One of the WTA’s most intriguing rivalries has become decidedly one-sided with Ana Ivanovic’s comprehensive 7-5 6-3 victory over fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic in the third round.
Former Australian Open finalist Ivanovic came into the contest with a 7-3 record against former No.1 Jankovic, who had vowed to go all out to turn their rivalry around.
But once again, Ivanovic played the big points with much more self-assurance and competed about as well as she has in the past six months.
“I think it's the style of the games, and there is no secret,” said Ivanovic, a former No.1 herself. “Today's game, it's also a lot mental. With some players you feel better; with others you don't.”
Ivanovic was powerful, fast and advantageous, controlling the court with her huge forehand and serving well enough to keep Jankovic off her back.
Ivanovic got off to a very fast start in the match and went ahead 5-2, but then former Australian Open semifinalist Jankovic began to zone behind excellent offensive play and quickly took the next three games to even the set at 5-5.
But Ivanovic didn't quiver and down 40-0 on Jankovic’s serve, she ran off five straight points to break to 6-5.
Ivanovic – who ended 2012 ranked No.13, her highest since 2008 when she won Roland Garros – then played a brilliant game to close the set out, winning a marathon rally with a forehand into the open court, cracking another forehand winner and then booming an ace down the T.
Ivanovic easily broke Jankovic for 3-1 in the second set and never looked back.
Jankovic held a break point with Ivanovic serving at 5-3, but the 25-year-old powered a backhand winner. She won the match when a shot off of Jankovic’s usually dependable two-handed backhand dropped into the net.
“It was a tough match,” Ivanovic said. “I think it was intense from the first to the last moment, but I really felt like I stayed in the zone and I played each point for that point. That's what was my goal today, so I'm very pleased I managed to do that.”
Ivanovic will play fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the fourth round, who is riding a 12-match winning streak. Ivanovic won the first three matches she played against the Pole, but has dropped the last four.
“She’s definitely matured a lot as a player,” said Ivanovic, who also reached the fourth round last year, falling to Petra Kvitova. “She was always a very tough competitor. She has style of game that she doesn't give you much and you really have to work for your points. Being patient is going to be a key. It's going to be tough. I have to be prepared to work hard for my points and to keep on putting pressure on her. It's going to be a balance of being aggressive enough and then still patient enough.”