Beijing QF #3: (6) Ana Ivanovic vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Friday’s third quarter-final at the China Open sees the 6th seeded Ana Ivanovic come up against an in form Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Ana Ivanovic has a dominant record against Pavlyuchenkova and will be confident she can continue her dominance over the Russian on Friday evening. However Pavlyuchenkova should see this as a great opportunity to record a victory over Ivanovic, the Russian enters this match in great form and full confidence.
Ana Ivanovic has certainly benefited from a favourable draw this week in Beijing, to the Serb’s credit she has taken full advantage. Ivanovic started the week with a comprehensive straight set victory over Casey Dellacqua before defeating a fatigued Venus Williams in straight sets. Ivanovic advanced to the quarter-final stage with an unconvincing 7-5 4-6 6-2 victory over a wayward Svetlana Kuznetsova. Ivanovic looked quite vulnerable, her serve was as wayward as ever, however Kuznetsova was unable to take advantage. Ana will need to significantly raise her level if she is to advance any further this week.
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova has had a disappointing season, however it looks like she will end the year on high. The Russian has played some great tennis to reach the final 8, recording a straight set victory over Julia Goerges in the first round before battling past Elina Svitolina in an extremely hard-fought three set encoutner. Pavlyuchenkova booked her spot in the quarter-finals by handing Flavia Pennetta her first defeat since she captured he first career Grand Slam title in New York. Pavlyuchenkova fought from a set down to record a 3-6 6-4 6-3 victory.
Ana Ivanovic holds a dominant 6-1 head-to-head record over Pavlyuchenkova. Ivanovic won the first 6 meetings between the pair including 4 straight set victories on a hard court. It was Pavlyuchenkova who emerged victorious in their most recent encounter, the Russian led 7-5 6-5 before Ivanovic bizarrely retired despite being just one game away from defeat.
Despite the lopsided head-to-head record between the pair, I think Pavlyuchenkova can cause an upset here. The Russian’s form has been very good heading into this match and she is certainly capable of hurting Ivanovic, especially the Serb’s wayward and predictable serve. Ivanovic has had some injury concerns lately, so knowing her another retirement could be on the cards.