Dubai QF: Ana Ivanovic vs Barbora Strycova
The Final quarter-final of the day at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships features Ana Ivanovic and Barbora Strycova. Ana Ivanovic is starting to gain some much needed momentum after a poor start to the season and all of a sudden is one of the favourites to win the title in Dubai given no seeded players remain in the draw. However, Ana will face a great challenge when she comes up against the always dangerous Barbora Strycova on Thursday night.
Ana Ivanovic is into her fourth quarter-final in Dubai courtesy of a pair of impressive straight set victories over tough opponents. Ivanovic kick-started her Dubai campaign with a 6-1 6-0 demolition of Daria Gavrilova which took less than hour. Ivanovic backed up that impressive first round performance by ousting the top seed and defending champion Simona Halep with a 7-6 6-2 victory on Wednesday evening. Ivanovic’s level of play in Dubai has clearly been the best tennis she has produced in 2016, encouraging signs for the Serb.
Barbora Strycova is into the quarter-finals in Dubai despite looking virtually down and out in her second round clash on Wednesday. Strycova started the week with a relatively comfortable 6-4 6-3 win over Tsvetana Pironkova before coming from a set and 0-3 down to defeat Julia Goerges 2-6 6-3 6-1. Strycova looked to be heading for a second round defeat when she trailed a seemingly untouchable Goerges by a set and a break however Strycova really raised her level as the German’s level dropped which resulted in Strycova winning 12 of the last 13 games of the match to book a quarter-final showdown with Ana Ivanovic.
Ana Ivanovic holds a perfect 3-0 head-to-head record over Barbora Strycova, winning all three matches reasonably easily in straight sets. Ivanovic has never lost more than 3 games in a set against Strycova. The most recent clash between the pair was in the Birmingham final in 2014, Ivanovic claimed a 6-3 6-2 win. Despite the dominant head-to-head record in Ivanovic’s favour, I believe Strycova has a good chance to cause an upset here.
Strycova has generally played pretty good throughout the new year and has consistently shown her ability to defy the odds against more fancied opponents. Strycova does have the game to trouble Ivanovic, especially if the Serb is a little of her game. Ivanovic can struggle against unorthodox players like Strycova which was evident just last week when Ivanovic was outplayed by Roberta Vinci. Given all the upsets this week, why not another one here?