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Ana lost 6-3, 6-4 to former world No.1 Venus Williams in the first round of the FORTIS Championships.
“It was a very difficult first round for me,” said Ana, who served six double faults, including several at inopportune moments. “She was playing very well and serving much better during the whole match. My serve was very up-and-down. That was one of the most important factors in this match.”
Making her first appearance in an indoor tournament since Antwerp in February, Ana made a bright start as she broke in the opening game and held for a 2-0 lead.
Ana's first round match against Venus Williams at the FORTIS Championships is scheduled as the fourth on Center Court on Wednesday. It will begin not before 5.30pm Central European Time.
Ana has played the five-time Grand Slam champion once before: the American triumphed 7-6, 7-6 in the second round of the Zurich Open two years ago.
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Check back shortly after the match for a full report.
Ana’s Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles ranking is unchanged at No.15 in the latest list, which is published today. She slips one place to No.14 in the Porsche Race, while her doubles ranking rises three places to No.50, an all-time high.
The most significant change to the singles rankings sees China Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova move up to a joint career-best position of No.4. Martina Hingis, who triumphed in Kolkata last week, moves up one place to No.8 at the expense of her countrywoman Patty Schnyder.
Thomas: Are you planning on playing in the Zurich Open? I will be at the Zurich Open on my trip to Switzerland. What would recommend visiting during my stay in Switzerland? Good Luck the rest of 2006 and in your tennis career
Ana: Thanks for your support. I am planning to play in Zurich next month. It is one of my favourite tournaments. I recommend that you take a boat cruise on the lake so you can see the amazing views of the Alps. Also visit the Old Town, and if you like shopping you should visit the Bahnhofstrasse.
Ana will face five-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in the first round of the FORTIS Championships, which begins on Monday. Ana is seeded sixth for what is the opening tournament of the European indoor season.
Ana has played the American once before, a memorable second round clash in Zurich two years ago, which Williams won in two tiebreak sets. Williams has not played since Wimbledon and missed last month’s US Open with a left wrist injury.
Sven: Hallo Ana, I'm a big fan of you ever since I saw you first play. What I was wondering is, how doubles partners "find" each other. I mean, if you see somebody you want to play doubles with, do you simply ask the player, or do you ask your management to ask her management? And how do you actually register in a tournament? Do both players call a phone number? Thanks a lot, Sven
Pros and pundit’s talk about Ana’s groundstrokes, in particular her mighty forehand
Chris Bradnam, Eurosport commentator
“I personally think that Ana’s forehand comes alive when she’s moving around the ball. When the ball’s coming down the middle of the court and she has to move to her left to play the shot, she’s different class. She’s taking the ball on the rise and it’s just devastating.
We asked Ana to explain how she hits a forehand and to give a few tips to those looking to emulate it
“I use a semi-Western grip. It can be easily found by picking up a racket lying face down on ground. A ‘V’ should be formed by the thumb and forefinger to the right of the centre of the grip, as you look along the shaft. It is a grip that allows me to play a variety of forehands and easily combines with a shorter backswing for returns. It also allows me to change quickly to a continental grip (the serve and volleying grip) when moving to net.
Ana remains at No.15 in the latest Sony Ericsson WTA Tour singles rankings, which are published today. There are no positional changes anywhere in the top 20.
Despite losing in the first round of last week’s Wismilak International, the gap between Ana and Francesca Schiavone, who is ranked 14th, has closed to seven points because the Italian did not defend the points she earned by reaching the Bali final 12 months ago.
Ana’s doubles ranking slips one place to No.53, while she is unchanged at No.13 in the Porsche Race.
chris: You have often said that Melbourne is your favourite city, and you have relatives there. What do you like about Melbourne? Do you do much sightseeing there?
Ana: I’ve probably done more sightseeing in Melbourne than at other tournaments, because I trained there last December, so I had some free time. Also my uncle lives in Mentone, so I have been there quite a lot. One of the best things about Melbourne is the people. I really like Australians: they seem laid-back and friendly. I’m very happy that both my coach and physical trainer are Australians.