 40/30 (SP #2). Service-winner out wide. Ana won the first set 6-3.

Second set

Aravane serving 0-0: Aravane crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Ana sprayed a forehand very long. 30/0. Ana forehand return very long. 40/0. A deep return forced Aravane to hit a forehand long. 40/15. Aravane backhand long. 40/30. Ana backhand long. 40/40. Aravane forced a short ball and hit a forehand smash-winner off the bounce. Ad Aravane. She mishit a backhand wide. Deuce #2. Aravane with beautiful footwork hit an error-forcing forehand smash. Ad Aravane.

Ana complained that the court was wet, and demonstrated by sliding; the umpire felt it with his hand, they waited around, the umpire discussed it with the players and the referee, and eventually the match was suspended due to the slippery surface.

Ana's BBC interview

"It was a very tough first set - long rallies. But I was serving really good, so that helped me to get through. She had game-point in the first service-game, but I managed to break her and finish the second set.

"I feel good on the grass. My serve is going good, I'm enjoying the atmosphere.

"For everyone it's the same, so it's who is mentally ready to be relaxed about it.

"It's a very tough fourth round for me [against Nadia Petrova]. Her strokes are very powerful. It's important for me to serve well and then be aggressive on the return.

"It was just a precaution, but I feel very good, and each match I'm playing better, so it helps a lot."

Quotes from Ana's press-conference

"It was tough. We had to stop then continue two days later, but the first set I played really good."

Dr. Andrew Broad


Apr 29th, 2008, 06:51 AM
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Grand Slam)
================= http://championships.wimbledon.org/
Fourth-round TV-report: Ivanović v Petrova (Tuesday 3rd July 2007)

+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [6,DF] d. NADIA PETROVA [11], 6-1 2-6 6-4

Ana may have been seeded to win this match, but I still consider it a big win for her against the powerful Petrova, to reach her first Wimbledon quarter-final.

Third set

Ana serving 5-4: Service-winner out wide, on the junction of service-line and sideline. 15/0. It's raining. Ana hit a horrible forehand into the bottom of the net after a longish rally. 15/15. Play was suspended at 14:57.

On the resumption, Petrova hit a backhand return long off a 109mph first serve. 30/15. Ana hit a good serve, but an edgy forehand long on the third stroke. 30/30. Petrova netted a backhand drop-volley. 40/30 (MP). Ana finished the match with a nice spreading rally, culminating in a crosscourt forehand winner.


Ivanović comes through tricky day [CEEFAX 495]
Ana Ivanović endured some poor form and several rain breaks before beating Nadia Petrova 6-1 2-6 6-4.

"I felt a bit empty and lost my fighting spirit, but in the third set I tried to fight through it," she said.

"My shots weren't working as well today, but you have to win when you're not laying so well.

"Mentally it was very tough, with lots of stops, and ups and down in my game. I had to fight for every point, and I hope to play better tomorrow."

Ivanović sets up Vaidišová showdown
By Pritha Sarkar (Reuters)
Ana Ivanović kept her wits about her through four rain-disruptions to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon for the first time with a 6-1 2-6 6-4 win over Russian Nadia Petrova on Tuesday.

The French Open runner-up set up a battle of the teenagers with Nicole Vaidišová after the Czech earlier dethroned Wimbledon-champion Amélie Mauresmo.

Ivanović had romped through her previous three matches at the grasscourt Grand Slam without dropping a set, but ran into a determined opponent on Tuesday.

Petrova, a quarter-finalist on her last appearance here in 2005, threatened to pull off an upset when she easily outclassed Ivanović in the second set, but failed to keep up the momentum in the decider.

For Ivanović, the final interruption was particularly frustrating as she was just three points from victory.

"I went out there on 5-4 to serve, and I looked at the sky. It was all dark. I was thinking: Is it going to hold this game?" said the 19-year-old from Belgrade, who honed her tennis-skills in a drained swimming-pool.

"I made a good first serve. I was 15/0 up, thought maybe we can finish the game. But then on 15/15, it started pouring down, so we had to stop.

"I was obviously a little bit nervous. She was also quite upset, and started going for her shots.

"So maybe it was a good thing to stop. It was very, very tough out there.

"I had to fight for every point, because I didn't feel on the top of my game today, but sometimes you have to win these kind of matches. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have chance to play better again."

Dr. Andrew Broad


May 5th, 2008, 06:09 PM
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Grand Slam)
================= http://championships.wimbledon.org/
Quarter-final: Ana Ivanović v Nicole Vaidišová (Thursday 5th July 2007)

Nice winner, nice loser:
+ ANA IVANOVIĆ [6,DF] d. NICOLE VAIDIŠOVÁ [14,EF], 4-6 6-2 7-5

This was the most exciting match of Wimbledon 2007: unbelievably ambitious shotmaking from both players, and the drama of Nicole having three match-points at 5-3* in the third set before Ana fought back to win.

My full TV-report includes a point-by-point description, and a transcript of Ana's BBC-interview (they didn't interview Nicole TTBOMK):

Dr. Andrew Broad


May 10th, 2008, 09:44 AM
THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, England; grass; Grand Slam)
================= http://championships.wimbledon.org/
Semi-final TV-report: Ivanović v V.Williams (Friday 6th July 2007)

- ANA IVANOVIĆ [6,DF] lt. VENUS WILLIAMS [23], 2-6 4-6

A disappointing match, especially in the first set when Ana put up weak resistance to a very powerful, net-rushing performance from Williams. Ana spent most of the rallies six feet behind the baseline, her groundstrokes were too short, she didn't use the body-jamming serves that would have been so effective against Williams, and didn't attack Williams's second serve well. Williams is so imposing at the net, and it seemed that Ana netted an attempted pass every time Williams came in.

At least the second set was twice as good as the first, as the scoreline implies. Ana hung tough, just as she had in her quarter-final against Nicole Vaidišová, and managed to counter Williams's net-rushing with some awkward lobs over Williams's left shoulder. But at the end of the day, Williams was just too strong for her.

Ana saved three match-points at *3-5 in the second, just as she had done at *3-5 in the third against Nicole! But unlike in that match, she couldn't stop Williams serving out the match at *5-4.

Interviews coming onto court

Williams: "I feel very good, I love Wimbledon, and I'm ready to go. I've had great results, and the past will help me today."

Ana: "I'm very excited. First time here in semi-finals. Tough match, but I have chances definitely. Playing my quarter-final on Centre Court will help me for this match."

First set
IVANOVIĆ ____* *_ 2
WILLIAMS @*@* * * 6

Ana won the toss and chose to serve. It was very windy on a topless Centre Court, and the match started at 15:30 BST.

Ana serving 0-0: Ana came to the net, forcing Williams to hit a backhand wide. 15/0. Double fault. 15/15. Williams forehand netcord winner. 15/30. Ana came to the net, but her movement was found wanting as Williams's pass forced her to hit a forehand volley wide. 15/40 (2 BPs). Williams sprayed a forehand return very long/wide. 30/40. Ana netted a forehand return.

Chris Bradnam said practising in a swimming-pool had perfected Ana's down-the-line shots, and that the Williams-sisters didn't like being played down the line.

Williams serving 1-0: First serve: forehand return very long. 15/0. Ana sprayed a forehand very long & wide. 30/0. Ana netted a forehand return. 40/0. Williams crosscourt backhand winner.

Ana serving 0-2: Williams came to the net on a very short ball from Ana, forcing Ana to hit a forehand long. 0/15. Body-jamming serve: forehand return wide. 15/15. A hard, deep forehand from Williams induced Ana to net a backhand. 15/30. Ana ran around her backhand and netted a forehand. 15/40 (2 BPs). Williams backhand just long. 30/40. Williams came to the net, forcing Ana to hit a backhand pass wide.

A disappointing start from the sixth seed, while Williams has come out of the blocks very hungry and on form. I was hoping that this at least would be the /competitive/ semi-final! :-o

Williams serving 3-0: Double fault (second serve long - very late call). 0/15. Williams came to the net, forcing Ana to net a forehand. 15/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 15/30. Williams backhand long after the first long rally of the match. 15/40 (2 BPs). First serve: Ana netted a forehand return. 30/40. Williams crosscourt forehand smash-winner behind Ana. 40/40. Ana forehand long. Ad Williams. A netcord from Williams bounced shorter than Ana expected: she hit a forehand long.

Martina Navrátilová: "Williams isn't doing anything special right now. She's staying in the points, waiting for Ivanović to make the first unforced error."

Ana serving 0-4: Ana backhand very long off a deep ball down the middle. 0/15. Williams backhand netcord winner. 0/30. The wind helped a mishit forehand return to be a winner - two points in a row won by luck. 0/40 (3 BPs). Forehand return long. 15/40. Serve + crosscourt forehand winner behind Williams. 30/40. Ana started playing much better, came to the net and hit a backhand volley netcord-winner (it would have been a winner anyway). 40/40. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Williams. Ana hit a short-angled crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline. Deuce #2. Ana netted a backhand off a deep body-jamming return down the middle. Ad Williams (BP #4). Williams backhand return just long. Deuce #3. Serve + crosscourt forehand winner. Ad Ana. Another deep return down the middle handcuffed Ana into hitting a forehand long. Deuce #4. Double fault (second serve long & wide). A kicking second serve induced Williams to net a backhand return. Deuce #5. Williams came to the net, inducing Ana to hit a crosscourt forehand pass into the bottom of the net. Ad Williams (BP #5). Service-winner out wide. Deuce #6. Ace down the middle, on the junction of centre-line and service-line. Ad Ana. Williams backhand return long.

Signs of much better tennis from Ana in that game, but I don't think she's made a single passing-shot so far this match. All Williams has to do is come in behind a low-bouncing ball, and Ana invariably nets it. Martina Navrátilová picked up on this slightly later than I did, and suggested Ana needed to start lobbing.

Martina Navrátilová criticised Ana for not using body-jamming serves against Williams, against whom they are particularly effective.

Williams serving 4-1: Williams netted a forehand off a short return. 0/15. Williams netted a backhand return. 0/30. A sliced first serve out wide induced Ana to hit a forehand return long. 15/30. Williams crosscourt forehand volley-winner. Martina Navrátilová: "Her two steps are five of anyone else's!" 30/30. Williams came to the net, forcing Ana to net a backhand pass. 40/30. Ana netted a forehand.

Ana serving 1-5: Forehand return long. 15/0. Williams backhand approach down the line (forced a weak, defensive lob) + forehand drop-volley winner. 15/15. Williams netted a forehand return off a body-jamming serve - "the most underused shot in tennis" [Martina Navrátilová]. 30/15. Ana came to the net, forcing Williams to net a backhand. 40/15. Williams netted a forehand return.

Williams serving 5-2: Ana backhand long. 15/0. And again. 30/0. Williams dominated the rally and hit a forehand smash-winner. 40/0 (3 SPs). Double fault (second serve long). 40/15 (SP #2). Service-winner: Ana forehand lob-return long. Williams won the first set 6-2 at 16:06.

Martina Navrátilová: "Ana needs to switch things up. She needs to serve better, and most of all she needs to return better - make Williams pay for missing her first serve."

Second set
IVANOVIĆ *__@*___*_ 4
WILLIAMS _*@__*@* * 6

Ana serving 0-0: Ana, six feet behind the baseline as usual in this match, ran around her backhand and netted a forehand. 0/15. Ana crosscourt backhand wide. 0/30. Williams backhand long. 15/30. Ana got down well to hit a nice crosscourt forehand winner on the third stroke. 30/30. Williams dominated the rally, but a well-placed lob by Ana induced Williams to hit a backhand drive-volley very long. 40/30. Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/40. Williams sprayed a forehand return wide, and gave a little groan. Ad Ana. A good rally ended with Ana hitting a crosscourt forehand winner. Deuce #2. Ana netted a backhand.

Williams serving 0-1: Williams netted a backhand. 0/15. Ana netted a forehand. 15/15. Williams hit a pinpoint forehand winner down the line, on the sideline, off a decent deep return from Ana. 30/15. Ana down-the-line backhand just long. But she challenged it, and Hawkeye showed that it caught the back edge of the baseline! Replay: a fabulous rally with two great grestended with Williams hitting a backhand volley winner. 40/15. Ana forehand return down the line - "taken mighty early" [Simon Reed]. 40/30. Williams came to the net, forcing Ana to hit a backhand pass wide, with a cute little yelp.

Ana serving 1-1: Williams forehand return long. 0/15. Williams crosscourt forehand winner onto the baseline. 0/30. Ana came to the net, but Williams hit a crosscourt forehand pass that forced Ana to stretch wide and net a forehand volley. 0/40 (3 BPs). Double fault (the wind carried her second serve long).

Williams serving 2-1: Ana netted a backhand return. 15/0. Williams forehand long off an unexpectedly short ball from Ana. 15/15. Ana netted a forehand return. 30/15. Williams dominated the point, came to the net, but a low, dipping forehand pass from Ana forced her to net a forehand volley. 30/30. Williams sprayed a backhand very long & wide, and screamed. 30/40 (BP). Ana down-the-line forehand just wide. 40/40. Double fault (79mph second serve into the net). Ad Ana (BP #2). Ana hit a forehand winner down the line, despite looking rather exposed when she ran around two backhands to hit forehands.

Martina Navrátilová praised Ana's attitude: she's not giving up. And of course she did recover from a set and a break down against Nicole Vaidišová!

Ana serving 2-2: Ana ran right around her backhand into the tramlines to hit an off-forehand winner - and it /had/ to be a winner, because she was way out of position. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Ana came to the net, but a dipping pass from Williams forced her to net a backhand half-volley. 30/15. Ana netted a sliced backhand. 30/30. Ana hit a backhand pass straight at Williams, forcing her to net a backhand volley. 40/30. A well-placed lob from Ana forced Williams to mishit completely a forehand smash.

This match has a very different complexion in the last couple of games. Williams had been looking far too strong for Ana, but now Ana is finding a way to play her - a way to make her defensive shots awkward for Williams. Put simply, she has started to lob.

Williams serving 2-3: Double fault (second serve into the net). 0/15. Ana netted a backhand off an easy short ball. 15/15. A huge gust of wind! Service-winner down the middle. 30/15. Williams came in behind a wicked crosscourt sliced backhand; Ana attempted a backhand lob - the right idea, but very long. 40/15. Ana forehand return-winner down the line! 40/30. Ana came into the net behind a good backhand down the line, but Williams came up with a stunning crosscourt forehand pass-winner.

Martina Navrátilová: "When it was windy, I hated to play players who had nothing on the ball. I would rather face a Monica Seles return than one of Jana Novotná's little dinks."

Ana serving 3-3: Williams crosscourt backhand volley-winner - set up by a good return. 0/15. Double fault (second serve long). 0/30. Ana's off-forehand pushed Williams onto her heels, forcing her to net a forehand. 15/30. A penetrating crosscourt forehand approach from Williams forced Ana to earth a forehand lob, and she shouted in Serbian. 15/40 (2 BPs). Ana netted a backhand to put Williams a break up once again.

Williams serving 4-3: Ana hit a deep forehand return down the middle, just inside the baseline, forcing Williams to net a forehand. 0/15. Williams backhand wide. 0/30. Williams backhand volley-winner down the line. 15/30. Service-winner out wide caught the back edge of the service-line. 30/30. Ana netted a forehand return against the high part of the net. 40/30. Ana hit a stunning crosscourt backhand volley-winner off a low, wide crosscourt backhand pass from Williams! 40/40. Ana went for too much on her off-forehand, putting it wide. Williams is making her feel she has to go for bigger shots than she should. Ad Williams. Service-winner down the middle.

Ana serving 3-5: Ana forehand long. 0/15. Williams backhand return very long. 15/15. Williams crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/30. Ana crosscourt forehand volley-winner. 30/30. A short ball got caught by the wind, forcing Ana to hit a forehand long. 30/40 (MP #1). Deep service-winner out wide. A loud "c'mon" from Ana. 40/40. Ana sprayed a forehand long. Ad Williams (MP #2). Deep, body-jamming service-winner onto the service-line: Williams forehand return long. Deuce #2. Ana backhand just wide on the third stroke. Ad Williams (MP #3). Ana came to the net, and Williams shanked a forehand lob /just/ long! It almost dropped in with topspin, but the wind carried it out. Deuce #3. Serve + crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Ana. Deep service-winner out wide, on the service-line.

Three match-points saved, just like that *3-5 game against Nicole!

Simon Reed (re. Ana): "She's like a wasp at a barbeque - she doesn't go away!"

But a tennis-racket is a very effective weapon against a wasp! I have my own one-two punch against a wasp: I swat it with my racket (this sometimes cuts the wasp cleanly into two pieces), and then deliver the coup de grâce when it's wriggling on the floor!

The preceding paragraph described scenes of horrific violence, and should not have been read by small children. I apologise for any offence it may have caused to animal-rights activists.

Williams serving 5-4: Service-winner out wide (107mph). 15/0. Ana backhand return long. 30/0. Ana hit a forehand return-winner onto the sideline, with a big puff of titanium pigment! 30/15. Williams came forward too far, forcing herself to lean back and net a forehand! 30/30. Big serve + error-forcing forehand drive-volley. 40/30 (MP #4). Williams caught her toss; Ana retreated from her receiving-stance. A long rally ended with Ana hitting a backhand wide. Williams won 6-2 6-4 at 16:56.

Jason Goodall said Ana's groundstrokes were too short, which is only good if she comes up with amazing angles.

Williams's BBC interview

"The wind, it was swirling. I struggled with my toss. But she picked up her game every game, so I had to pick mine up too.

"I was playing well in the first set. In the second, I had one or two bad games, and she's a great competitor.

"I was always playing catch-up with the draw, so it's exciting to be the first one in the final!"


Venus power too much for Ivanović [CEEFAX 490->494]
Venus Williams remains on track for a fourth Wimbledon title after hammering Ana Ivanović 6-2 6-4 in the semis.

The American's power and athleticism were too much for the 19-year-old French Open finalist to cope with in an opening set that lasted 35 minutes.

Ivanović recovered an early break in the second set, to the delight of the Centre Court crowd, but Williams regained the advantage in game seven.

Williams served out comfortably to reach her sixth Wimbledon final.

Venus thrilling to book final spot [CEEFAX 490->494]
Venus Williams was delighted after beating Ana Ivanović to reach her sixth Wimbledon women's singles final.

"I was the one playing catch-up, I was the one behind the rest of the draw, so I'm very happy to be the first one in the final," said the US 23rd seed.

"Ana played well and picked up her game every game, so I had to, too.

"I didn't give her any chances in the first set, but she was right back in there in the second - she's tough," added the three-time champion.

Ivanović backs Venus to win title [CEEFAX 494]
Ana Ivanović backed Venus Williams to win the Wimbledon title after being overpowered in the semi-finals.

"I'm a little bit disappointed, but at the end of the day I lost to a great champion," said Ivanović.

"She has a very powerful serve, and I'm sure a very high percentage of first serves - that was the big difference.

"She's very aggressive, stays low and hits the ball flat. In the last few matches she's played better and better, so has a good chance in the final."

Venus reaches sixth Wimbledon final [Teletext 495->496]
Venus claims final spot [Teletext 496]

Venus Williams reached her sixth Wimbledon final with another supreme show of power on Centre Court.

The 23rd seed, a surprise champion two years ago, was in awesome form against Maria Sharapova and Svetlana Kuznetsova, and raced through the first set in her semi-final with Ana Ivanović.

The talented Serb battled well in the second set, again saving match-points, but Williams came through 6-2 6-4.

Venus wallops her way into Wimbledon final
By Sonia Oxley
LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) - Venus Williams walloped and screamed her way into her sixth Wimbledon final with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Serbian teenager Ana Ivanovic on Friday. Seeded 23 here after several injury setbacks, the American has overcome a shaky start to the championships to display the type of power-play that has made her bid for a fourth title at the All England Club increasingly realistic.

"I wasn't thinking about the final at the beginning of the tournament," she told a news-conference.

"I feel like I had to play some of my best tennis to get through against some great players, so it's very exciting."

With a world-ranking of 31, she is the lowest-ranked player to reach the women's final since computer-rankings began in 1975.

She was taken to three sets in her first- and third-round matches, and looked like she would not make it much further before raising her game to crush second seed Maria Sharapova and then fifth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova.

She dished up more of the same against sixth seed Ivanovic, taking immediate control with a double break to go 4-0 up in the first set, and then dominated the 19-year-old with aggressive play at the net, powerful serves and deep groundstrokes.

After wasting the first of two set-points with a double fault, she forced Ivanovic to hit long to hand her the set.

Williams broke early in the second, but this time Ivanovic wiped out the advantage with a scorching forehand winner in the fourth game.

The American grabbed another break in the seventh, and powered her way to three match-points on Ivanovic's serve in the ninth.

As in her quarter-final match, Ivanovic saved the three match-points, but in the next game hit out to allow Williams to claim her place in Saturday's final, where she will face 18th seed Marion Bartoli of France.

Ivanovic said she needed to work on her big-stage mentality so that she was better equipped to deal with the later parts of tournaments.

"For the first time in my career, I play more matches on the Centre Court," she said. "I have to learn how to deal with it better.

"Definitely I'm a little bit disappointed. But at the end of the day, I lost to a great champion. She was better today. But still I'm very happy about the tournament I had."

Venus ends run by Ivanovic in semi-finals
By Phil Casey, Special to PA SportsTicker
WIMBLEDON, England (Ticker) - Venus Williams is proving that history can repeat itself.

Williams reached the final at Wimbledon for sixth time in eight years after recording a 6-2, 6-4 victory over sixth seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia in the semifinals on Friday.

However, her opponent for Saturday's title is quite a shock, as No. 18 Marion Bartoli rallied from a set down to dump world No. 1 Justine Henin, 1-6 7-5 6-1.

With her latest win over a top-seeded opponent, Williams moved a win away from matching her surprising run to the 2005 title as the 14th seed. Due to a wrist-injury that forced her to miss the Australian Open, the 27-year-old American was considered even less of a contender this year, hence the 23rd seed.

"I've been counted out so many times," said Williams, a three-time winner here. "And it's okay with me. I've been unlucky with injuries. That happens. But I think that I've had a little spell now where I felt good. I've had a chance to get ready. It's all coming together."

However, Williams has appeared in incredible shape at the All England Club, rolling through both second seed Maria Sharapova and No. 5 Svetlana Kuznetsova on consecutive days, before ending the bid of the 19-year-old Ivanovic from reaching her second straight Grand-Slam final.

"I've had so many great times here," Williams said. "It's really an amazing stat [six finals].

"I feel like I had to play some of my best tennis to get through against some great players, so it's very exciting."

Ultimately, Williams proved too powerful for her opponent, who rallied in the second set to at least provide the crowd with some moments to savour.

Just as she had her in quarter-final match against No. 14 Nicole Vaidišová, Ivanovic started nervously and found herself trailing, 4-0, before either player had broken a sweat.

Ivanovic saved seven break-points to avoid dropping 5-0 down and face the embarrassment of losing a semi-final set to love, but Williams then served out to take the advantage.

"I started a little bit nervous today, and obviously she's a very good player and she was serving well," Ivanovic said. "That was the biggest difference, and she was very aggressive."

There seemed few signs early in the second set of a potential rally by Ivanovic, in particular when Williams broke for a 2-1 lead and effectively wrapped up the match.

But much to the delight of a Centre-Court crowd who clearly made Ivanovic their favourite, she blasted straight back, using a stunning forehand down the line to earn her a break straight back.

But Williams is made of stern enough stuff not to fold in the same way as Vaidišová, against whom Ivanovic fought back from an identical position to claim her spot in the semis on Thursday.

Instead, Williams broke again, and, after squandering three match-points on the service game by Ivanovic, calmly served out to book her place in yet another Centre-Court showpiece.

Dr. Andrew Broad