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Ana takes on world No.28 Mona Barthel in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Monday. It will be the second meeting between the pair, after Barthel defeated Ana 7-5, 7-6 on clay in Stuttgart last year.
Barthel advanced to round three with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over Kiki Bertens, while Ana defeated 16-year-old wild card Taylor Townsend 6-1, 6-2.
"I really felt I was striking the ball when on my backhand," reflected Ana. "My serve was working really well [but] I was a bit tentative on my forehand. A lot of mis-hits."
22-year-old Barthel is in excellent form, having won the Open GDF Suez in Paris last month. She also comprehensively beat world No.6 Angelique Kerber in Doha.
Ana accepted that it is "not an easy match-up" against the German, despite her superior ranking. However, it's the kind of match she needs to win in order to continue her climb up the rankings, and re-enter the top 10: Ana knows that she must start beating players ranked above her in order to achieve this goal.
"I'm putting myself constantly in the position," Ana told reporters yesterday. "It feels like I'm there, yet I never manage to turn it. I can keep saying it, but until I do it, it's not going to make a difference. I really need to make that happen."
Click here for live point-by-point scoring from the Indian Wells Tennis Gardens.