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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ana Ivanovic vs Daniela Hantuchova: Semi Final of Australian Open 2008

Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova will face each other in the semi final of Australian Open 2008 on Thursday. The third seed, Ivanovic has defeated Venus Williams in a thrilling quarter final clash in straight sets. With projecting her first victory in five meeting with Venus, she confirmed her third grand slam semi final. The Serbian did not find it easy to outfight the six grand slam titles winner Venus Williams in the 7-6, 6-4 victory. The first set was full of errors from both Ivanovic and Venus with six service breaks. However, Ivanovic could manage to secure the first set in tiebreaker. However, the Venus Williams bounced back in the second taking it to 3-0 at one stage, before Ivanovic came back with her impressive run to wrap up the match in straight sets.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Daniela Hantuchova has reached the semi final of a grand slam for the first time in her career, ending the impressive run of Polish starlet Agnieszka Radwanska in the quarter final. The Slovakian won the match 6-2, 6-2, without facing any strong resistance from her opponent. Australian Open 2008 has already been breakthrough for Hantuchova. The 25 year old, started her career with lots of potential. However, she could not flourish her potential in the big stages. Thus she needed eight years to make it to a grand slam semi final. Hantuchova thinks that she has improved herself mentally. She has insisted that making a way to win a match is more important, even when one is not playing well.

The Age reported:

For one who has always exercised her mind so vigorously, it might seem peculiar that Hantuchova believes she has always had the game to win major tournaments, but "I just needed, I guess, to improve myself mentally, to believe it".

A significant aspect of that process was to stop dwelling on mistakes during matches. "I think I realised that it's OK to … not always play my best tennis," she said.

"But, you know, it's a nice challenge to have to always find a way how to get through a match, even not playing well. And I think it's something that I've improved a lot the last few months."

Image Source: Wikipedia

Ana Ivanovic had a breakthrough season in 2007 with reaching the final of a grand slam tournament for the first time and broke into the top ten of ranking. However, the French Open finalist has started off well in the tournament without dropping any set so far. She has improved a lot in her fitness and game. The Serbian has tried to improve in her fitness for last 18 months, which definitely made her stronger and tougher to break down.

Times Online reported:

Ivanovic's punishing fitness training paid off and answered questions about her temperament following her worrying defeat in the French Open final last year. "It was a little bit nerve cracking," she said when asked about serving at match point. "I'm just so, so happy I managed to step up and keep my composure and win the match."

Well, now it is almost certain that both Ivanovic and Hantuchova will try their best to make it to the final of Australian Open 2008. With Henin, Williams sisters out of the tournament, it is really a good chance to win their first ever grand slam title.

I see both of them have equal chance in the match. The match will be held today. Ivanovic and Hantuchova have met each other on three occasions so far with Ivanovic wining twice. Ivanovic can make all Serbian final if she can survive in the semi final and her fellow Serbian Jelena Jankovic wins over Maria Sharapova in the other semi final. I think, both Ivanovic and Hantuchova are in their prime form. So, I hope to see an exciting match today in Melbourne Park.

What do you think about the match?

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