What a difference 10 days can make.
In Dubai, Ana Ivanovic lost to Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets. Late Tuesday night, Ivanovic overpowered Wozniacki 6-3, 6-2 to bounce the defending champion out of the BNP Paribas Open.
“I’m very happy,” Ivanovic said. “I think I didn’t do much wrong today besides first few games on my serve. But, yeah, I’m really pleased the way I was aggressive.”
The victory moves Ivanovic into the quarterfinal, where she will face Marion Bartoli on Thursday.
For Ivanovic, it’s one of her biggest victories in a while.
What made the victory possible for Ivanovic was not just playing aggressively, but committing to attacking and putting pressure on Wozniacki if she was going to improve on her performance in Dubai.
“I just really knew I had to be aggressive and I knew I had to accept mistakes, because she does make you play extra balls.,” Ivanovic said. “I did that really well, and I served much, much better than I did in the last match. And also my backhand was a lot heavier than last time we played.
“That’s something that I knew I had to improve on. I actually was missing a lot in my backhand side, which was key, as well. And then my forehands were coming through a lot faster than was the case in Dubai.”
The defeat was disappointing for Wozniacki, who had a lot of points to defend. Now she could drop from No. 4 to as far as No. 7 after Indian Wells. It’s something that’s tough for a player who was No. 1 at the start of the year.
“You know how you have been able to play and how you can play. You know, when you don’t feel like you’re playing in the top of your game, you still try. You push yourself, but it’s just not going the way you want to,” Wozniacki said. “Sometimes that can be a little bit disappointing.”
Another woman to advance was Maria Kirilenko, a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 winner over fellow Russian Nadia Petrova.
Kirilenko will face another Russian in the quarterfinal, Maria Sharapova.
For Kirilenko, her year got off to a tough start when she suffered a left leg muscle injury in the third round of the Australian Open.
“I didn’t play for 10 days after that injury. I couldn’t do anything, no fitness, no tennis,” Kirilenko said. “I did the treatment everyday when I was in Australia. The physio helped me a lot so I was able to recover quite quickly.”
Once Kirilenko recovered, she reached the finals at Pattaya City and got back on track.
But it hasn’t been easy for Kirilenko at the BNP Paribas Open. Her best
As for her relative success against Sharapova, Kirilenko said it is a matter of styles.
“She’s the kind of player who is hitting the ball very hard and I’m the kind of players who likes to change the direction, so that’s why I think we have some tough matches,” Kirilenko said.