Sabine Lisicki vs (4) Ana Ivanovic
Sabine Lisicki and Ana Ivanovic will come head to head for the fifth time within the last 12 months when compete for a spot in the third at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Three consecutive first round losses for Sabine Lisicki meant she arrived in Dubai without a main draw victory in 2015 and seemingly deprived of confidence. The German finally picked up her first victory of the season with a comfortable 6-3 6-4 victory over Monica Niculescu to advance to the second round in Dubai.
Lisicki did well to remain positive and stick to her game plan throughout her first round victory in Dubai despite things not always going way. The German fell behind an early break in the second set but rebounded impressively to confidently close out the match in straight sets. Lisicki has struggled against Monica in the past, making this a very pleasing result for the German, something she can build on.
Ivanovic made an extremely positive start to her season in Brisbane where she reached the final before eventually succumbing to Maria Sharapova. However things quickly went downhill for the Serb as she suffered a humiliating first round exit in Melbourne. Ana Ivanovic recently revealed that she suffered from a broken toe prior to her shock first round defeat to Lucie Hradecka at the Australian Open.
It’s hard to know just how prepared for this event Ana really is, she admitted that her toe is still not perfect and it is still somewhat hindering her. Sabine Lisicki will be a tough first up opponent for Ana, especially considering she hasn’t played a match for almost a month. It’s hard to get into any type of rhythm against Sabine, especially on a fast court like the ones in Dubai.
Prior to 2014 these two had never faced one another, remarkably in 2014 the two faced off on four occasions. Ivanovic prevailed on three of those occasions, Lisicki’s only victory came at her beloved Wimbledon.
Ivanovic won both of their matches on a hard court including their most recent encounter in Beijing, a 6-3 7-5 victory. Lisicki famously hit the fastest ever recorded serve on the WTA tour when the two met in Stamford last year, a 211 km/h bomb. However it was Ivanovic who prevailed 7-6 6-1.
Ivanovic has not played a match in almost a month and given her recent injury woes, this match is much harder to call then it perhaps it might usually be. Sabine Lisicki has a match under her belt in Dubai and should therefore be more comfortable with the tricky conditions. The zippy courts suit Sabine’s game, an upset looks to be on the cards. I think Sabine will get the job done in a rather messy match.
Prediction: Sabine Lisicki to defeat Ana Ivanovic in 3 sets