“I definitely improved as the match went on, and in the second set especially I played some good tennis.”

Ana Ivanovic stormed into the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic. Ana broke Zahlavova Strycova in the opening game, but was re-broken straightaway as she hit four double faults in her first service game. Luckily for Ana, this game turned out to be just a trifle as the Czech was unable to deal with Ana’s polished performance. Her confidence grew as the match progressed and she hammered forehands to all corners of the court. In the fifth game, the former world No.1 overturned a 40-0 arrears to break her opponent for a second time. She cruised from then on, winning five successive games to wrap up the opening set. The 23-year-old continued her dominance and served better as the match progressed. She dropped just two points on serve in the second set and built up the points patiently, waiting for the right moment to unleash her forehand.

It took the 19th seed just 64 minutes to progress into the fourth round, where she will face either compatriot and defending champion Jelena Jankovic or Julia Goerges from Germany.

Second seed Kim Clijsters made a surprising third-round exit at last year’s BNP Paribas Open, but avoided the same fate Sunday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden as she recovered for a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win over Italian Sara Errani. After losing four straight service games to allow Errani to draw level, Clijsters went up the decisive break at 2-1 in the third set. The 27-year-old Belgian made her return to the desert in 2010 after a four-year absence. She won the title in 2003 and ’05 (d. Davenport both times) and was also a finalist in 2001 (l. to S. Williams). Clijsters, who has reached the final in all three of her main draw appearances this season, next plays France’s Marion Bartoli. The No. 15 seed defeated 21st-seeded German Andrea Petkovic 6-4, 6-2.


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