26
Mar
12

Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Ana Ivanovic snapped up the last three berths in the round of 16, all looking impressive with straight set victories.

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The No.15-seeded Ivanovic was the first to win, racing through the first set then sneaking a 68-minute second set to get by No.20 seed Daniela Hantuchova, 62 76(2). With a handful of errors from her opponent Ivanovic built a 6-2 lead in the breaker, then fired a forehand winner on her very first match point. “Daniela and I have played a lot of times in the past. Even in practice it’s always tight,” Ivanovic said. “I played really well in the first set. I think I started to rush a little more in the second – I started wanting to close out the match and wanted to rush and rush. I was focused more on the end than staying in the moment. But I’m really happy I managed to keep composed and then win the tie-breaker. “It was a very, very important win for me today.” Ivanovic and Hantuchova were wearing the same adidas tennis dress on the court. “It’s pretty funny – we were joking, at least one was blonde and one was brunette. It would be a problem if I played Sorana,” Ivanovic said. “But seriously, it is a little bit strange. You look up and see yourself. It’s like, ‘Is that a mirror?'” Ivanovic is going to pass Jelena Jankovic on the next rankings, her first time being the Serbian No.1 since the 2008 US Open fortnight (during those two weeks, Ivanovic was ranked No.1 in the world and Jankovic was No.2). Next up for Ivanovic is Venus Williams, who saved match point to win earlier in the day. Williams has won seven of eight meetings against Ivanovic, but they are a much closer 1-1 when playing on outdoor hardcourts.

Six minutes after Ivanovic’s win, No.5 seed Agnieszka Radwanska completed a 66-minute, 61 62 rout of Sílvia Soler-Espinosa, winning almost twice as many points as the tenacious Spaniard during the match (58 to 30). Later at night, top-ranked, top-seeded defending champion Victoria Azarenka improved to 25-0 on the season with a 60 62 rout of Heather Watson. Azarenka won the first nine games to go up 60 30; Watson started closing in towards the end, winning two of the last five games, but it was just too late for the Brit.

 

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