Ana reaches Linz quarters

Ana reaches Linz quarters

Ana reached the quarter-finals at the Generali Ladies Linz for the sixth time in her career as she saw off the challenge of world No.46 Francesca Schiavone 6-3, 7-5.

It was a polished display from the 25-year-old against her Italian  fellow former French Open champion. Ana played with great variety and demonsted some excellent tennis during the one hour and 32 minute match.

Although Ana entered the match holding a 4-0 lead in the head-to-head series, it is always a tricky mission to play the experienced Schiavone, who was ranked world No.4 just two years ago. Indeed, there was very few to separate the pair in the early stages, as it took 15 minutes to finish the opening two games, in which breaks were traded.

Ana was the first to hold serve and wangled two break points in game four. The 25-year-old thought she had made the break when Schiavone hit a ball wide but, to Ana’s surprise, no line call followed. With no Hawk-Eye challenge system available in Linz, the third seed appeared disconcerted and saw both opportunities swept away by the Italian.  

Still under the influence of the preceding events, Ana was down 0-30 on her serve in the following game but the 25-year-old crucially regrouped and won all of the next four points to hold.

There was no more stopping her and as she produced a handful of classy winners. Ana added a break to love in the sixth game to earn 4-2 ahead. She converted her fourth set point after 45 minutes of play to wrap up the opening set.

The No.3 seed saw an early advantage disappear in set two, but she broke the Italian for a second time in the fifth game.

At 5-4, Ana was unable to serve it out, with Schiavone playing a great game to get back in the match.

However, the 25-year-old was in no mood to spend much more time on court, immediately re-gaining her advantage and she exploited her second match point one game later, punctuating her classy performance by sealing victory with an ace.

Ana will face either seventh seed Dominika Cibulkova from Slovakia or Poland’s Katarzyna Piter in the quarter-finals on Friday.

By Joeri Moerman