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Ivanovic seizes chance of revenge

Ana Ivanovic hits a backhand against Kateryna Bondarenko.
by Caroline Cheese
Thursday 28 June 2012

It took nearly three years, but Ana Ivanovic finally banished a bad memory on Thursday.

Back in 2009 at the U.S. Open, Ivanovic had a match point against Kateryna Bondarenko in the first round but went down 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(7), the slumping Serb later bemoaning that she was "thinking about everything too much".

While she might not be back to her Grand Slam winning form of 2008, Ivanovic is in a much better state of mind these days and it showed on No.3 Court as she closed out a 6-3, 7-6 (3) win over Bondarenko to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the seventh time in her career.

Things don't get any easier for Ivanovic - a semi-finalist here in 2007 - and she now has No.22 seed Julia Goerges standing between her and a place in the last 16. The German defeated Belarusian Anastasia Yakimova 7-6(3), 6-2 in 1 hour, 31 minutes.

Goerges has enjoyed her career best results on clay, victory at the WTA Premier-level Stuttgart event in 2011 followed by a run to the semi-finals in Madrid just weeks later. And it's easy to see why, with the surface giving her time to play her elaborate swings and heavy topspin to great effect.

It's a style that didn't translate so well to the lawns of Court 4 against Yakimova, especially in the first set. On any other surface this contest would have probably been a mismatch, with Goerges possessing vastly superior power, height and athleticism. But the Belarusian played an intelligent grasscourt match, jamming Goerges with her first serves and taking her returns early – often with slice – to push the German out of her comfort zone.

Yet the 22nd seed landed enough of her own powerful deliveries to remain competitive, and when allowed the time to set up properly, did plenty of damage with her favoured forehand. As a result, the set progressed on serve to a tiebreak, and it was there that Goerges pulled rank, finally finding consistency with her return and relinquishing just three points to take the opening set in just under an hour.

Continuing to improve with her return game, Goerges broke serve three times in a far more commanding second set performance.

Sara Errani was in dominant form from the outset in her second-round match, the Italian continuing to ride the momentum of her debut Grand Slam final appearance at the French Open last month to overwhelm Anne Keothavong of Britain 6-1, 6-1.

In a typically stingy performance, Errani made five unforced errors while the below-par Brit threw in 18.

"Against an opponent like Sara, she doesn't give you that much," Keothavong said. "She's pretty consistent. She's playing with lots of confidence. I felt like I had to be the one who was aggressive, because I'm not going to win that match rallying, trying to outrally her."

Errani was back on court later with fellow Italian Roberta Vinci as they stretched their incredible unbeaten run in doubles to 24 matches, following consecutive title wins in Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Roland Garros and 's-Hertogenbosch.

Vinci hasn't had a bad run in singles either and the No.21 seed beat Marina Erakovic 6-4, 6-3 to set up a meeting with Mirjana Lucic. Errani will play Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan next.


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