Ana defeats Dechy

Ana defeats Dechy

Ana beat world No.54 Nathalie Dechy 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 in the second round of the Proximus Diamond Games. It was a somewhat lacklustre performance by the 19-year-old, but she goes on to face second seed Kim Clijsters in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

Dechy, who has been ranked as high as 11th, made a poor start. Despite serving four double faults in her opening two service games, Ana raced into a 3-0 lead.

Ana saved a couple of break points early on, the second of them with an intelligent kick-serve, while a down-the-line backhand winner helped her add another break. She led 5-0 and the Frenchwoman had won only one point on her own serve.

Dechy got her name on the scoreboard with a love service game, then an overrule on what Ana thought was an ace in the following game helped Dechy gets back one of the breaks. With neither player showing their best form, Ana took the opening set 6-3.

The Frenchwoman called her coach onto court, as per the continuation of on-court coaching on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, but neither he nor Dechy could do anything as Ana hit a brief purple match. She made a brilliant start to the second set, hitting deep groundstrokes and winning the opening two games to love. There were no more breaks until Ana served at 4-3; her ground game began to break down and Dechy took advantage.

‘Stayin’ Alive’ by the Bee Gees was played during the changeover after Ana had broken for 6-5. It proved to be an appropriate soundtrack because Dechy broke as the 19-year-old served for the match. Errors by Ana in the tiebreak allowed the French player to win it 7-2.

Ana, who was never behind in the match, showed admirable composure. She made a succession of successful net approaches in the deciding set and scored a crucial break in the fourth game, crowned with a cross court forehand winner.

She saved several break points when serving at 3-1 and never looked back. The teenager added another break thanks to some sharp net play and eventually sealed victory when Dechy hit a forehand wide. That she found a way to win while not playing her best will be encouraging for the 19-year-old.

Clijsters is the only player in the top 20 whom Ana has not yet played. Their quarter-final will take place on Friday at 7.30pm Central European Time (1.30pm Eastern Time). It will be streamed live on the Internet: click here to open the stream in Windows Media Player while play is in progress (be sure to try several times if you cannot connect the first time). Alternatively, click here for live game-by-game scoring .