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Forehand propels Ivanovic to three-set win

Ana Ivanovic hits a backhand against Kateryna Bondarenko.
by Helen Gilbert
Saturday 30 June 2012

When Janko Tipsarevic tweeted that he had experienced a ‘bad day at the office’ it looked as though fellow Serb Ana Ivanovic might well suffer the same fate given that No.14 seed was, at the time, a set down against Julia Goerges.

Yet to the arguable delight of the photographers that had flocked to the No.2 Court press pit and, of course, the Ivanovic fans, the 2007 Wimbledon semi-finalist recovered to eke out a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win and book a last 16 place.

In the end there was not much to separate the two women who peaked and troughed in performance until the final-set decider. Although Ivanovic entered the contest with a 3-1 head-to-head lead – the last of those victories occurring on the lawns of Eastbourne in 2011 - it was the German who dominated the first set.

Consistently deep and powerful baseline shots served to wrong-foot and, on occasion, out-power the Serb, and by the time Goerges had discovered the fine angles of the court Ivanovic’s head had dropped. Errors crept into her game and a netted backhand handed the world No.24 the opening set.

There followed a forlorn look to the floor. Whether it was the readjustment of Ivanovic’s dress – an all-white number laced with lines of shocking pink - the shake of her ponytail, or the measured wipe of her brow and lip that helped her re-focus remains unclear.

But early in the second it became evident that something had clicked into place. The world No.14 began hitting the ball with increased confidence and very soon the scoreline had mirrored the pattern of the first - only this time round it was in favour of the Ivanovic who claimed it on her sixth set point.

Midway through the third, Goerges was continuously forced to defend break points against her, the forehand of the 2008 Roland Garros Champion by this time in full flow. It was an act the German simply could not sustain. She succumbed in the fifth game - when she hit a ball long to hand over the break – and did the same again on match point to gift Ivanovic a fourth round place.

The 24-year-old now meets No.2 seed Belarusian Victoria Azarenka who earlier today swept aside Jana Cepelova 6-3, 6-3.

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