Ana edged out by Serena

Ana edged out by Serena

Ana was narrowly beaten 6-3 by world No.1 Serena Williams in a high-quality encounter in the BNP Paribas Showdown. The 21-year-old missed a total of six break points but can take heart from what was at times a brilliantly attacking performance.

Playing in the storied Madison Square Garden for the first time on a snowy New York evening, Ana began superbly. She hit a number of breathtaking forehand winners and had the 10-time Grand Slam champion on the back foot.

At 1-1 on the Williams serve Ana moved to 15-40. Williams responded like the great champion she is, delivering three consecutive first serves, including one at the 'decisive point', usually known as deuce, which decided the game in this 'no-ad' scoring system.

Perhaps ruing her missed chances, Ana's level dropped and she was broken in the fourth game. She rallied and earned another three chances to break when 4-2 behind, but could not convert any of them. Williams served out the match.

"It was a great experience," said Ana. "I very much enjoyed competing in this arena. It was an amazing atmosphere and I feel like we both played some good tennis. I had my chances but she was too good when it mattered most.

"I also enjoyed visiting New York. Usually I am here only in the summer, so it was nice to see the city at a different time, and to explore a bit more.

Ana's next competitive outing will be at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, which begins on 11 March. She is the defending champion.