Beijing R3: (6) Ana Ivanovic vs Svetlana Kuznetsova
Ana Ivanovic will be looking for her 5th consecutive victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova when the two go head-to-head in the third round at the China Open on Thursday. Ana Ivanovic will enter her third round clash with Kuznetsova aiming to win three consecutive matches for the first time since her run to the semi-finals at Roland Garros earlier this year, whilst Svetlana Kuznetsova will be aiming to win three consecutive matches for the first time since Madrid.
Ana Ivanovic has made a reasonably positive start to her China Open campaign, recoding straight set victories over Casey Dellacqua and Venus Williams. The Serb started the week with a comfortable 6-4 6-0 victory over Casey Dellacqua, winning the last 10 games of the match to cruise into the next round. Ana’s second round victory was quite impressive, overcoming a terrible head-to-head record against Venus Williams to record a 7-6 6-2 victory over the American.
Svetlana Kuznetsova has also been in reasonable form in Beijing. The Russian started her week with a solid 6-4 6-4 victory over Carina Witthoeft. Svetlana booked her spot in the third round by coming from a set down to defeat Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-3 6-4. Svetlana will need to overcome a terrible recent head-to-head record against Ivanovic if she is to advance any further this week in Beijing.
Ana Ivanovic holds a dominant 10-3 head-to-head record over Svetlana Kuznetsova and has won the 4 most recent encounters between the pair. This will be the first meeting between the pair in 2015, the two met twice in season 2014 with Ana Ivanovic prevailing in three sets on both occasions. The matches almost finished with the exact same score, a 6-3 2-6 6-4 victory for Ana in Stuttgart before claiming a 6-2 2-6 6-3 win in Montreal.
I suspect Ivanovic will win this one a little more comfortably, the quick conditions in Beijing don’t really play into the hands of Kuznetsova who has recently struggled against higher ranked players. Ivanovic is in good form this week and will be quite confident after a rare victory over Venus Williams.