Beijing SF #2: (6) Ana Ivanovic vs (12) Timea Bacsinszky
Saturday’s first semi-final at the China Open in Beijing will see the 6th seeded Ana Ivanovic take on a rejuvenated Timea Bacsinszky. Not many could have predicted a semi-final between Ana and Timea, both have exceeded all expectations this week and now have a wonderful opportunity to reach the final. Both ladies must win this match to keep their slim hopes of reaching the WTA Finals alive, the winner of this match will move into the top 10 next week, which would be a the first time for Bacsinszky.
Ana Ivanovic has had a decent couple of weeks and says she is feeling as fit as she has felt all year. The Serb started the week with commanding straight set victories over Casey Dellacqua and Venus Williams before labouring to a three set victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova. Ana’s best performance of the week came in the quarte-finals where she played some stunning tennis on route to a 6-3 7-5 victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Ana served well for the majority of the match and came up with some fantastic volleys at the net.
Timea Bacsinszky continues to defy the odds in 2015. Timea is now into her first every premier mandatory semi-final. The Swiss number 2 arrived in Beijing on the back of 5 consecutive losses but has turned her form slump around with a couple of trademark marathon victories. Timea’s last two matches in Beijing ended 7-5 in the third set, two extremely tough victories over Carla Suarez Navarro and Sara Errani. Timea will enter Saturday’s semi-final feeling like she has nothing to lose.
Ana Ivanovic has won the only two previous encounters between the pair, including a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Timea in Montreal last year in their most recent match. I suspect Ivanovic will once again get the better of Bacsinszky. The Serb’s game matches up pretty well against Timea, Ana can really over-power Timea and should be too strong for a potentially fatigued opponent on this occasion.