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Ivanovic strolls into semis

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
By Orla Coady

Ana Ivanovic dismissed the challenge of Patty Schynder in straight sets, 6-3 6-2 and moved into the semi-finals for the second straight year. The Swiss No10 seed was no match for Ivanovic and was overwhelmed in an hour and fifteen minutes.

A seasoned campaigner, playing in her thirteenth consecutive Roland Garros, Schynder threw everything she had at Ivanovic but could not live with the No2 seed’s power. Ivanovic played a clever match, moving her opponent around the court and engaging in long rallies while waiting for the error.

Ivanovic started strongly, holding her serve to love and breaking the Swiss No1 in her opening game. Schnyder broke straight back but from then on was outplayed as Ivanovic, who held over 75% of first serves held comfortably as Schynder had to struggle with her own inconsistency as well as her opponent. In the seventh game Schynder followed up a beautifully angled running cross court running backhand with a sloppy forehand that landed out to give Ivanovic a 5-2 lead. With the Swiss player unable to get enough weight behind her shots to bother Ivanovic, the Serb took the first set comfortably 6-3.

Schynder, who reached the quarter-finals here in 1998 as a 19-year-old, tried to mix things up at the start of the second set by coming to the net behind her serve but was easily passed by Ivanovic who went on to break to love. She did manage to carve out break points on Ivanovic’s serve but was unable to convert and the 2007 finalist eventually wrapped it up to win the second set 6-2, despite double-faulting twice as nerves crept in when she was in sight of the winning post - something which she later put down to rushing in an attempt to finish the match before the rains came.

Now installed as the new favourite to win the tournament after the departure of No1 seed Maria Sharapova yesterday, Ivanovic is determined not to let last year’s hammering by Justine Henin in the final affect her. “I feel like different player this year,” said Ivanovic after the match, “I don’t want to forget last year. I want to remember it and use it to play better.”

Ivanovic will now play the winner of the match between fellow Serb Jelena Jankovic and surprise quarter-finalist Carla Suarez Navarro.

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