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Monday, January 21, 2008

Venus Williams vs Ana Ivanovic: Quarter Final of Australian Open 2008

Venus Williams and Ana Ivanovic are going to face each other once again in the grand slam tournament. Both of them progressed into the quarter final of Australian Open 2008 after projecting straight-sets victories over their fourth round opponents. Venus Williams had to assert every bit of her mental strength to survive against the resistance of Marta Domachowska from Poland in her 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Fourth Seed, Ana Ivanovic had lesser challenge from Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the fourth round. Ivanovic secured the first set 6-1, but she as pushed all the way in the second set, before winning it in tie-breaker 7-6 (7-2). Both Ivanovic and Venus have not dropped any set in the tournament. So, it seems that both of them are in their right shape.

However, to tell the truth, six-time grand slam winner, Venus Williams has not been in her prime form so far in the tournament. The US Open reigning champion is yet to reach her best in the tournament. Though Venus Williams reeled off the victories in two sets, she often looked fragile with unexpected mistakes.

Now, ahead of the match against Ana Ivanovic, whom she defeated four times in the past including twice in the grand slam tournaments last year, Venus Williams has expressed that she considers herself as a big match player and enjoys the challenge.

The Age reported:

"I think she's a great player. I know she'll do her best tomorrow," she said. "I do consider myself a big-match player. I do enjoy those times. I enjoy the battle. I enjoy the challenge. And that's about it. I'll be supporting Serena and going for my own win."

Well, it is true that Venus Williams always plays well in the big matches, especially in the high profile matches. She is though to be one of the pioneers of power tennis in the modern age. Venus also likes to play big and hard shorts, which, to many, are the main strength of the America.

Ana Ivanovic, though lost all four times she met Venus Williams in the past, is now pretty much confident to atone for her defeats. Ana Ivanovic has also admitted that Venus is a big hitter.

Herald Sun reported:

"She's definitely a tough opponent," Ivanovic said. "Last two grand slams I lost to her. Exactly the time for some revenge. I think I'm a little bit of a different player. I've got fitter and stronger on the court.

"And also these courts are a little bit slower than US Open, so I think that's something that definitely suits me better because she's a big server and she likes to go for the big shots."

"Yeah, definitely it is, because she's a big hitter and she likes to dominate the rallies," Ivanovic said.

"So it will be just important for me to stay there, stay there with her, and still try to get that first shot."

Ana Ivanovic had a breakthrough season in 2007 with reaching the final of French Open, before making it to the semi final of Wimbledon. Ivanovic will definitely try to take the revenge of her back to back defeats to Venus Williams last year. However, the Serbian has been in an imperious form so far in the tournament and reaching the quarter final is the best ever Australian Open performance of Ana Ivanovic. Now, let us see if she can go further in the tournament, taking the revenge over Venus Williams.

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