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Ivanovic outlasts Kerber in Dubai Open

posted on 19/02/2014: 2056 views



Ana Ivanovic staved off a match point in the crunch, decisive tie-breaker to eliminate sixth-seeded German Angelique Kerber from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships at the first-round stage on Tuesday night.

With both players having shared the first two sets with respective 6-3 scorelines, this match went to a third and final one, where Ivanovic recovered from an early break to lead at 6-5 on Kerber's serve.

However, at 0-40 up with three match points, the Serbian squandered three match points as her opponent reeled off five points in a row to force a first-to-seven shootout at the death.

There, Ivanovic once again held a commanding 5-1 advantage that she let slip once more as Kerber fought back to go 6-5 in front.

Nonetheless, Ivanovic was not to be denied and she won the next three points in succession to clinch it 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (8-6) on her fourth match point. "It was a little bit up and down,” conceded Ivanovic.

"In the first two sets, there were a little bit too many errors from my side and a little bit from her side. Then, in the third set, the tennis was a little better. After having the three match points, I didn't feel like I did that much wrong. Maybe I could have gone for a little more, but still I felt like I hit three pretty good shots to get in that position in the first place.

"I really wanted to make a rally. Then she hit a couple of really good winners. Having then been match point down, I was really happy to come back. She's (Kerber) such a tough competitor and she retrieves lots of balls. You just have to win points over and over again.

"I really tried to stay in the moment and play the same way I did before. I'm just so happy to be through.” On her forthcoming encounter with Venus Williams, whom she beat in the Auckland Open final earlier this year, Ivanovic said: "It's going to be a tough match. She's playing a lot better again. She's such a great sport and great person to have on the WTA Tour, with a big game and big serve.

"We always have tough matches. I hope it's going to be a good match and the better one will win.” – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/sport/inside_sport.asp?xfile=/data/tennis/2014/February/tennis_February15.xml§ion=tennis

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