Ana sweeps into quarter-finals

Ana sweeps into quarter-finals

Ana progressed smoothly into the quarter-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open thanks to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over world No.26 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.  It was an extremely impressive performance by the 11th seed, who booked her sixth win in as many matches against the 22-year-old Russian.
Ana’s post-match statistics were simply phenomenal: she hit 29 winners and limited her unforced errors to just nine. Moreover, she ended the contest with a polished first service percentage of 71 - including six aces – and was in full control from the first to the very last exchange of the match.
Pavlyuchenkova had a marathon clash with Jelena Jankovic late last night and she was immediately put on the backfoot by Ana. After three straight breaks of serve in the beginning of the match, Ana surged into a 4-1 lead with virtually flawless tennis. She discharged winners from both her forehand and backhand wing and got her opponent on the run.
The former world No.1 dictated terms from the baseline but often moved towards the net when she was given the chance. She eventually broke the Pavlyuchenkova serve three times and wrapped up the set in the most emphatic fashion.
Indeed, it wasn’t until the opening game of the second set that the Russian managed to hold serve, but overall, set two was more of the same dominant tennis from Ana’s racket.
With breaks in games three and five, the 26-year-old moved herself into pole-position and despite a short revival from Pavlyuchenkova – Ana had to save two break points while serving for the match – she finished the job in 67 minutes.

"Madrid has been very special place for me since 2007 when I played the Championships for very first time here," said Ana afterwards. "Ever since then I was hoping to get a good result.

"I haven't been playing really well at this event. Last year I made semifinal, which was great result for me.  I really hope I can take it further.

"I really feel a lot of affection when I'm competing on the court. I feel the support. Even just walking around the city and parks and people come up and they're like, 'Oh, good luck, good luck.'  It's very sweet and I appreciate that.

"I feel very comfortable here."

Ana will meet either German Sabine Lisicki or world No. 5 Simona Halep in the quarter-finals on Friday.

By Joeri Moerman