(1) Serena Williams vs (7) Ana Ivanovic
Two time defending champion Serena Williams takes on Ana Ivanovic in the opening match of the inaugural BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SCglobal.
Ana Ivanovic has proven this year that she can challenge Serena and make her pay if she is off her game. Given Serena has had limited practice time heading into this match, it is unclear just how well the world number 1 will perform.
Serena announced that she only started practicing on Monday, however in more positive news the American was spotted practicing without any strapping on her legs on Saturday evening.
Ivanovic arrives in Singapore full of confidence having won a record 57 matches this season. Ivanovic hasn't performed well at the Grand Slam this year, reaching the quarter-finals on just one occasion. Ana will be desperate for better results this week in Singapore.
Serena has a dominant 7-1 head-to-head record over Ana, the Serbs only victory came earlier this year at the Australian Open. In Stanford Ana came extremely close to a second victory over the world number 1, Ana stormed through the opening set 6-2 but aggravated a hip injury in the second set and ultimately fell short 5-7 in the third set.
Ana also took a set of Serena in Rome earlier this year but was dominated 6-1 in the deciding set. In their most recent meeting, Serena proved too strong for a slightly fatigued Ivanovic in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Serena prevailed 6-4 6-1 to claim her first Cincinnati title.
Ana is able to attack Serena’s serve better than most, particularly her second serve. If Ana serves consistently well on Monday this should be a close match. I suspect Serena will ultimately prevail in a tight three set even if she is slightly unprepared. Serena simply refuses to lose matches like this, particularly against opponents who have recently defeated her.
Prediction: Serena Williams to defeat Ana Ivanovic in 3 sets