Ana storms past Pironkova

Ana storms past Pironkova

Ana made a flawless start at the GARANTi KOZA Tournament of Champions in Sofia as she dismantled Tsvetana Pironkova from Bulgaria 6-0, 6-2 in her first match of the round-robin stage. It was a comfortable 55-minute win for the 25-year-old, who has won this tournament on both of her two previous entries.
 
Ana won the flip of the coin and elected to serve, setting the tone by clinching the opening game to love. It was the start of 22 minutes of one-direction tennis, in which the second seed dropped just eight points en route to whitewashing her opponent in the first set.
 
Also in the second set, Ana dominated from all corners, was extremely effective with her forehand and she frequently threw in some classy drop shots to which the home favourite had no answers.
 
However, Pironkova managed to get her name on the scoreboard as she held serve to love in the second game. She celebrated it extensively - it would prove to be her only hold of serve of the match – and the home crowd cheered her on, hoping for a more competitive set. Nonetheless, Ana again scored an early break and she surged into a 3-1 lead.
 
As Ana’s service stats slightly dropped as the second set progressed, the Bulgarian earned some break points in games three and five. She was successful in breaking Ana on the latter occasion, but was immediately re-broken in the following game.

The gap of 103 places between both players in the rankings eventually was too perceptible, with the world No.16 wrapping up three consecutive games to seal victory.

Afterwards, Pironkova conceded: "I didn't play well today and on the other side Ana was perfect. She placed some very powerful shots."

Ana herself commented: "I think that I played well and I'm happy with my performance. It's wonderfull to start the tournament with a win but hey, don't forget that I have other two tough matches in my group. I hope to win the remaining matches and advance to the semifinals."

Ana takes on Australian No.4 seed Samantha Stosur, who beat her in Moscow a fortnight ago, on Thursday.

By Joeri Moerman