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Two days after her splended victory against ninth seed Victoria Azarenka, Ana achieved another fine win by beating Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova 6-1, 7-5 in the second round of the Western & Southern Financial Group Women’s Open in Cincinnati. Ana won a three-part, rain-interrupted match in just 74 minutes; the first set was a 21-minute demolition.
During the first set, Ana immediately resumed the thread of her first round match, breaking Shvedova in the second game. The former world No.1 was imperious on serve too, dropping just three points as everything seemed to click into place.
Ana held a 0-30 advantage in the first game of the second set when the match was suspended for an hour and nine minutes due to a thunderstorm above the Lindner Family TennisCenter. When the rain clouds had cleared away, the Russian-born Kazakh digested the delay quicker and took a 3-0 lead. Ana showed steely nerve to stick with her opponent and she levelled at 3-3.
At 4-4 the match got deferred for a second time. When it eventually resumed in the early evening, Ana retained focus better, breaking Shvedova straightaway so that she could serve for the match.
Shvedova managed to break back once more, but a seventh double fault in the following game gave Ana another chance to serve out the match. There were no more hesitations this time and the 22-year-old was victorious more than five hours after the match had started, but with just 74 minutes of play on the clock.
"I'm really happy," said Ana. "A little bit tired from all the stop and goes, but it's been a good match today, especially in the first set. I was playing really well, so I was very pleased with that.
"She's a tough opponent, and I expected a tough match. She did come back strong in the second.
"I think this was a match probably with three matches in it. But with every delay, with every new start, it was different conditions. First it was really hot; second time around it was really gusty; third time around it cooled off and the balls were not flying as much. It was a whole different aspect of the game."
Commenting on her style of play, Ana said: "I think it's important to be aggressive as well in these moments. Yet there is a fine line between being aggressive and rushing. So I really found that balance today, and I'm really happy I could turn around the second set a little bit."
Ana moves on to meet Elena Vesnina in the third round tomorrow. The Russian’s world No.49 beat current French Open champion Francesca Schiavone earlier on Wednesday in straight sets, 6-4 6-4.
By Joeri Moerman