Beijing R2: (6) Ana Ivanovic vs Venus Williams
Tuesday’s blockbuster match-up at the China Open sees last week’s Wuhan Open champion Venus Williams take on the sixth seeded Ana Ivanovic. Venus Williams has a wonderful record over Ana Ivanovic, the American all of a sudden has a very realistic chance to reach the WTA Finals in Singapore, which would be a remarkable achievement for Venus at this stage of her career.
Ana Ivanovic’s lacklustre form has continued during the Asian swing, failing to advance past the quarter-final stage in Tokyo and Wuhan. Ivanovic arrives in Beijing on the back of a third round showing at the Wuhan Open last week. The Serb strolled through her first round matches with easy straight set victories over Alexandra Dulgheru and Madison Brengle. The Serb’s campaign was cut short by Garbine Muguruza, Ana lost 12 of the last 13 games as she was blown off the court by the eventual finalist.
Ana Ivanovic would need a miracle to qualify for Singapore but is a good chance to qualify for Zhuhai with a couple of victories in Beijing. The Serb advanced to the second round in Beijing with a comfortable 6-4 6-0 victory over Casey Dellacqua, winning the last 10 games of the match.
Venus Williams arrives in Beijing full of confidence after winning the Wuhan Open last week. Venus had a wonderful week, picking up commanding straight set victories over Agnieszka Radwanska, Julia Goerges and Carla Suarez Navarro before recording hard-fought three set victories over Johanna Konta and Robert Vinci. Venus won the title in an unfortunate fashion as Garbine retired a set down in the final. Venus also had her injury concerns towards the end of the tournament, the American really struggled towards the end of her last couple of matches but managed to push through the pain and eventually claimed one of her biggest title in years.
Venus Williams holds a commanding 9-2 head-to-head record over Ana Ivanovic. The American thumped Ana 6-2 6-1 in Dubai last year in what was their most recent encounter. This has typically been a very good match-up for Venus, the American is able to match Ana from the baseline and has been able to dismantle the Serb’s wayward serve. Despite the head-to-head record, I think this is a very even match-up. I have a feeling Ivanovic will get some revenge on Venus on Tuesday evening, it will be tough for Venus to rebound for such a tough week with a very tough first round encounter in Beijing.