Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ivanovic wins in Luxembourg

Ana "I'm so happy to be here" Ivanovic didn't look too happy to be in Luxembourg today until she was a set and a half into her final against Daniela Hantuchova in the FORTIS Championships. Trailing a set and down 0-3, Ivanovic suddenly found her game, and with it, her aggression. During the first set and a half, she was sloppy and sluggish, and was easy pickings for a sharp Hantuchova. Ivanovic was missing a lot of first serves, and winning only 25% of her second serves, as Hantuchova demonstrated an impressive variety of shots and some very clever strategy.

When Ivanovic got back in, though, Hantuchova's play became shaky and error-prone. We have seen this from Hantuchova before, of course. Many times. In fairness to Hantuchova, when Ivanovic finally got into the match, she got in with a vengeance. Still, Hantuchova's level of play was so high that she should have been able to close, if not in straight sets, at least in three.

I was very impressed with Hantuchova's mental toughness against Patty Schnyder in their quarterfinal match. Schnyder saved three match points in the second set, and another three in the third set. As a rule, that kind of toughness causes Hantuchova to cave, but she hung in and won the match. Yesterday, she was stunning against Marion Bartoli in their semifinal. But once again, placed in the position of winning a tournament, she faded away when she most needed to come on strong.

Final score: Ivanovic def. Hantuchova, 3-6, 6-4, 6-4

No comments: