Cincinnati R2: Venus Williams vs (6) Ana Ivanovic
A blockbuster second round match at the Western & Southern Open sees 2014 runner-up: Ana Ivanovic take on Venus Williams on Tuesday evening. Both ladies are yet to really get going during the U.S Open series and will see this match as a big opportunity to gain some much needed momentum heading into the final Grand Slam of the year in New York.
Venus Williams advanced to the second round courtesy of a hard fought 7-6 6-4 victory over Zarina Diyas on Monday. It was a messy match, but Venus was able to win the critical points at the end of each set. The American almost let a 5-1 lead slip in the second set but broke the Diyas serve to set up an intriguing second round match with Ana Ivanovic. Venus has a dominant record over the Serb and will certainly be confident heading into the match.
Ana Ivanovic arrives in Cincinnati on the back of an okay week in Toronto. The Serb advanced to the quarter-finals with routine victories over Olga Govortsova and Polona Hercog. Ana was dismissed by Belinda Bencic in the quarter-finals, totally outplayed in a 4-6 2-6 loss to the eventual champion in Toronto. It’s important for Ana to have a good week in Cincinnati given she is defending finalist points, an early round loss will probably see her lose a top 8 seeding in New York.
Venus Williams holds a dominant 9-2 head to head record over Ivanovic, Venus has won 6 of the last 7 encounters between the pair. In their most recent match, Venus thumped Ivanovic 6-2 6-1 in Dubai last year. Venus hasn’t been in outstanding form lastly, however there is nothing to suggest that Ivanovic will be able to turn things around against Venus. The conditions in Cincinnati should help Venus in this matchup.