Ana through to round three

Ana through to round three

With a quite indifferent display against world No.118 Yung-Jan Chan of Taipei, Ana reached the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. The 25-year-old didn’t perform at her best level during most of the encounter, but was eventually victorious 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 in 138 minutes.

Those who witnessed the opening games of the match would have never thought the contest would take so long. In barely nine minutes, Ana had taken a 3-0 advantage with some solid serving and dominant groundstrokes from the baseline. Also in the fourth game, the No.13 seed earned two break points at 15-40 to set up a comfortable double-break lead. But all of a sudden, errors slipped into Ana’s game and she missed a crucial drive volley to seal the break.

With Ana’s serve also falling apart, all key parts of her game had melted away in about 10 minutes’ time. On the other side of the net, Chan’s confidence grew game by game. She took five consecutive games as the doubles specialist often successfully visited the net in search of points and she turned the 3-0 arrears into a 5-3 lead.

After Ana had held serve in the ninth game, Chan wangled two set points one game later, of which the 13th seed saved one with a blistering forehand return winner, before eventually breaking the Chan serve on her third opportunity.

The intensity increased on Margaret Court Arena. Ana even received a penalty point as hindrance was called for shouting ‘idemo’ (“come on” in Serbian) too soon during a rally. It didn’t affect the outcome of the game, as the former world No.1 held serve and followed it up by another break to reel off four straight games and take the opening set.

Although she came back twice from being a set point down, Ana couldn’t take that momentum into the second set. On the contrary, it was Chan who got a fresh start, surging into a 4-0 lead. She was a model of consistency as she hit just one unforced error during the entire second set. Ana held serve just once and she conceded the set to her opponent with tough 6-1 figures.

A new set presented new hope for Ana, with the knowledge that the world No.118 surely could not maintain her high level. Indeed, as Ana managed to cut out the unforced errors, she regained control of the match and was rewarded with a 4-1 lead in the decider.

Chan pulled back one break, but Ana held her advantage and served out the match in the tenth game of the set after a hard-fought battle.

An all-Serbian clash awaits in the third round on Friday, as world No. 21 Jelena Jankovic fought back from dropping the first set to eventually prevail 2-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 against Maria Joao Koehler from Portugal.

By Joeri Moerman