Ana sees off Hantuchova

Ana sees off Hantuchova

Ana saw off the challenge of world No. 19 Daniela Hantuchova from Slovakia to reach the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami. It was a very accomplished performance by the 24-year-old, who claimed a 6-2, 7-6(2) victory in 99 minutes.
 
The windy conditions in Miami were a nuissance for both players: they were often deceived by surprising bounces of the ball, which meant that the match featured a string of blazing rallies as well as a slew of complete mishits. It was Ana who stepped forward to seize the initiative and after three straight breaks of serve, she reeled off four consecutive games to take the set 6-2.
 
Key to Ana’s impressive victory today was her mobility around the court. She chased every ball and always demanded that the Slovakian hit one more stroke. It paid off as Hantuchova struggled to hold her nerves in the tense situations and she was forced into making mistakes. 
 
The second set went along with serve until it reached 3-3, at which time Ana broke the Slovakian to move into a 4-3 advantage. However, Hantuchova immediately recovered the arrears as she broke back to level.
 
Despite Ana wangling three more break points in the ninth game, no more breaks of serve were allowed so a tiebreak was inevitable. 
 
In the tiebreak, the 24-year-old quickly advanced into a 4-0 lead. She was ruthless and granted her opponent just two more points before eventually sealing victory with one of her many forehand winners.
 
"It was a very tough match for me," said Ana.
 
"I knew from the beginning that it will be a very tough third round I think for both of us. We played a lot of times in the past. We always have tough matches. Even in practice, it's always tight. 
 
"So I really tried to stay calm and work and concentrate on what I was doing out there. I played really well in the first set. 
 
"I think I started to rush a little more in the second and I created lots of opportunities, but I started to want to close out the match and wanted to rush and rush. I was focused more on the end result rather than in the moment what I was doing and then I lost a bit of rhythm on my serve.
 
"But I'm really happy that I managed to keep composed and then win the tiebreaker. It was a very, very important win for me today."
 
Ana will face seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in round four. The American progressed after a tight battle against Aleksandra Wozniak from Canada in nearly three hours, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).
 
Ana trails the American 7-1 in previous meetings. The match is scheduled to take place sometime after 9pm local time (3am Tuesday Central European Time). 

Click here for live point-by-point scoring from the Crandon Park Tennis Center.
 
By Joeri Moerman