Ivanovic shows her best stuff, next up is Wozniacki!

Ana Ivanovic produced a wonderfully assured display of power hitting as she defeated seventh seed Elena Dementieva in the third round of the China Open. The 22-year-old mixed viscious groundstrokes with excellent defence. At the key moments she showed greater will power as she beat the Russian for the second time this year. Ana was broken in the opening game but she broke back immediately and was the more impressive player early on as she looked to seize control of the rallies. Another break followed and she had a chance to move 5-1 ahead but the Russian held on. It was high quality tennis, with both players pressing one another into taking greater risks and going for trickier angles. Ana served for the opening set at 5-3 but missed three set points and was broken. A tiebreak ensued, which Ana dominated 7-2.

The second set provided that rarity in women’s tennis: a set with no breaks of serve at all. The standard of tennis continued to catch the eye as the players shared some wonderfully entertaining points. Dementieva wowed the crowd with a majestic backhand pass at full stretch that was so good even Ana applauded it. Likewise, Ana demonstrated her much-improved fitness by chasing down a seemingly imposssible ball to prod away a winner.

Ana, who had saved a set point in the tenth game, fell behind in the tiebreak break but responded soon after with a forehand winner and then two aces. She opened up a 6-3 lead and sealed victory on her second match point with a stinging cross court backhand. “It was a fun match to be a part of,” said Ana. “There were some great points and I feel like I did a good job of playing aggressively, hitting near the lines but not making too many mistakes. “I served well and that was important, especially in the tiebreaks. She’s such a tough opponent, so this victory gives me a lot of pleasure.”

Ana’s reward could not be greater: a clash with Caroline Wozniacki, who will be crowned as the new world No.1 when the rankings are released on Monday. The match is scheduled as the third of the day on the Lotus Court, the biggest stadium at the National Tennis Centre, and is expected to begin sometime after 4.30pm local time (10.30am Central European Time; 4.30am Eastern Time).

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